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The E-Sylum:  Volume 8, Number 49, November 20, 2005, Article 5

TRADITIONAL BOOK SIZE INFORMATION

Hadrian Rambach writes: "In reference to Martin Purdy's
email about the New Zealand RNS copy of Patin's Familiae
Romanae, I can confirm unfortunately indeed that this
would not be a hugely valuable book on the market, as
it is fairly common.  Charles Patin (1633-1693) wrote
many books, including this one, of very high importance.
One copy is listed by Dekesel in his 17th century
bibliography as dated 1662 (located in Gent), but the
average copy dates of 1663 indeed.

There are two issues for it, the common one displaying
a large device on title-page with the legend ARMA VIRVMQVE
CANIT, while the rare one shows a different device
(smaller and less ornate). It is indeed a "folio" book,
i.e. an in-2, i.e. the printed sheets of paper were
folded once (and therefore display 4 pages of text:
two rectos and two versos).

The most common paper sizes in France were "Úcu" (400x520),
""raisin" (500x650), "JÚsus" (560x760) "colombier"
(630x900) and "univers" (1000x1300) but it would be an
anachronism to try to apply these precisely to a 1663
book: as Martin knows, it is not actually possible to
know for sure the size of the paper originally used.
Standard sizes (A4 etc.) are modern creations which do
not apply to antiquarian books. This copy was trimmed
but its current size is 360x240 mm, therefore the
original sheet was at least 360x480 mm wide, but it
could have been even bigger: one must guess..."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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