277. Collodi, Carlo (1826-1890)
Le avventure di Pinocchio. Storia di un burattino. Illustrata da E. Mazzanti. Felice Paggi, 1883.
8° (190x122 mm). 236 pages, plus IV pages of advertisements. A portrait of Pinocchio by Enrico Mazzanti serves as the frontispiece. Sixty-one woodcuts in the text, likewise by Mazzanti. In a fine binding signed and dated (2015) by Sandra Varisco, after a maquette by the contemporary artist MP5. Cream box calf with figurative inlays in green inspired by the silhouette of Pinocchio wearing donkey's ears (in Italian, 'donkey' also means 'dunce'). Title lettered in 'dymo' style on spine. The original light green wrappers preserved inside (with old repairs). In a half-leather chemise, with title in 'dymo' style on spine. A fine copy, partly uncut and generally fresh, two unobtrusive children's stamps.
Handsome copy of the first edition of Pinocchio housed in an artistic box calf binding, which captures one of the most famous episodes of Collodi's masterpiece, Pinocchio wearing donkey's ears in the Paese dei Balocchi, i.e, the Land of Toys. The original light green wrappers, illustrated by Enrico Mazzanti, are preserved inside the covers.
The novel Pinocchio was first serialised in the children's magazine from Rome, Giornale per i bambini, under the direction of Ferdinando Martini: the first instalment appeared on 7 July 1881, and the last one on 25 January 1883. Pinocchio was published as a book in the same year, 1883, probably in a very small print run, and at least twelve reprints appeared during the first year of publication. Enrico Mazzanti (1852-1893) was responsible for the everlasting black-and-white illustrations. The success was enormous, with countless editions and translations into more than 260 languages. Collodi's masterpiece continues to be cherished to this day and has been the subject of numerous adaptations, including popular versions by Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg, who used the story for the film A.I. (2001).
The work was first translated into English in 1892 by M. A. Murray, whose version – The Story of a Puppet or The Adventures of Pinocchio – was published in the same year in London as well as in New York, supplemented with thirty seven of Mazzanti's illustrations. In 1904 the first American illustrated edition was published, thanks to the work of Walter S. Cramp and Charles Copeland (Pinocchio: the Adventures of a Marionette, Boston, Ginn & Co.). “Almost nothing else in children's literature equals Pinocchio for wildness of invention” (Carpenter-Prichard, Oxford Companion to Children's Literature, p. 462).
Parenti, Rarità bibliografiche dell'Ottocento, pp. 148-153 (“E' questo uno dei pezzi più rari, se non il più raro senz'altro, dell'Ottocento italiano”); H. Carpenter - M. Prichard (eds.),Oxford Companion to Children's Literature, Oxford 1984, pp. 461-462; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 276.