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Rare pocket-sized works of Ovid, bound for the 16th-century Dutch statesman Johannes Mepschius,
later in Jan Six's library

OVIDIUS NASO, Publius (OVID).
Amatoria.
With:
(2) Metamorphoseon libri XV.
(3) Fastorum lib. VI. ... Tristium lib. V. ... De Ponto lib. IIII.
Lyon, Sebastian Gryphius (Sébastien Gryphe), 1547. 3 volumes. 16mo (12.5 x 8 cm). 16th-century Lyonese red morocco in Italian style, each board in a panel design, with the titles on the front boards and the owner's name "IO|ANNES|MEPSC|HIVS" on the back boards), 17th-century gold-tooling on the spines.
€ 25,000
Lovely little set of Gryphius's rare 16mo Ovid editions, printed as a matching series containing 5 works, here in matching 16th-century Lyonese bindings. It includes his two most famous works, the Metamorphoses and the Ars Amatoria, each in a volume of its own, with the Fasti published together with two smaller works: the Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto.
The present set of Ovid's works in 3 volumes is the only example located of bindings made for the Dutch lawyer and statesman Johannus Mepschius or de Mepsche (1528-1585), president of the Court in Groningen. The owner's signature "I. Six" on the title-page of volume three indicates that this set somehow descended to Jan Six (1618-1700), friend and patron of Rembrandt and the subject of one of his finest portraits (still in the Six collection at Amsterdam).
In very good condition, with only some marginal holes in the last 4 quires of volume 3 (not affecting the text) and a small unobtrusive stain on the title-page of vol. 1. Bindings with a few small chips and minor cracks and stains, and only traces of the ties, but still in good condition. A very rare complete set of Gryphius's miniature Ovid, bound in Lyon for a Groningen statesman in the 16th century.
Adams O494 (ad 2 only); Baudrier VIII, p. 216 (ads 2 & 3 only).
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Book history, education, learning & printing  >  Bindings
Early printing & manuscripts  >  Art History & Literature | History, Law & Philosophy
History, law & philosophy  >  Archaeology & Classical Antiquity
Literature & linguistics  >  Greek & Roman Classics