SIGONII, Caroli [SIGONIUS, Carolus, or, SIGONIO, Carlo] (c. 1524 - 1584)
Historiarvm de regno Italiae libri quindecim,
Ad illvstriss. atq. excellentiss. d. Iacobum Boncompagnum, Generalem, S. R. E. Gubernatorem. Basileae [Basel] : apud Petrum Bernum, 1575. Quarto, contemporary blind stamped panelled vellum over bevelled wooden boards, two clasps with engraved metal catches and clasps, endpaper with early nineteenth-century owner’s name, title page with Ex libris inscription of original owner Wilhelm Seema of Mangern (Bavaria), pp. [viii]; 591, woodblock initials (some hand-coloured), pale waterstain to lower portion of first few leaves, else internally clean and sound.
The first edition of the first fifteen books of Italian humanist Sigonio’s history of the kingdom of Italy, covering the period 565 to 1199 A.D. A second volume containing the last five books would be published after the author’s death in 1591. Sigonio was asked by Pope Gregory XIII to write a history of the Christian Church, however he died before completing the manuscript.
The vellum binding on the present copy indicates that its owner was a pious Protestant. The borders of the blind stamped panels, front and back, are decorated with repeated sequences of scenes of the Crucifixion and Resurrection, with the abbreviated Latin captions MORS FRO / ECCE ANG[ELUS DOMINI] / HIC EST FI[LIUS DEI]/ INRI (Iēsus Nazarēnus, Rēx Iūdaeōrum) / ABRAHAM. Vignette profile portraits of three men (possibly Protestant ecclesiastical figures or theologians?) are repeated in the borders around the centre of both panels.