Polygraphiae libri sex.

AUCTION 77 | Thursday, January 17th, 2019 at 1:00 PM
"K2" Online Auction: Printed Books, Holy Land Maps, Posters, & Jewish Graphic Art

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Lot 77

Polygraphiae libri sex.

<<First edition.>> Magnificent title elaborately historiated depicting the author presenting this work to Emperor Maximilian, alongside a bearded scholar with the keys to unlock the works’ secrets. Surrounding border with various men of the sciences. Many pages printed in red and black. Contains numerous codes and exotic alphabets. ff. 255 (of 270), lacking final 15 leaves. Browned with few stains. Later vellum. Folio. Adams T-979.

[Basle: Michael Furter and Adam Petri] 1518

Est: $3,000 - $5,000
<<First edition of the first book on ciphers and cryptography.>> Born Johann Heidenberg, the author (1462-1516) was a German Benedictine abbot and polymath who was active in the German Renaissance as a lexicographer, chronicler and cryptographer. He had considerable influence on the development of early modern occultism. See J.R. Wolfe, Secret Writing: The Craft of the Cryptographer (1970) pp. 112–14.