Bound in an contemporary parchment manuscript page with rubrication (sentences in red ink) and decorated initials. Written on the flyleaf is “Ex libris Joh: Conradi Zwinglij. Ao: 1693” and “Martini Usterii 1780.” Two Swiss stamps on the flyleaf and one on the title page. 165×100 mm, 8◦: A-k#8,  2-158  pp. Very little to no foxing on the pages. The book is in a good condition. With printer’s mark “Exspectando” on the title page and illustrated with 47 woodcuts by Ch. Van Sichem.
This is a school book with 40 fables by the Greek author Aesopus (600 BC). Greek and Latin text in parallel columns. Every fable is illustrated with a woodcut by Christoffel (II) van Sichem. At the end of the 40 fables, you’ll find a Lectori. After the fables by Aesopus, the book continues with 42 fables by the Latin poet Avianus or Avienus (400 or 500 AD). At the end of the book there is the satiric, in the name of Homer surviving poem “Batrachomyomachia” or “Battle of the frogs and mice.” This too has the Greek and Latin version in parallel columns and 6 unsigned, woodcut illustrations.
The ‘Fabulae Aesopi’ was one of the books that was made mandatory for education at Latin schools by the States of Holland in 1626. This edition was provided by the academic Daniel Heinsius (1580-1655) from Leiden and copied at least 11 times without any major changes, the last copy dates from 1727. The 41 woodcuts by van Sichem (in addition to the 40 woodcuts from the fables, there is a portrait of Aesopus together with “his” mythical creatures) were reproduced very precisely for the edition of 1649. One of those woodcuts on page 73 kept the sign “CvS.” This is also the case in our edition from 1672. The Swiss poet Martin Usterii (1763-1827), whose name is on the flyleaf together with Joh. Conr. Zwingli, was one of the previous owners of this book’s edition. Rare book, no other book found with this binding. Only other books available are in libraries, not for sale.
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