Plinius Secundus, Gaius (Pliny, the Elder): Historia naturalis.
Venice: Johannes de Spira, [before 18 Sept.] 1469.
Fol. [110 28 3-910 1012 11-1810 19-208 21-2810 2912 30-3210 338 34-3610].  leaves, the last blank.
ISTC ip00786000; Goff P786; BMC V 153; Bod-inc P-358.
|Shelf-mark:||Sp Coll Hunterian Bv.1.5 (see main library entry for this item)|
|Variants:||1/1r, lines 13-15: “... apud me || proxima fętura licentiore epiſtola narrare cōſtitui || tibi ...”; 1/5r, col. 1, line 5: “Vbi naſcantur ...” - cf. BMC’s description of variants in its four copies.|
|Note:||In the fourth line of the colophon on 36/9v (f. 255v), the first “ſ” of “Exſcripſitq[ue]” has been erased.|
|Note:||Printer's pin-holes visible.|
|Provenance:||Richard Mead (1673-1754) M.D.: Mead’s shelfmark in ink “D,5,,21.” on first front flyleaf; lot 165, p. 25 (23 Nov. 1754) in 'Bibliotheca Meadiana' (London: 1754) where the binding is described as “C. R.” (i.e. corio russico); sold for £11.11.0 according to the copy of the Mead sale catalogue (priced and partially annotated with buyers’ names) in University of Glasgow Library (shelfmark Mu33-e.30), where the buyer’s name is recorded as “The King of France”.
Louis XV (1710-1774), King of France - see above.
William Hunter (1718-1783), physician and anatomist: the identification of Hunter’s source is problematical - given the evidence of the annotated Mead sale catalogue above; a further anomaly is contained in the 'Dessain-Hunter correspondence' (University of Glasgow Library, MS Gen. 36, f.24r), which records that Hunter purchased, through his agent Jean-Baptiste Dessain, a copy of the Spira 1469 edition of Pliny for 749 livres 19 sous at the sale of the library of Louis Jean Gaignat (1697-1768), Secretary to King Louis XV - lot 999 in Guillaume de Bure, 'Bibliographie instructive: supplément ... ou catalogue des livres de feu M. L.J. Gaignat', 2 vols (Paris: 1769). However, the binding of that copy is described in the sale catalogue as “m. c.” (i.e. maroquin citron) - the 'Dessain-Hunter correspondence' (unusually) does not describe the binding but if the De Bure catalogue description is accurate, the former Gaignat copy would appear to be a duplicate which is no longer in the Hunterian Library.
University of Glasgow: Hunterian bequest, 1807; Hunterian Museum bookplate and book label on front pastedown, with former shelfmark “Ab.3.1”.
|Binding:||England, 18th-century gold-tooled diced russia; covers decorated to a three-panel design using double fillets, a fleur-de-lys and floral roll, and a separate floral tool; gold-tooled spine whose decoration includes a separate drawer-handle tool and a tool of a radiant sun with human features; marbled endpapers; front and rear flyleaves have watermark of three mountains within a circle (cf. Briquet, 'Filigranes', 11845-50). Size: 455 × 300 mm.|
|Leaf size:||430 x 286 mm.|
|Annotations:||Book numbers and chapter numbers added in red ink to the printed index contained in gatherings 1 and 2; text rubricated throughout by reference to the printed index and its manuscript additions; running book numbers ‘I-XXXVII’ supplied in red ink on rectos; early marginal annotations in black ink on 8/3r (f. 71r) ‘hermaphroditi’ and on 8/7r (f. 75r) ‘de opere virgilii’; gatherings numbered ‘1-36’ in an early hand; evidence of early signatures; possible shelfmark beginning ‘XXVII’ (remainder cropped) in red ink in an early hand at foot of 3/1r (f. 19r); ‘f3’ written in pencil (18th century) on front free endpaper.|
|Decoration:||On 1/1r a 17-line epigraphic initial “L” is supplied in blue on a rectangular pink background containing white-vine decoration defined in blue and green with the head of a dragon(?) devouring the stem of the vine; principal initials supplied in red or blue, both generally with reserved white; other smaller initials supplied throughout in alternate red and blue; small guide-letters in brown ink are visible for almost all initials.|