1543 · Eleutheropoli
First edition of this gathering of pasquinades, or political and religious satires, mostly in Latin. Published anonymously, with a false imprint that translates to "Free City" or "City of Liberty," these lampoons were collected by a prominent humanist scholar (known in his day as Caelius Secundus Curio) who spent much of his career fleeing persecution by the Church. The denunciations of anti-Reformation thought include Hutten's Trias Romana (in German), Erasmus' Pasquillus, and Curione's own Pasquillus ecstaticus. The text is for the most part printed in an attractive italic — the Hutten German text being an exception, in black letter — with => two decorative capitals hand-illuminated in red, blue, and gold.
Binding: 19th-century straight-grained red morocco, spine with gilt rules and gilt-stamped club, scepter, and wreath motif in compartments; covers framed in single gilt fillet and elegant gilt roll, board edges with single gilt fillet, turn-ins with gilt Greek key roll. All edges gilt. Spine stamped "Rel[iure] p[ar] Bozerian Jeune," i.e,. renowned binder => François Bozerian (1765–1826), younger brother of the equally notable binder Jean-Claude Bozerian.
Evidence of Readership: Pencilled marks of emphasis in margins, and occasional early inked marginalia in Latin; final leaf with early inked verses on each side: "Oenigma de Collogino" and "Epigraphium Tilonis Ditmarri [sic] civis Goslariani [sic]."
Provenance: Front pastedown with armorial bookplate of the Earl of Mexborough, with motto "Be fast." Later in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
Adams P390; Barbier, IV, 1338; Brunet, IV, 410; Index Aurel. 148.564; VD16 C6433. Binding as above, extremities showing mild shelfwear. Bookplates as above; front free endpaper with old cataloguing for this copy affixed, front fly-leaf with early inked note ("très rare") and ownership inscription (in a different hand), possibly "Wright." Intermittent staining, mostly but not entirely confined to early portion of volume. => A solid, attractive, and intriguing copy, hand-embellished and in a signed binding. (Inventory #: 37912)