Cecire, Antonio Maria (fl. 2. half of the 18th century).
La dottrina della Chiesa sulle Indulgenze esposta e difesa... per dimostrare il valore delle Indulgenze contenute nella Bolla-Crociata pe’ regno delle due Sicilie. Napoli, nella Stamperia Simoniana, 1791.
Large 8° (214x135 mm). Printed on blue paper. 360 pages. Woodcut ornament on the title-page. Woodcut decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Fine contemporary honey calf, over pasteboards. Covers within elaborate gilt frame of neoclassical decorative elements, at each inner corner a small amphora-shaped tool. At the centre a large coat of arms of Cardinal Gregorio Antonio Maria Salviati. Spine with five small raised bands, richly gilt tooled with larger amphora-shaped tools. Title in gold on brown morocco lettering-piece. Board edges decorated with diagonal gilt fillets. Marbled pastedowns, gilt edges. Flyleaves renewed, lower corners restored. A very fine, wide-margined copy. Insignificant paper flaws to the lower margin of fol. Y1 and outer lower corner of fol. Q3, in both cases not affecting the text.
Provenance: Cardinal Gregorio Antonio Maria Salviati, Duke of Giuliano (1727-1794, armorial binding).
A fine copy – printed on 'carta turchina' – of this striking testament to the lively debate that had arisen in the late eighteenth-century Kingdom of the Two Sicilies concerning indulgences and the abuses of their practice.
Cecire's treatise aims to offer a sort of 'guide' for preachers, parish priests, and catechists on the issue of indulgences, a topic which has consistently sparked much extensive and heated controversy throughout ecclesiastical history. Here the Franciscan author deals especially with the so-called 'Bolle della Crociata', or Crusade-Bulls, issued in the 1790s by Pope Pius VI for Ferdinand IV, King of Naples, which foresaw special indulgences for punishment due to sins. The Bolla della Crociata had first been promulgated in 1509 by Julius II in favour of the Spanish monarchy, granting indulgences to those who would take part in the crusades against infidels. Obviously, at the end of the eighteenth century the Bull had lost its original function; instead, it was periodically issued for financing the construction or repair of churches and monasteries among other pious initiatives, but the money was also often used for other purposes, thus provoking criticism and polemics.
This copy, housed in a fine armorial binding and printed on blue paper, was indeed commissioned by the author for a distinguished recipient or patron: Cardinal Gregorio Antonio Maria Salviati.
V. Pinchera, Lusso e decoro. Vita quotidiana e spese dei Salviati di Firenze nel Sei e Settecento, Pisa 1999; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 254.