LUSIGNANO, Steffano di (1537-1590)
Description de Toute l'Isle de Cypre, et des Roys, Princes, et Seigneurs, tant Payens que Chrestiens, qui ont commandé en icelle ... [Bound with:] Histoire contenant une sommaire description des Genealogies, Alliances & gestes de tous les Princes & grans Seigneurs, dont la pluspart estoient François, qui ont iadis commadéés es Royaumes de Hierusalem, Cypre, Armenie, & lieux circonuoisins
Paris: Chez Guillaume Chaudiere, 1580 [first work]; Paris: Chez Guillaume Chaudiere, 1579 [second work]. 2 volumes in one, 4to. (8 3/8 x 6 5/8 inches). Titles with woodcut device, woodcut headpieces and initials. , 292, [xviii]; [iv], 72 ff.
Contemporary limp vellum, yapp edges, manuscript titling on spine
Provenance: Artus de Prunier, Comte de Clermont, la Seigneurie de Virieu en Dauphine (period inscriptions and signature); Nicolas de Prunier (armorial bookplate)
Very rare first edition in French of a noted early history of Cyprus and account of the Ottoman Empire conquest of 1571.
This work is sometimes mistaken to be simply a French translation of the Italian 1572 work by Lusignano titled Chorograffia: et breve historia universale dell'Isola de Cipro , though is in fact here considerably augmented and corrected. Though published following that work, it was begun earlier in the convent of the Jacobins at Paris on 9 May and completed on 22 November 1568. Furthermore, this work includes a translation of Calepio's account of the Turkish conquest of Cyprus. It is believed that Lusignano, a descendant of the famed Cypriot family of that name, was hopeful that his work would induce the French to drive the Turks from Cyprus, and restore the island to his compatriots.
Rare: we know of only two other copies of the first work in commerce in recent years (Sotheby's London, 13 May 2004, £18,000; Christie's Paris, 2 June 2005, €7800).
This copy with important provenance. Artus Prunier de Saint-André and his family owned an important library which was started by Artus I and was completed by his grand-son, Nicolas (1628-1692), himself president of the parliament of Grenoble from 1679 to 1692. Afterwards the library passed into the family of Saint-Ferriol until its dispersion. On the Prunier library, see A. Masimbert: Artus Prunier de Saint-André. Sa bibliothèque et son bibliothécaire, in Petite Revue des Bibliophiles Dauphinois, 2e série, n° 4, 1928, pp. 1-15.
Brunet III, 1239; BM French 293; Cobham-Jeffery p.35. Not in Atabey.