1584 · Lyon
Early, uncommon edition of this French adaptation of The Seven Sages, in which Prince Erastus is persecuted by his lustful, jealous stepmother Aphrodisia — a framing device for a series of cautionary tales told to the Emperor by the stepmother, the prince's wise tutors, and finally the prince himself. Of Eastern (possibly Persian) origin ca. the 5th century b.c., the work spread throughout Europe in a variety of forms and first appeared in this guise in 1564, translated from an Italian rendition. All of the early printings thus are now rare, with WorldCat locating => only one U.S. institutional holding of the present Gazeau edition.
Binding: Red crushed morocco framed and panelled in blind double fillets with gilt-tooled corner fleurons, spine with raised bands, gilt-stamped title and publication information, and gilt-tooled strawberry leaf decorations in compartments; turn-ins with gilt compound roll, all edges gilt. => Signed binding by Capé, name camouflaged in lower front turn-in.
Provenance: Front free endpaper with ex libris of Panof Grafsos Skinos, with shelving number; most recently in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
Pettegree, Livres vernaculaires français 18447. Not in Adams; see Brunet, III, 207 for other eds. Binding as above, minor rubbing to extremities and light scuff to back cover; bookplates as above. Pages mildly age-toned; first text page with tiny nick to upper margin. Scarce edition of => a classic anti-woman romance with much influence throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, here in a distinguished, attractive signed binding. (Inventory #: 37930)