DOLCE, Lodovico.1508-1568. & Host von Romberch, fl. 1485-1533. ; Congestorium artificiose memorie..

Venice Giovanni Battista and Melchiorre Sessa 1562. $3,700

Dialogo Nel quale si ragiona del modo di accrescere, et conseruar la memoria.

Octavo: 13 x9.5cm. Signatures: A-P⁸ (P7 a blank) Bound in an early full stiff vellum binding, label with title on the spine. Printer’s device with the cat of Sessa on Title-page, The 23 woodcuts within the text, half and full page, these are the blocks previously cut for the Congestorium printed by Giorgio de’ Rusconi in 1520, and which came into the possession of the Sessa press in 1533, when Romberch’s treatise was reprinted by the older Melchiorre. See the images below.

This includes the earliest representation of a bookstore, as a bibliosnipit.

A very early image of a book store!

Trimmed with light sign of dampstain on the exterior margin of some pages, good condition. Rare second edition illustrated. Dedication dated 1562. This is the Second edition (first 1562) of Dolce’s translation and paraphrase in dialogue form of Johann Host von Romberch’s Congestorium artificiose memorie. Important and curious treatise of mnemonics, accompanied by remarkable illustrations, many full-page woodcuts, fine processing of formal depict alphabets ornamented, a city, tree ‘Hortus Philosophiae’, a human head with the position of the mental faculties, a female allegory of grammar; directly related to the text that explains the techniques, they show how to put them into practice. The work, written in dialogue form the model of “De Oratore” of Cicero, is the translation, with additions and modifications, of the treatise of Johannes Romberch, published in 1520, as noted Leonardo Trissino at the end of the dedication: to this Treatise shall be taken Also suggestive woodcuts, printed by Giorgio de’Rusconi.

Yates: “It is a translation, or rather an adaptation of Congestorium of Romberch. The convoluted Latin German Dominican is transformed into elegant Italian dialogues, some of his examples are modernized … Among the additions made to the text of Dolce Romberch, there is one, already mentioned, where it introduced the allusion to Dante as a guide to remind the Inferno. Other expansions are Dolce modernization of the precepts of mnemonic Romberch, obtained with the introduction of modern artists, whose paintings are useful as memory images … Thus, while recommending the images to remember Dante’s Inferno, Dolce updates in equal time image memory, recommending forms mythological version painting by Titian. “

Adams. D-733; Edit 16, CNCE17410; Mortimer, Italian 16th Century Books, n. 157; Young, Bibliography of Memory, p. 91; Durling, 1183; Bibl. Magica, 391;  L. Dolce, Dialogo del modo di accrescere e conservar la memoria, ed. A. Torre, Pisa, 2001 L. F. A. Yates, The Art of memory, Eadem, Selected Works. III, London-New-York 2001

There are a few A mnemonic link system,, alphabets. The illustrative apparatus of the Dialogo thus also includes the famous visual alphabet formed with instruments and animals first printed by Erhard Rathold in the Publicius of 1482. Dolce’s publishing initiative was an immediate success, and the small treatise was reprinted in Venice in 1575 and 1586.