Titus Carus Lucretius (99BC – c. 55BC) De rerum natura. In aedibus Aldi & A.Soceri, Venice, January 1515.
8° (160x100mm)  (last blank), 125,  11. (last containing colophon and ettata).
Midnight-blue straight grained morocco by Courteval, with his label on the front end leaf. Spine divided by double fillets into 6 panels, one lettered, the others gilt with a central quattrefoil, fleurs-de-lys, palmettes on a dotted background. Sides panelled with gilt filets and floral corner pieces, edges and turn-ins decorated, marbled and vellum endpapers, all edges gilt. Some staining on leaf a4.
“The Lucretius of January 1515 was the last book printed by Aldus, shortly before his death on 6 February. The text had been revised and edited by Andrea Navagero (1483-1529), the editor of all the last Latin edition published by Aldus from the Cicero of1514 onwards.
Unlike Aldus’s first Lucretius of 1500, this was a classical enchiridion, in the octavo format with text in Italic types, and no accompanying commentary or printed decoration. Like Aldus’ first Lucretius, though, the edition was once again dedicated to Alberto Pio, Prince of Carpi, as if, at the end of his life, Aldus wanted to close the cycle of his dedicatory letters by addressing his last printed words and thoughts to his former pupil and constant supporter. Far from being sentimental, though, he was as ever preoccupied with the correctness and accuracy of the text for the benefit of his learned readers, and apologised for having been prevented by illness from adding his own notes on Lucretius to Navagero’s edition. Ever the clever business man, however, he added the justification ‘it was necessary to make sure that the work did not exceed the proper limits and that the bulk of the volume would not become cumbersome'”
A charming copy bound by Courteval; active between 1796-1836 he produced work in the style of Bozerian.
1. Bookplates of Alexey Borisovich Lobanov-Rostovsky (1824-1896) and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (1868-1918).
2. Almost certainly Renouard’s copy. This doesn’t appear to be Renouard’s ownership inscription but it is likely to be that of a French bookseller noting his ownership.
Ahmanson-Murphy 112; Renouard, 74:11; BM STC, Italian 397; Adams L1651.