[Francis I of France]. Oratio oratorum Francisci regis Gallorum princibus electoribus Francofordiam è confluentia missa.

(Augsburg, Sigmund Grimm & Marx Wirsung), 18. VI. 1519.

4to. (12) pp. Title-page printed in red and black with woodcut border. Modern marbled boards. All edges sprinkled red.


First edition. A rare publication relating to the Frankfurt imperial elections of 1519, documenting the fruitless campaign launched by the French King Francis I in his attempt to be elected Holy Roman Emperor. The title-page features the "chained sartyrs" woodcut border by Hans Weiditz, a recurring illustration in Grimm & Wirsung productions. Attempting to sway the electoral committee in the French candidate's favour, this flattering address metaphorically compares the seven electors to the seven-star cluster of the Pleiades, who are said to outshine all other German princes in their power, wisdom, nobility, and splendour. Despite his efforts, which involved a bribe of 300,000 guilders, Francis lost the election to the Habsburg candidate Charles V.

Light browning; oversized title-page folded in. Not seen at auction since 1994.


VD 16, F 2324. Proctor 10905. Campbell Dodgson II, V, 127. Schottenloher 28684a. Fairfax Murray, German Books 323. BNHCat O 91. OCLC 312601090.

Stock Code: BN#56842 Tags: , ,