15-09-18-2208IE05D Boccaccio.jpg
The 15th century French translation of Boccaccio’s ‘De Casibus’ which is offered by Dr Jörn Günther at the Florence Biennale, priced at €880,000.

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This year's new exhibitors include Dr Jörn Günther, a specialist dealer in early books and manuscripts from Switzerland. Among the rare works he is taking to the fair is a rare 15th century French translation of Boccaccio's De Casibus, a moral commentary on overcoming misfortune by adhering to virtue that was originally published in 1355-60.

The text takes the form of a series of biographies beginning with Adam, moving via figures from antiquity to Bocaccio's contemporaries. For a long time it was more famous than the author's Decameron.

This French version, a second edition of the translation by Laurent de Premierfait, secretary to the Duc de Berry, c.1470, has five large illuminated miniatures produced in a French workshop associated with Maitre François. Pictured above is one, showing Boccaccio in bed and his mentor Petrarch addressing him from its foot.

The manuscript is priced at €880,000.