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Petrus de Crescentiis (c. 1230–35–c. 1320)

Ruralia Commoda c.1490-5

RCIN 1057436

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Pietro Crescenzi is best known for his manual on agriculture, the 'Ruralia Commoda', first written c.1305. Translated into several languages, it was a standard work on agriculture and also hunting and falconry, subjects which were of interest to Henry VIII. Among the many lively woodcuts in this incunable, or book printed between 1450 and 1500, are illustrations showing the production of wine. An inventory number written on the title page (1417) shows that this book belonged to Henry VIII, and was part of his library at Whitehall Palace. An earlier inscription records that it had been in the possession of the King's chaplain, Richard Rawson. It would later pass with the rest of the old Royal Library to the British Museum in 1757. Sold as a duplicate, it was re-acquired for the Royal Library at Windsor during the early part of Queen Victoria's reign.