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[Harry Houdini's Copy]; Girolamo Maggi - De Tintinnabulis [...] accedit ejusdem Magii De Equuleo liber - 1689

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Technology, Torture - Aantal: 1

Object: Boek
Aantal boeken: 1
Onderwerp: Technology, Torture
Auteur/ Illustrator: [Harry Houdini's Copy]; Girolamo Maggi
Boektitel: De Tintinnabulis [...] accedit ejusdem Magii De Equuleo liber
Staat: Zeer Goed
Publicatiejaar oudste item: 1689
Druk: Herdruk
Taal: Latijn
Versie: Bron taal
Uitgever: Henricus Wetstenius
Band: Leder
Extra's: Other

FROM THE LIBRARY OF HARRY HOUDINI, THE GREATEST OF ALL MAGICIANS, HAVING BEEN PURCHASED IN 1930 FROM TED PULLMAN BY JAMES STEVENS COX, ONE OF THE GREATEST ENGLISH BOOKSELLERS OF THE 20TH CENTURY (and an unimpeachable source – note that Maggs Brothers published two full catalogues comprised only of books from Cox’s stock).


Cox’s penciled note on the rear board reads as follows: “From Harry Houdini’s collection. / Bought 1930 in USA. / J.S.C.” His note on Pullman’s catalogue extract on the front board reads “Bought from Ted Pullman 1930 USA”.

These are THE TWO GREAT POSTHUMOUSLY PUBLISHED WORKS OF GIROLAMO MAGGI (Latinized as ‘Hieronymus Magius’), ‘De Tintinabulis,’ on bells and carillons, and ‘De Equuleo,’ on methods of torture, both printed at Amsterdam by Wetsten in duodecimo, both annotated by Sweertius, the two works REMARKABLY ILLUSTRATED BY 21 FULL-PAGE OR FOLDING ENGRAVED PLATES DEPICTING BELLS AND TORTURE (11, including the engraved title, in ‘De Tintinnabulis,’ and 10 in ‘De Equuleo’), bound in the original mid-17th century calf, contemporary to the time of publication, in very good condition, and COMPLETE IN ALL RESPECTS.

The full general reads as follows:

“Hieronymi Magii / Anglarensis / De Tintinnabulis / Liber Postumus. / Franciscus Sweertius F. / Notis illustravit. / Accedit ejusdem Magii / De Equuleo Liber, / cum notis G. Jungermanni. / Ut & Appendix Virorum illustrium / idem argumentum pertractantium. / Amstelaedami, / Apud Henr. Wetstenium. / cIc Icc xic [1689].”

The part-title of ‘De Equuleo’ reads as follows:

“Hieronymi Magii / Anglarensis / De Equuleo, / Liber Postumus. / Cum Notis / Goth. Jungermanni / Accedit / Appendix / Virorum illustrium, idem argumentum / pertractantium. / Editio novissima aucta, emendata, / figuris aeneis exornata.”

This edition includes an important section on torture, the part-title for which reads as follows:

“Appendix / De Eculei / Tormento / Ex Sigonii, Gallonii & Ju- / reti Scriptis.”


Girolamo Maggi (c. 1523, Anghiari – March 27, 1572 in Constantinople), or Hieronymus Magius, was an Italian scholar, jurist, poet, military engineer, urban planner, philologist, archaeologist, mathematician, and naturalist who studied at Bologna underFrancis Robortello. He authored several works, including a collection of poems on the Flemish wars, (Cinque primi canti della guerra di Fiandra, 1551), one detailing military fortifications (Della fortificatione delle città, by his friend Giacomo Fusto Castriotto, but edited, annotated, and published posthumously by Maggi in 1564), and several on the subject of philosophy.

Maggi was born in Anghiari, Tuscany. Little is known about his youth. His year of birth is unknown; several authors have speculated, based on varying access to information. Maggi specifically mentioned how, in infancy, he was attacked by the samepestilence which, in 1563, he states was the most recent one to occur. This was most likely the black death of 1527 spread by Charles V's Protestant mercenaries (Landsknechts) when they defeated the French and pillaged the Vatican, but may have been one of the following year or of three years later. His parents were Paolo and Luisa, who quickly left him an orphan.

As a young man, Maggi studied oratory with Pierantonio Ghezzi from Laterina, a master of Latin. Afterwards, to proceed with the then popular studies, he went at first to the nearby University of Perugia, then to that of Pisa, and finally to that of Bologna. InPisa, he attended the lectures of the famous professor of Latin and Greek oratory, Francis Robortello, who was a faculty member from 1543 to 1549.

Maggi, who beyond his native Tuscan, had mastered Latin and was erudite in Greek, Hebrew, and Spanish. Availing himself of such endowments, he went into jurisprudence, more to examine its spirit than its profession. Initially, he studied the method ofAndrea Alciato, then that of Bartolo da Sassoferrato and the 14th and 15th century schools of thought.

He became interested in ancient history, and quickly began studying epigraphy and architectonics. As part of this interest, Maggi accumulated a large collection of ancient tombstones, including ones from Como, Ravenna, Rieti, Foligno, Perugia and Rome. In Pisa, where he was still engaged in formal studies, and in other Italian cities, he visited and examined sepulchres and sarcophagi, and used his growing knowledge to dispute a universally accepted belief of the time: the idea of the existence of giants in ancient days. All of this work formed the bases for his tractatus on sepulchres. He worked diligently to provide correct interpretations of ancient works of Roman law and, for his successful explanation of a section of the Pandects of Justinian, as he himself tells the story, he was embraced and kissed by Robertello. In Pisa, he probably obtained his doctoral degree in 1546, and returned to his native land two years later.

In 1548, he was requested by his fellow citizens to visit Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. He began this endeavor in Venice, the city where in those times, the greatest Italian minds lived quietly and profited greatly from their studies, due to the vast commerce of books fueled by the carefulness and tolerance of the government; there he again saw Robortello, and started a friendship with the famous writer Pietro Aretino. Maggi, who had nothing to offer, may have sought protection from Aretino, or hoped to avoid harsh criticism from him, when he sang the following hendecasyllabic verses, published in his 1551 Guerro di Fiandro (Canto II, verse 56):

The man three times celebrated and divine
The famous immortal Pietro Aretino.

Pleased by the words, Aretino sent this poem on the Flemish wars to Chiapino Vitelli, the famous Spanish mercenary general, in February 1551, along with a letter praising Maggi's talents. Vitelli's family owned much land around Anghiari, in an area only a few miles from the Maggi estate. So, Maggi endeavored to please Vitelli, a soldier of Cosimo, to obtain good entrance at the royal court in Florence. He also praised Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, father of Cosimo I, whose daring son's rise to the throne of Florence well represented Maggi's goal. In five canti, Maggi often complained about his sad fate, showing himself unhappy with the legal profession exercised by him out of necessity.

Although this young man by Ulpian, Bartolo and Baldo
Is often distracted, and severe hardship
Does not assist him with writing verse,
And he turns his attention to legal practice;
Nonetheless I firmly believe that for his fiery temper
I will see him write immortal verse,
Aided by the might, support and protection of the Heavens
And the noble Cosimo will behold that great work.

He was a judge and military defense engineer in Famagusta on Cyprus when the island was invaded by Ottoman Turks in 1571. Besieged by the Turks, he invented machines to defend Famagusta against their attacks. When the island was conquered, Maggi was sent to the dungeons at Constantinople where, locked in chains, he wrote from memory two detailed treatises, De tintinnabulis, on bells and carillons, and the explicitly illustrated De equuleo, on torture devices.

In attempts to be freed, he dedicated the first treatise to Carolus Rym (Charles Ramire), ambassador to the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II, and the second treatise to François de Noailles, bishop of Aire and ambassador to the King of France. They were pleased with his works, and endeavoured to obtain his release. Their efforts, however, were brought to light as he was being released to the Italian ambassador. The prison captain ordered him to be detained and executed by strangulation. His two treatises were published posthumously.

BOTH WORKS ARE COMPLETE IN ALL RESPECTS, WITH 21 FULL-PAGE OR FOLDING PLATES IN TOTAL (11 in ‘De Tintinnabulis’ and 10 in ‘De Equuleo.’). The volume is paginated continuously as follows: [24], 396, (14). The volume measures about 13.3 cm by 8.5 cm by 3.2 cm; each leaf measures about 126 mm by 77 mm.

THE VOLUME IS IN VERY GOOD CONDITION. It is bound in full 17th century marbled calf with the spine divided by raised bands into 5 compartments. The second compartment from the head gives the title in gilt. The hinges and book-block are strong, and the binding shows only mild scuffing of the boards, mild to moderate wear at the edges and corners, mild creasing of the surface leather upon the spine (not affecting the strength of the book-block).

INTERNALLY, the leaves are clean and bright, with clear print and ample margins throughout. The plates are excellent impressions.

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Ca csborgal2  

Feedbackscore: 100.0
Aantal beoordelingen: 29
Lid sinds: 28 februari 2017
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    Excellent. Great seller
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    brunoferrero2 24 september 2018

  • Books have arrived 9/5, and are lovely.

    angelique33 3 september 2018

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    195605 31 augustus 2018

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    I spoke to ciburg ? In canada he had a death in family and said he would forward item this week.
    I have had no further correspondence and havent received 3 vols Hogarth 1792
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    Bruceparker100 21 augustus 2018

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    floradanica 3 juli 2018

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    Livraison rapide.
    Très bon vendeur
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    agnesetpat 16 juni 2018

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    The books are great and arrived well-wrapped and in great shape. Thanks very much
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    user-85b35c9 27 maart 2018

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    Accurately described, safely packed and quickly shipped- Excellent seller
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    Rickw33 24 maart 2018

  • perfect

    hjcatawiki 21 januari 2018

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    finalmente dopo tanta attesa,ho ricevuto il pacco. Tutto bene!Ho dovuto pero'anche pagare in piu' i diritti doganali di € 10,13.
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    tukulka 15 januari 2018

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    magnifique à recommander
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    GRANGIL 13 december 2017

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    Preperandus 7 november 2017

  • Nice book!

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