Valturio, De re militari, Verona, 1483, later vellum-backed boards
De re militari. Verona: Boninus de Boninis, 13 February 1483
Chancery folio (312 x 198mm.), 239 leaves (of 254), [*]6 a10 b–z8 & [con]10 A–D8 E10, 37 lines plus headline, woodcut illustrations, a few early annotations, nineteenth-century vellum-backed marbled boards, title lettered along foredge, lacking 15 leaves (quire a and b1, all supplied in later manuscript, and u1, supplied in later manuscript facsimile, and y6, and E1 and E10, the latter a blank leaf), small tear at foot of m6, spotted
A CLASSIC MILITARY TEXT OF THE RENAISSANCE. Valturio (1405-1475) was a humanist working at the papal court before returning to his native Rimini to work for the Malatesta. He is best known as the author of this work, which was compiled from classical military and naval texts and contains numerous illustrations of military equipment and machines. It also details the institution of the condottiere, as these mercenary leaders had substantial influence in Italy at this time (Valturio's patron Sigismondo Malatesta being one of them).
This is the second edition, closely following the first edition printed in Verona in 1472, and this copy shows considerable engagement with the text at an early date. The replacement text leaves at the beginning are in a neat Italian seventeenth- or eighteenth-century hand, and u1 is a pen and ink facsimile of the original text and woodcuts.
The woodcuts in this edition are reduced copies of those from the first edition. The (somewhat fantastical) woodcuts depict various siege engines, cannons and other military equipment, including pontoon bridges and ships.
Edmond Foulc (of Paris, died 1916), bookplate; purchased from Davis & Orioli, 26 July 1937, £15
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
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