The Medici Library's Oriental Collection - built by Michelangelo

Biscionio, Antonio Maria. Bibliothecae Mediceo-Laurentianae catalogus [...]. Tomus primus [no more published], codices orientales complectens.

Florence, ex Imperiali Typographio, 1752-(1757).

Folio (282 x 410 mm). 2 parts in 1 volume. LV, (1), 199, (1) pp. 121, (1) pp. Title page printed in red and black. With engr. frontispiece, engr. title vignette, 9+26+1 (= 36) engr. plates, numerous text engravings (one full-page), and several engr. initials, head- and tailpieces. All edges sprinkled in red. Disbound.


First and only edition of this ambitiously conceived catalogue of the Hebrew, Syriac, Arabic and Greek manuscripts at the Laurentian Library ("Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana") in Florence. The 9 engraved plates of the first part show the architectural details and ornaments of the library that was planned and partly built by Michelangelo; the plates of the second part show examples from the illuminated manuscripts of the collection - a rich trove of Near-Eastern and Middle-Eastern book art. Antonio Maria Biscionio (1674-1756) was a celebrated scholar and the appointed keeper of the Laurentian Library. "No more published; later catalogs were issued by Biscioni's successor as librarian, Angelo Maria Bandini. An abridgment appeared in 1757 under title: 'Bibliothecae ebraicae graecae florentinae, sive Bibliothecae mediceo-laurentianae catalogus'" (OCLC).

Vellum slightly rubbed at extremeties; foxing to edges of final pages. Rare; only two copies in international auction records since 1950.

Graesse I, 432. OCLC 6475224.