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The First Edition of Spanheim’s Classic Dissertatio

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The First Edition of Spanheim’s Classic Dissertatio
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Spanheim, Ezechiel. DISSERTATIO DE PRAESTANTIA ET USU NUMISMATUM ANTIQUORUM. Romæ: Apud Blasium Deversin, & Felicem Cesarettum, Typis Fabii de Falcho, 1664. First edition. 4to [22.5 by 17 cm], contemporary limp vellum; hand-lettered spine. (6), 315 (13) pages; title printed in red and black incorporating a woodcut vignette; a few charming woodcut initials and floral tailpieces. Spine vellum chipped in two places, exposing perhaps a quarter of the spine. A few minor faults, but very good or better overall. Clain-Stefanelli, Numismatics--An Ancient Science, page 24: “one of the most significant names in the field of numismatics in the 17th century (is) Ezechiel Spanheim... His encyclopedic knowledge in history, art, geography, art history--all based on a full mastery of the ancient authors--made him one of the prominent numismatists of his day. His chief publication Dissertatio de praestantia et usu numismatum antiquorum (1664) must certainly be considered the work of a master.” Culminating in a luxurious two-volume folio third edition in 1706-17 (see lot 299), the 1671 second edition, a small quarto, was the first to feature coin illustrations. While this first edition is perhaps lacking in some respects, it appears to be considerably rarer than its successors and, of course, is bibliographically important as the first appearance of a major step forward in numismatic writing. Babelon 105-106. Dekesel S180. Hirsch 122. Labbé (1675) 85. Lipsius 376. Ex RBW Library.