The Tale of Two Books
I love the internet for this reason, it is putting rare lost works into the public domain for scholars to actually review.
A great example is my copy of the 1566 Edition of Nostradamus that has been in my foundation’s collection for almost two decades. The public has been able to obtain copies of it by facsimile since 2002. Now major rare book collections from major museums are being digitized so scholars can now view many rare lost works from rare book collections of major museums and major libraries that are being digitized.
My book came to me from an auction in the 1990’s where it was mislabeled as a more common later 1566 edition that have the wrong amount of quatrains in Century 7 in them. My edition has the correct amount of quatrains in century 7. Which means it was printed either in 1566 or no later than 1609. After 1609 is when copies of 1566 and 1568 dated editions of Nostradamus’ Prophecies began to appear with the wrong number of Quatrains in various Centuries.
When I researched it years ago to try to put a date on it as to either being from 1566 or being one of two known early 16th or 17th Century editions from before 1609, I didn’t have access to the other early editions which I now have, since major museums and major libraries had not yet begun to digitize their rare book collections as they are now doing.
Seeing all the editions now, I can say my copy and the one in a Library in Germany are the real 1566 editions for a couple of reasons.
I found another 1566 Edition with Pierre Riguad on it that had been referred to by other scholars of Nostradamus’ prophecies over the years with the right number of quatrains in the 7th Century. This edition is in the French National Library, it is like the forgeries that have 1568 and Benoist Riguad on them, filled with typos and the wrong mix of how Nostradamus had his authorized editions printed. Until I actually SAW this edition, I had assumed it may be the only real 1566 edition to survive, now I know it is an early forgery.
The reason is simple, REAL AUTHORIZED Editions of Nostradamus’ Prophecies that he actually oversaw and approved in his lifetime, used a mix of Roman numerals for the numbers of the Centuries and then Arabic numerals to number each Quatrain in each Century. So you can tell real authorized editions if they use both Roman and Arabic numbers to number the Centuries and the Quatrains in each Century.
Here is the link that proves my book is THE REAL 1566 Edition since the 1566 Edition in the link below has the correct number of Quatrains in Century 7 and therefore a candidate to be the REAL FIRST EDITION of the COMPLETE PROPHECIES, but it has the wrong mix of Roman and Arabic numerals, so it is like the 1568 Benoist Riguad editions that are in a handful of European Museums that are all EARLY FORGERIES. Copyright law was not invented when these books were printed by pirate printers so it was common that popular books were PIRATED. In fact from this era of printing more forgeries exist than real authorized editions. Here is the forgery in the French Library.
You can see the woodcut on the title page is different from my book and it does list Pierre Riguad as the printer and it has the usual mention of Brother Jean Vallier who appears to be the person entrusted by Nostradamus to oversee the printing by Pierre Riguad in 1566.
1566 Forgery in French Library Title Page
Authentic 1566 Edition Title Page
Form my Copy in My Foundation’s Library
1 Other Copy is Known is exist in Bavarian National Library
The reason I say the French Library copy is an early forgery is due to the typos it has and the fact that the quatrains and centuries ARE NUMBERED WRONG like the 1568 Benoist Riguad forgery is as well.
Here is an example of a typical typo in Forgeries, and how the numerals are all Roman Numerals. The second image is my Authentic Copy of the 1566 Edition.
1566 Forgery French Library
It has All Roman Numerals which is incorrect
It misspells the 2nd to last word on this page.
1566 Authentic Edition My Copy
The use of Roman and Arabic Numerals is correct
The spelling of the next to last word is what Nostradamus used.
The real authorized and incomplete copies (they did not contain all 10 Centuries) of the Quatrains that appeared in a few printings AUTHORIZED by Nostradamus from the 1550’s all had Roman numerals as numbers for the Centuries and yet used Arabic numerals for the numbering of the Quatrains. This is how you easily can tell the authorized editions that Nostradamus oversaw and the early forgeries that are filled with many typos.
My edition and the one now found in to exist in the Bavarian Library have the proper mixture of Roman and Arabic numerals for the the Centuries and Quatrains, which the copy of the 1566 Edition in the National French Library does not have.
So my edition is one of two copies of the REAL 1566 Edition authorized by Nostradamus and printed by Pierre Riguad in 1566 and the Franciscan Brother Jean Vallier oversaw the work.
There are around 48 copies of the Gutenberg Bible that are known to exist and around 12 copies are complete editions.
There are over 100 copies of the First Folio of Shakespeare that are known to exist.
These important rare books are now all worth many millions of dollars.
So what is the value of one of the most popular books ever written for which there are now only two known complete copies from 1566 that exist, one in a museum in Germany and one in my Foundations private library?
My foundation has it for sale at 21 MILLION DOLLARS.
One of the top Auction Houses is in the process of trying to come to terms with me to offer this at a special auction. As soon as they found out the other known copy is in the Bavarian National Museum and that Hachette has done a digital copy of it, they wanted it.