A groundbreaking work on genealogy, 1676
Jéronimo de SOSA: NOTICIA DE LA GRAN CASA DE LOS MARQVESES DE VILLAFRANCA (…) With 2 copper engraved plates. Naples: 1676.
Jéronimo de SOSA [Y MENESES]: NOTICIA DE LA GRAN CASA DE LOS MARQVESES DE VILLAFRANCA, y sv parentesco con las mayores de Evropa, en el arbol genealogico de las ascendecia (…) With 2 copper engraved plates, one heraldic and 1 portrait of Fadrique de Toledo, as well as numerous ornamental woodcut head-pieces, vignettes and initials. Naples: Novello de Bonis 1676. Foolscap-6to. [2 (2nd fly end leaf)], [2 (engraved heraldic plate)], [2 (printed title)], [2 (engraved portrait)], [8 (dedications and approbations)], [4 (preface)] pages, p. 1 – 46, p. 64 – 491 (as printed), , [8 (index of names)], [2 (errata)]. Contemporary full polished green calf binding with rich gold tooling on boards and spine including lines, frameworks and dentelles, all incorporating floral themes, as well as with gilt and gauffered fore edge.
First edition of this important genealogical work by Franciscan friar and genealogist Jéronimo de Sosa, dealing with the history of the Villafranca del Bierzo family, Spanish nobles dating back to the late 15th century.
Contents: With present groundbreaking book, and particularly with the 17 full-paged genealogical trees depicted in it, Sosa decisively adapted the „Ahnentafel“ method of genealogical numbering originally invented by Michael Eytzinger in 1590 and popularised by August Kekulé around 1900. The book is dedicated to Marquis Fadrique de Toledo (1580-1634), a prominent member of the Villafranca family and commander in chief of the Spanish Army in the Kingdom of Naples, which was under Spanish rule then. As a posthumous reference Fadrique’s engraved portrait is bound in.
Provenance: Provenance from the library of the counts of Harrach with their oval collection stamp „Ex bibliotheca Viennensi“ on title page. The Harrachs are an Austrian and Czech noble family and were among the most prominent in the Habsburg Empire.
Condition: Boards of binding with remaining wholes missing clasps, formerly broken joints with old restoration, edges and corners bumped, boards and spine in parts slightly scratched, end papers and inside alongside the margins foxy. Missing pagination after p. 46 and before p. 65, as printed according to Palau. Otherwise a solid copy of this rare item, probably unique in this splendid, however unsigned rococo binding.
Rarity: ABPC online shows no auction records since 1972.
References: Palau 319851; Brunet, Suppl. II, 1672; Graesse VI, 451; Jerez, p. 99; Penney, Hisp. Soc. of America, p. 525; Toda y Güell 4737.