Lot 2
  • 2


20,000 - 30,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Aristotle
  • Problemata [translated by Theodore Gaza]; De vita Aristotelis. Mantua: Johann Vurster and Johann Baumeister, [c. 1472-1473]
  • Paper
Royal quarto (297 x 213mm.), 95 leaves (of 96, without initial blank), [110 2-38 410 58 610 7-88 9-1010 116], 39 lines, roman type, 2- to 4-line initials in red and blue, manuscript book and chapter numbering in red ink, contemporary manuscript signatures (a few cropped), contemporary pink alum-tawed sheep over bevelled wooden boards, nineteenth-century black paper lettering-piece, two clasps (now attached to the front board), strips of manuscript on vellum used as sewing guards for each quire, a quire of blank paper bound at end with contemporary manuscript text in Latin on first page only headed "De balneo borrethi", occasional light spotting or staining, binding lacking all bosses, spine slightly cracked with small holes over sewing supports, spine repaired at head and foot with calf, extremities slightly rubbed


Goff A1030; HCR 1729; BMC vii 929; GW 2452; Klebs 95.1

Catalogue Note

First edition of Aristotle's Problemata.Theodore Gaza's translation was criticised for being in "good Latin" at the expense of its accuracy of translation. He undertook many translations of Aristotle and other Greek texts into Latin while under the patronage of Nicholas V in Rome.

Johann Vurster, one of the first printers to set up shop in Mantua, worked there in 1472-1473 before moving his press to Bologna, Modena and then Basel. The date of the edition may well be 1472 rather than the [1473] given by GW and ISTC, for the Royal paper apparently belongs to the same stocks used to print Vurster's edition of the Conciliator of Petrus de Abano (Goff P431), explicitly dated 1472.

The manuscript text at the end talks of the baths of "Borreto", modern Porretta Terme, on the river Reno south-west of Bologna. The paper is Briquet 8415 (Zurich, dated to 1474-1487).