Imperatorum et Caesarum Vitae, cum Imaginibus ad vivam effigiem expressis. Libellus auctus cum elencho et Iconijs Consulum ab Authore. M.D.XXXIIII

Autore: HUTTICH, Johann (1480-1544)

Tipografo: Wolfgang Köpfel

Dati tipografici: Strasbourg, 1534


Two parts in one volume (190x137 mm). [8], 89, [1]; [16] leaves. Collation: Aa-Bb4 A-X4 Y6; aa-dd4. Title pages within two different woodcut borders. 268 woodcut illustrations in the first part, mostly by Hans Weiditz, of medallions, printed in white on a black ground, with the portraits of the emperors from Julius Caesar to Ferdinand I, accompanied by historiated woodcut headpieces, borders and vignettes throughout the text. 84 woodcut coins of Roman consuls in part two. Colophon of part one at l. Y5v (Argentorati, Vuolphangus Caephalaeus excussit, M.D.XXXIIII.); colophon of part two on l. dd4r (Argento. An. Sal. M.D.XXXIIII.). Printer's device on ll. Y6v and dd4v. Contemporary limp vellum, inked title along the spine and on the lower edge (traces of ties, worn, soiled and slightly darkened). Slightly uniformly browned, some foxing and staining, book block a bit loose, but overall a good, genuine copy.

Second Latin edition (third overall), but first to include the appendix on Roman consuls, of this celebratory work in which the portraits of the Roman and Holy Roman emperors in their unbroken succession from Julius Caesar to Charles V and Ferdinand I via Charlemagne, are accompanied by brief historical commentaries. The second work on Roman consuls consists of a list of names followed by eighty-four consular coins without any commentary. The first edition of the first work had appeared in 1525 with the title Imperatorum Romanorum libellus, followed by a reissue in 1526 and an edition in German in the same year, all printed in Strasbourg by Wolfgang Köpfel. Of the appendix on Roman consuls a second issue is recorded bearing a colophon with the date 1537.

The cuts are adaptations from Fulvio's Illustrium imagines (Rome, 1517), the first illustrated book on coins. “The same medallion portraits serve as basis for a reprint of the work in Lyon in 1524, and for a similar work by Johannes Huttich (Vitae Imperatorum cum imaginibus ad vivum expressis, Strasbourg 1525, with successive new editions up until 1554). Huttich broadens out the collection of portraits, all taken from coins, to include current sovereigns of the Holy Roman Empire” (F. Bassoli, Antiquarian books on coins and medals from the 15th to the 19th century, Crestline & London, 2001, p. 13). Huttich's book is thus de facto the second printed book to be substantially illustrated with coins and medals.

The German antiquarian and numismatist Johann Huttich received a degree in philosophy in his native city of Mainz. In 1530 he became canon at the Strasbourg Cathedral, where he had moved to a few years earlier.

VD16, H-6474; Olschki, Choix, 3445; Adams, H-1247; Dekesel, pp. 509-510; Cunnally, p. 1998.


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