Lot 78. Hermetic Emblems

Sold:$ 8 125
Auction date:16.10.2020   10:00 UTC +00:00
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ID 411486
Lot 78 | Hermetic Emblems
BOCCHI, Achille (1488-1562). Symbolicarum quaestionum de universe genere quas serio ludebat libri quinque. Bologna: Nova Academia Bocchiana, 1555.

First edition of Bocchi’s celebrated Hermetic emblem book. The Symbolicarum quaestionum "takes as its subject the whole of universal knowledge: physics, metaphysics, theology, dialectic, Love, Life, and Death, packaging them under the veil of fables and myths" (Manning). Bonasone's superb engravings (some of which are after Parmigianino, according to Malvasia) combine classical settings with occult symbolism, political references, and visual puns. This copy belonged to the pioneering German art historian and emblem scholar William Heckscher, who studied under Erwin Panofsky. Of emblems, he wrote: "provided we are willing to be drawn into their magic circle, they will lead us back to long-forgotten modes of what one might call planned associative thinking and observing." Mortimer Italian 76 (B1 unsigned); Cicognara 1850A. See John Manning, The Emblem, 2002.

Quarto (180 x 114mm). Woodcut emblem, engraved portrait, 150 emblematic engravings by Giulio Bonasone; woodcut initials; extra blank leaf bound into gathering D (without privilege leaf and poem to Paul IIII, as usual; a few headlines and signatures shaved; small marginal repairs to tops of two leaves, just touching headline; small marginal repairs to index leaves; some scattered spotting). 19th-century green morocco gilt (a little rubbed at extremities). Provenance: Charles Butler of Warren Wood Hatfield (1821-1910; bookplate) – William S. Heckscher (1904-1999; bookplate on flyleaf and signature).

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Preview01.10.2020 - 16.10.2020
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