Une des plus belles bibliothèques de l’Europe — Peignot

[Bibliotheca Pinelliana].

Bibliotheca Maphaei Pinellii Veneti magno jam studio collecta, a Jacopo Morellio... descripta et annotationibus illustrata. Tomus primus [-sextus]. Venice, Carlo Palese for Lorenzo Baseggio, 1787.

[Bibliotheca Pinelliana] Bibliotheca Maphaei Pinellii Veneti magno jam studio collecta, a Jacopo Morellio... descripta et annotationibus illustrata. Tomus primus [-sextus]. Carlo Palese for Lorenzo Baseggio, 1787.

Six volumes, 8° (230x156 mm). I. LIV, 377, [3] pages. Maffeo Pinelli's portrait as a frontispiece, engraved by Francesco Bartolozzi (1827-1815). II. V, 468 pages. III. IV, 367, [1] pages, one folding plate, showing a specimen of papyrus owned by Pinelli. IV. LVI, 471, [1] pages. V. VIII, 360 pages, with five engraved plates. VI. XVI, 365, [3] pages. The last three volumes are in Italian and introduced by the title La libreria già raccolta con grande studio dal signor Maffeo Pinelli Veneziano, descritta e con annotazioni illustrata da don Jacopo Morelli. Contemporary marbled cardboards with lettering-piece on the spines. A beautiful, uncut copy.

A fine copy of the catalogue of one of the most significant private libraries in eighteenth-century Europe: the celebrated book collection assembled by the Venetian Maffeo Pinelli (1735-1785).

The catalogue was privately printed and edited by Jacopo Morelli (1745-1819), librarian of the Marciana Library in Venice, for the purposes of selling its contents. Pinelli's collection was actually purchased from Maffeo's heirs soon after – for the sum of 6,000 pounds – by the British bookseller James Edwards together with his partners Robson and Clarke, who intended to sell it at auction in London. The sale took place in two sessions, in 1789 and 1790.

The Bibliotheca Pinelliana is one of the most important private Italian library catalogues ever to be published. The first three volumes contain Classical and 'Oriental' books (7,953 titles); the fourth and fifth volumes include entries of Italian literature, manuscripts, and incunables, along with French, English, and Spanish publications, books on vellum, medals, etc. (comprising 4,610 items in all). The final volume provides the essential indices.

Maffeo Pinelli was born into a wealthy family whose members were the official Ducal printers to the Republic of Venice for almost two centuries. Beside the family business, Maffeo assembled a valuable collection of coins, medals, books, prints, statues, and paintings over the course of his life. In 1785 his fellow student and friend Jacopo Morelli compiled a catalogue of his paintings (Catalogo di quadri raccolti dal fu Signor Maffeo Pinelli ed ora posti in vendita) and, upon the request of Maffeo's stepfather, Daniele Zanchi produced this catalogue of his library.

“Ce catalogue est un des meilleurs qui existent, tant par la valeur et le nombre des ouvrages curieux qui le composent, que par la manière dont il est redigé, et par les notes savants dont l'a enrichi le célèbre M. Morelli. Maphée Pinelli, directeur de l'imprimerie ducale à Venise, avoit l'une des plus belles bibliothèques de l'Europe” (Peignot, p. 118).

Cicogna 4380; S. De Ricci, English Collectors of Books and Manuscripts, p. 89; L. Borean - S. Mason (eds.), Il collezionismo d'arte a Venezia. Il Settecento, Venezia 2009, p. 289; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 250.

$ 2.300