Mar 20, 2003 - Sale 1964

Sale 1964 - Lot 206

Price Realized: $ 5,290
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
EARLIEST DIDACTIC POEM SINCE CLASSICAL ERA MARBODE, Bishop of Rennes. De gemmarum lapidum[que] . . . opusculu[m]. Woodcut design on title. 126 leaves paginated on recto, few mispaginated. 12mo, later 17th-century calf gilt with arms of Joseph Bonnier de la Mosson on covers, joints cracked and tips worn; contemporary writing on endpaper verso, several right margins trimmed; later bookplate. Cologne: Hero Alopecius, 1539

Additional Details

Early edition of Marbode's best known work, a poem in 743 hexameters describing some sixty gemstones, giving for each their magical and medicinal virtues. Thorndike declares it to be "an outstanding work among medieval accounts of precious stones, first because of the early date of authorship, and second because of its late persistence and popularity, which is indicated by the fourteen editions that appeared after the invention of printing" (History of Magic I, 775ff). The work first appeared in Vienna in 1511; this edition is best known and valued for the woodcut title, often reproduced. Sinkankas 4173; Ferguson II 73-75. Bonnier de la Mosson (1676-1726) was the treasurer of Languedoc.