1588. Rome: Bartolomeo Grassi [colophon: apud Iacobus Ruffinellum], 1588.
4to in 8s (246 x 176 mm). Engraved title, dedication and 17 plates, numerous engraved vignettes, woodcut initials and head-pieces. Recently bound in old vellum with ties, unobtrusive stain in top margin throughout not intruding into the text or images.
§ First edition of this emblem book containing well over 200 illustrations of dragons. There are 231 numbered emblems, printed one to a page, and 17 plates of the Trinity, the Virtues and other allegorical figures, and the Annunciation. The emblem subjects are drawn from the Bible, classical mythology, other emblem collections, and events and buildings of Pope Gregory XIII's reign, all with the dragon or serpent of his coat-of-arms. There are several views of Bologna, his birthplace. This copy has the engravings correctly printed on G3v, G4r, G5v and G6r, as in the British Museum and Vershbow copy. The last complete copy at auction was the Vershbow copy ($16,250 in 2013). BM/STC Italian, p. 241; Brunet II, 1151; Mortimer Italian 177. Item #123005