Historiae Florentini populi Jacobus Rubeus, 1476

BRUNUS ARETINUS, Leonardus (1369-1444). Historiae Florentini populi in Italian, translated by Donatus Acciaiolus (1429-1478). Venice: Jacobus Rubeus, 12 February 1476.

First edition. Bruni, one of the most celebrated humanists between Petrarch and Erasmus, presents Florence as heir of the free city-states of ancient Etruria and of the Roman Republic. It contains the earliest printed account of the life of Dante and other biographies and anecdotes interspersed throughout the chronicle. This copy was formely owned by John Francis Neylan. In a high-profile career, Neylan was notably William Randolph Hearst’s general counsel and advisor. His bookplate was designed by W.H. Wilke and printed by John Henry Nash. HC *1562; BMC V, 215; GW 5612; IGI 2202; CIBN B-883 ; BSB-Ink B-945; Bod-inc B-575; ISTC ib01247000; Goff B-1247.

Median folio (315 x 223mm). 217 leaves (of 218, without blank a1). Initial spaces, some with guide-letter (modest holes repaired in first 3 leaves touching a few letters, one possibly a removed stamp, occasional light stain or spotting). 20th-century vellum. Provenance: early marginal annotations – ‘J.B. Bonensis’ (17th-century inscription in first initial space) – John Francis Neylan (1885-1960; American lawyer, newspaper publisher, educationalist; 20th-century bookplate) – [sold Christie’s, Paris, 29 Nov. 2011, lot 34].