The Atlas of Early Printing

The Fifteenth Century Book

Image of Fifteenth Century Book

1874 - 1960s: Ownership - Sir Thomas Brook/University of Iowa

Previous - 1490-1874: Ownership - Marcus Perfumus/Pillone Library

1874 - Ownership - Sir Thomas Brooke

In 1874 the entire collection of books, pictures, medals, armor and relics of Lepanto were sold for about 400Lira to Paolo Maresio Bazolle, a Venetian antiques dealer who brought them to Venice. The collection of fore-edge paintings and decorated vellum covers, of which our book is one, consisted of 172 volumes. 170 of these were sold to Sir Thomas Brooke, who later acquired one of the two volumes he did not initially purchase.

1947 - Ownership - Humphrey Brooke

Image of a book imprint

In 1947 the collection was again advertised for sale by Messrs Alan Keen, Ltd.

1957 - Ownership - M. Pierre Berès

In February 1957 it was sold by the owner, Mr. Humphrey Brooke, to M. Pierre Berès of Paris. He received 168 volumes, as three were lost in transport to Paris. The Pierre Berès bookselling firm issued a catalog of the collection entitled Bibliotheque Pillone. It was upon the issuance of this catalog that the collection was finally broken up.

1960s - Ownership - University of Iowa

The copy of Scriptores Historiae Augustae was obtained by Zeitlin & Ver Brugge Booksellers of Los Angeles, CA who sold it to the University of Iowa for $600.

The long journey that the Scriptores Historiae Augustae has taken to a Special Collections department in an American research library has only slightly diminished its appearance. By virtue of its centuries-long safe keeping with similar books in the Pillone library, it brings down through hundreds of years direct, tangible evidence of the time and place it was produced in, as well as the places and times it has subsequently travelled through. The remarkable depth of information that can be obtained from a single book demonstrates why early printed books remain such a valuable research tool today, for their ability to provide a significant glimpse of the world where printing emerged.