Paris: Philipe Le Noir, ca 1524. Folio (262 x 186 mm). 304 leaves. Collation: a-z6, &4, A-X6, AA-FF6. Bâtarde type. 49 lines, double-column. Title-page printed in red and black within a fine historiated woodcut border, signed with the Lorraine cross; 2 full-page, 2 three-quarter-page, one half-page, and 5 smaller woodcuts; Le Noir's first and largest device, signed with the Lorraine cross; numerous woodcut initials on criblé grounds. 18th-century marbled calf, gilt arms of Chas. Fr. Ant de Brabant de Mazirot, Comte de Muret (1740-1788) on front and back sides, smooth spine with red morocco lettering-piece and floral gilt tooling. Quarter morocco clamshell box. Skillfully rebacked preserving original spine, inoffensive inkstamp on title, small waterstain in upper left corner of title, minor dampstaining to lower corner of first few leaves, small stain in lower blank margin of about four leaves, occasional early ink notations in margins. Item #408915
A scarce edition of Valerius Maximus' Factorum et dictorum memorabilium libri IX in the French translation by Simon Hesdin, completed by Nicolas de Gonesse in 1401 (this French translation was first printed in 1477). This edition is based on that of Antoine Vêrard, Paris, 1499 or 1500. Valerius (ca 20 BCE - ca 50 CE) composed his "nine books of memorable deeds and sayings" around 30 or 31, collecting anecdotal stories that illustrated how the ancient Romans lived. He incorporated material from Cicero, Livy, Sallust, and other ancient historians. The book is arranged thematically, and is the earliest known use of hierarchical organization for the topics of a book.
This is among a handful of located copies of this Philippe Le Noir edition, the most well-known being the Bazron Sallière-Sylvain Brunchwig copy found in H.P. Kraus catalogue 179, item 73, subsequently in the collection of Albert-Louis Natural. That copy is the only copy to appear at auction (twice) in the past half century.
The woodcut title is a free copy of a border by Urs Graf dated 1519 and includes the publisher's mark of Philipe Le Noir with a black cherub head (Renouard no. 625). The large device of Le Noir (Renouard no. 623) appears on the final page. There are nine other woodcut illustrations including two full-page cuts of a king seated at his throne surrounded by courtiers, and a king walking with his queen outside a fortified town. Among the woodcuts that illustrate this edition, the one located on h6r is perhaps the most remarkable: a superb satirical caricature of a heretic, "armed" with a shovel and a banner, and whose saddlebags are overflowing with vipers and rats [120 x 80mm]. The plaque at its feet contains the monogram of the Lorraine artist Gabriel Salmon (1504-1542). Le Noir used this same engraving in his edition of Blazon des heretiques by Pierre Gringoire, given the same year. The woodcut title, a free copy of a border by Urs Graf dated 1519, includes the mark of Philippe Le Noir with a black cherub head, and is signed with the Lorraine cross (Renouard no. 625). The large device of Le Noir (Renouard no. 623) appears on the last page. There are nine other woodcut illustrations including two full-page: a king seated at his throne surrounded by courtiers, and a king walking with his queen outside a fortified town. USTC 72901 (3 copies listed); Moreau, Inventaire Chronologique des Éditions Parisiennes du XVIe siècle, III, n° 755 (dates the 1524 edition).