A founding work of scientific ethnology, one of the earliest book editions to contain material on the Americas, 1585
Boemus; Gieronimo Giglio: I costumi, le leggi, et l’usanze di tutte le Genti. Divisi in tre libri (…) Aggiunti di nuovo il Quarto Libro, nelquale se narrai costumi, & l’usanze dell’ Indie Occidentali, overo Mondo Nuovo (…) Venice, 1585.
Johann Boemus; Gieronimo Giglio: I costumi, le leggi, et l'usanze di tutte le Genti. Divisi in tre libri (...) Aggiunti di nuovo il Quarto Libro, nelquale se narrai costumi, & l'usanze dell' Indie Occidentali, overo Mondo Nuovo; da M. Pre Gieronimo Giglio. With pictorial wood-cut printer's mark on title-page.Venice: Giacomo Cornetti, 1585.
Pott-8vo (16:10 cm). 240 numbered leaves. Wood-cut and letterpress, in contemporary limp vellum binding on two bands with hand-written spine title.
Founding work of scientific ethnology, one of the earliest book editions to contain material on the Americas.
Contents: Important early Italian edition of humanist Johannes Böhm's (or Boemus, 1485-1534) founding work on ethnology, originally published in 1520 in Latin. Present is the 6th edition of the first Italian translation of Böhm's »Omnium gentium mores, leges et ritus« made by Lucio Fauno (after 1543, 1558, 1564 and 1566), published as a reprint of the 1564 edition by Bonadio.
Supplementary enclosed and occupying leaves 193-240 is »Book IV.«, containing a letter by Maximilianus Transylvanus of the discovery of the Americas by Christopher „Palombo," as well as particular accounts of the various regions and their inhabitants, including: The Island of Florida, Hispaniola, Cuba, Jamaica, Terra di Lavoro (Labrador), Venezuela, Straits of Magellan, the Moluccas, Cuzco and Chili, Nicaragua, Peru, Quito, etc. (cf. Bibliotheca Americana). According to Brunet this part had been first published in the Venice edition of Tramezzino in 1543.
Condition: Title leaf and last leaf with faults at fore-edge and tail, both of them with old restoration, the former with partly text loss in last line („585“ of printing date is missing, wrongly corrected by hand to „520“), closely trimmed at top edge as usual, no text loss however. Vellum binding worn and in parts darkened. Some leaves with slight water-staining, title leaf recto and some margins with contemporary annotations. Pagination errors: „19“ reads „16“, „176“ reads „179“.
Holdings, Rarity: Present 1585 Italian edition is particularly rare in trade. As of October 2023 no copy is available at the markets, RBH records only 2 appearances at auction since the 1960s.
References: Palau 31253; Sabin 6119; Maggs Bros., Ltd.: Bibliotheca Americana et Phillipina. Part IV. Catalogue no. 465. London: 1925, Lot. 2649; not in Adams and BMC STC Ital.; NDB II, 403 and ADB II., 30 (Boemus).