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  • Aristotle's De Animalibus edition to sell at Bonhams
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • AnimalibusAristotle'sDeedition

Aristotle's De Animalibus edition to sell at Bonhams

A rare 15th century edition of Aristotle's De Animalibus (On Animals) is to sell at Bonhams.

The book is one of two surviving copies and was recently discovered in Tennessee. The other copy is housed in Paris' Biblioteque National.

It's printed in ink on vellum and carries an estimate of $300,000-500,000 ahead of the June 8 sale in New York.

It contains the philosopher's musings on the animal kingdom and is among the lesser known examples of his work.

This copy appears in the English collector TF Dibdin's Bibliographical Decamaron (1817).

He describes it thus: "Yet how can I omit to mention, with the distinction which it merits, the very beautiful, if not matchless, copy of Theodore Gaza's Latin version of Aristotle upon Animals, of the date of 1476, in folio, UPON VELLUM, from the press of John of Cologne - of which my friend Sir MM Sykes is the fortunate possessor?!

"If my memory be not treacherous, this is the most exquisite specimen of an early Venetian vellum book that I have ever seen."

Christina Geiger, the auction house's director of books and manuscripts, told the Guardian: "This is that very copy, almost exactly 200 years later.

"[Dibdin's] book was published in 1817, so here we are in 2016 and [De animalibus] is in the same condition.

"That's the other thing. For a book that fell through the cracks, it didn't get run over. It's just in beautiful condition."

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • AnimalibusAristotle'sDeedition