Festival Books, Music, Theater Philobiblon

One Thousand Years of Bibliophily from the 11th to the 21st Century

Living in Platonic Style

Ficino, Marsilio (1433-1499)

De vita libri tres (De triplici vita); Apologia; Quod necessaria sit ad vitam securitas. Add: Poem by Amerigus Corsinus. Antonio di Bartolomeo Miscomini, 3 December 1489.

Folio (257x187 mm). Collation [*]2, a-d8, e6, f-k8, l6, m4. [90] leaves. Text in one column (the tables in two columns), 32 lines. Type: 112R. Four lines of gilt letterpress at the head of the text on the recto of fol. a2. Woodcut printer's device on colophon. Blank spaces for capitals, with printed guide letters. Eighteenth-century red crushed morocco, covers within three-line gilt-ruled border. Spine gilt tooled, with stemmed acorns, circlets, crescent handles, and stars. Gilt edges. A fine, wide-margined copy. A blind stamp touching two letters of text.

Provenance: Wigan Free Public Library, United Kingdom (embossed stamps on four leaves); deaccessioned by 2002 at the latest.

First edition, presented in a fine, wide-margined copy, of this influential medical-astrological treatise by the leading Platonic philosopher Marsilio Ficino, famous for his translations into Latin of the Corpus Hermeticum, and of Plato, first published in 1484. As the eldest son of the physician to the Medici family, Marsilio also received a professional training in medicine and natural philosophy.

The work is divided into three books (Lib. I. De vita sana; Lib. II. De vita longa; Lib. III. De via coelitus comparanda) and dedicated, at the beginning of the second Book, to the wealthy Florentine nobleman Filippo Valori, who paid for the printing. Ficino deals here with health and diet, touching on magic and astrology, especially in the short writing appended to De triplici vita – the Apologia quaedam, in qua de medicina, astrologia, ac vita mundi – addressed, on 15 September 1489, to the so-called 'three Pieros', i.e., Piero del Nero, Piero Guicciardini, and Piero Soderini. The work had a complex redaction. The first Book dates to 1480 and was originally part of Ficino's epistles, the third Book was composed between 1486 and 10 July 1489, and the second Book was written between August and October of 1489.

“He begins by advising students on relieving the melancholy, and Ficino recommends health and dietary measures to temper its influences. But it is in the third book, entitled 'De vita coelitus comparanda', that Ficino goes beyond the common medical-astrological astral influence. Building on the Platonic tripartite division of intellect, soul and body, Ficino introduces the originally Stoic concept of 'spiritus mundi' which is composed of the four earthly elements plus the divine 'aether', or cosmic spirit” (M. L. Ford, Christ, Plato, Hermes Trismegistus, Amsterdam 1990, 1, p. 179).

The De triplici vita enjoyed wide and enduring popularity. Its influence is detectable in numerous other works produced in the Renaissance, and was an important source for Paracelsus's De vita longa as well as for the famous engraving Melancholia executed by Albrecht Dürer.

The first lines of text on fol. a2r are set in capital letters and exceptionally in this copy printed in gold, a technique first introduced by the leading Augsburg printer Erhard Ratdolt, who moved to Venice in 1476, for printing the prefatory epistle in two dedication copies of his Euclid of 1486.

HC (+Add) 7065*; GW 9882; BMC VI, 639; IGI 3868; Goff F-158; Rhodes Firenze, 299; P. O. Kristeller, Marsilio Ficino and his Work after 500 Years, Firenze 1987; M. Ficino, Three Books on Life, ed. by C. V. Kashe, and J. R. Clark, Binghamton, NY, 1989; D. Laube, “The Stylistic Development of German Book Illustration, 1460-1511”, D. De Simone (ed.), A Heavenly Craft. The Woodcut in Early Printed Books. Illustrated Books purchased by Lessing J. Rosenwald at the Sale of the Library of C. W. Dyson Perrins, New York-Washington 2004, p. 55; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 30.

From the library of Franchino Gaffurio, musicus and phonascus

31. Perotti, Niccolò (ca. 1430-1480)

Cornucopiae linguae Latinae. Baptista de Tortis, 19 October 1490.

Folio (307x212 mm). Collation: A-B8, a-z8, &8, cum8, rum8, A-O6. [16], 291, [1] leaves. Complete with the last leaf blank, often lacking in the recorded copies. Text in one column, 64 lines. Type: 78R, 78Gk. On the lower margin of fol. a3r coat of arms in full colour, with extensions of acanthus leaves in maroon, green, red, and blue, and with the initials 'fg' added later. Half-vellum, boards covered with a fifteenth-century manuscript leaf, lettering-piece on upper cover. A very good copy, some pale waterstains, mostly marginal, in the first half and near end; slight, marginal wormholes in the first two quires.

Provenance: from the library of Franchino Gaffurio (1451 1522; ownership inscriptions on fol. B8v, 'Liber Franchini Gafurij laudinesis Regij musici / corteque mediolanensis phonasci/', and purchase note on fol. O5v, dated 16 January 1494).

Third edition of Perotti's Cornucopiae, presented here in a fine copy which once belonged to the renowned Renaissance music theorist, musician at the Sforza court, and choirmaster or maestro di cappella at the Duomo of Milan, Franchino Gaffurio.

Born in Sassoferrato, in the Marche region of Italy, Niccolò Perotti was a pupil of Vittorino da Feltre and Guarino Veronese, and he became secretary for Cardinal Bessarion in 1447. His Cornucopiae linguae Latinae was first published by Paganino Paganini in 1489 and enjoyed immediate success. Written as a commentary on Book I of Martial, it became a standard reference on the Latin language and a sort of encyclopaedia of the classical world. The work was later revised and expanded by Perotti's son Pyrrhus.

This precious volume comes from the library of the musicus and phonascus Franchino Gaffurio (or Gafori). Born in Lodi to an aristocratic family, the young Gaffurio entered a Benedictine monastery where he acquired early musical training. He later became a priest and lived in Mantua and Verona before settling in Milan as the local cathedral's maestro di cappella, a position he held from 1484 until his death in 1522. Gaffurio showed a strong humanist bent, and met composers from all over Europe; in Milan alone he made the acquaintance of Leonardo da Vinci (see no. 68) as well as Josquin Desprez, the greatest composer of the period.

An autograph note on fol. O5v states that Gaffurio acquired the present copy of Perotti's Cornucopiae on 16 January 1494, for a sum of 3 1⁄2 lire, possibly as an aid for the preparation of his Practica musicae, which first appeared in 1496, or his teaching. This annotation recording the purchase of the book shows the distinctive features of his youthful hand and can be compared with an autograph document dated 1495 and published by Gaetano Cesari. However, the second annotation visible here – an ownership inscription on fol. B8v, in which he describes himself as 'royal musician and singer (phonascus) of the church of Milan' – is written in the more trembling hand typical of his later life, as evinced by a letter dated 1520, also edited by Cesari. The title of the treatise by Perotti is entered in the inventory drawn up in 1518, when Gaffurio gifted his library (or a part of it) to the Church of the Incoronata in his hometown of Lodi, whose Schola had been founded in 1511. In 1694 the library of the 'Tempio dell'Incoronata' was dispersed, and partly sold to the Oratorian monastery located in the town. Only a few volumes once owned by Gaffurio have been discovered among the collections of the Biblioteca Laudense at Lodi.

H 12698; GW M31105; BMC V, 326; IGI 7421; Goff P-290; J.-L. Charlet, “Observations sur certaines éditions du Cornucopiae de Niccolò Perotti (1489-1500)”, Res Publica Litterarum, 11 (1988), pp. 83-96; G. Cesari, “Musica e musicisti alla Corte sforzesca”, F. Malaguzzi Valeri, La corte di Ludovico il Moro, IV (1923), p. 210; F. Fano, “Vita e attività del musico teorico e pratico Francino Gaffurio da Lodi”, Arte Lombarda, 15/2 (1970), pp. 49-62; E. Motta, “I libri della chiesa dell'Incoronata di Lodi nel 1518”, Il libro e la stampa, 1 (1970), pp. 105-112; A. Novasconi, L'Incoronata di Lodi, Lodi 1974, esp. pp. 19-42; R. Auletta Marrucci (ed.), L'Incoronata. Il Tempio di Lodi, Lodi 1995; M. Pantarotto, “Per la biblioteca di Franchino Gaffurio: i manoscritti laudensi”, Scripta, 5 (2012), pp. 111-118; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 31.

The first 'complete' Euripides, a fine set

48. Euripides (480-406)

Εὐριπίδου τραγῳδίαι ἐπτακαίδεκα, ὧν ἔνιαι μετὰ ἐξηγήσεων...Euripidis tragoediae septedecim, ex quib. quaedam habent commentaria & sunt hae: Hecuba, Orestes, Phoenissae, Medea, Hippolytus, Alcestis, Andromache, Supplices, Iphigenia in Aulide, Iphigenia in Tauris, Rhesus, Bacchae, Cyclops, Heraclidae, Helen, Ion. Venice, Aldo Manuzio, February 1503. (uniformly bound with:) Idem. Ἐυριπίδου Ἠλέκτρα. Euripidis Electra. Nunc primum in lucem edita. Rome, [Blado Antonio], 1545. Aldo Manuzio, February 1503.

Two works uniformly bound in three volumes. I. Two volumes, 8° (160x97 mm). Collation: Ν-Ξ8, Ο10, Π-Ρ8, Σ10,Τ-Υ86, Χ-Ω8, ΑΑ-ΒΒ8, ΓΓ6, ΔΔ-ΖΖ8, ΗΗ6, ΘΘ-ΙΙ8, ΚΚ10, [χ]4; ΛΛ8, ΜΜ10, ΝΝ-ΡΡ8, ΣΣ10, ΤΤ8, ΥΥ6, ΦΦ-ΧΧ8, ΨΨ4, ΩΩ8, ΑΑΑ-ΒΒΒ8, ΓΓΓ6, ΔΔΔ-ΖΖΖ8, ΗΗΗ6, ΘΘΘ-ΚΚΚ8, ΛΛΛ4 (fols. Δ4, Φ6, ΗΗ6, ΣΣ10, ΥΥ6 blanks). [268]; [190] leaves. Greek, roman and italic type. On fol. KK10v of first volume and on fol. ΛΛΛ4v of the second one woodcut Aldine device. Blank spaces for capitals, with printed guide letters. II. 8°(155×92 mm). Collation: A-Γ8, Δ8 (fols. A1v, Δ7 and Δ8 blanks). 30 leaves, wanting the two final blanks. 30 following blank leaves were added for uniformly binding the volume with the first two. Greek, roman and italic type. On the title-page, a circular woodcut showing a coin ('asse') of Caesar Augustus (Cohen 228), and the woodcut arms of the dedicatee, Cardinal Ardinghelli. Six-line woodcut decorated initial on fol. A2r.

Uniformly bound in English dark blue morocco ca. 1840, covers within triple gilt fillet, central lozenge tooled in gilt with flowers and leafy stems. Spine with five small raised bands underlined by dotted gilt fillets, compartments richly gilt tooled; author's name, volume numbering and imprint 'Aldvs 1503' (first and second volume), 'ROM. 1545' (third volume) in gilt lettering. Marbled pastedowns and flyleaves, board edges decorated with narrow frieze, inside dentelles. Gilt edges. An excellent, and wide-margined copy, carefully washed and pressed. A few pencilled bibliographical annotations in the first volume, on the recto of the rear marbled flyleaf.

Provenance: Sir Robert Peel, second baronet (1788-1850), Prime Minister of Great Britain for two terms of office, 1834-1835 and 1841-1846, with his Drayton Manor armorial ex-libris in each volume.

A superb, uniformly bound set with a distinguished provenance, containing – as a virtually complete corpus – the first Aldine edition of eighteen plays by Euripides, and one of the scarcest Greek books printed in Rome, the 1545 editio princeps of Electra, the only tragedy still lacking in the Aldine publication. The first two volumes contain the first Aldine edition of Euripides – the second ever after the Florentine princeps of 1495, edited by Ianos Laskaris – notably enlarged to include a total of eighteen tragedies. This influential and widely popular edition thus contains all the plays except Electra, which only came to light in 1545.

Although the title-page lists the titles of only seventeen plays, the edition also includes Hercules Furens, which was added during the press run at the end of the second volume. Euripides' plays are not accompanied by commentary.

For the texts of Medea, Hippolytos, Alcestis, and Andromache, Aldus closely followed the Florentine princeps, but he gave no information on the manuscripts used for the other tragedies. It has long been believed that the editor could have been the famous Cretan scholar Marcos Mousuros, yet it is quite possible that responsibility for establishing the text belonged primarily to Ioannes Gregoropoulos, another Cretan coadjutor at the Venetian press. The edition remained the Euripidean vulgate until at least the second half of the nineteenth century. The Euripides is in parva forma, the handy portable size which was introduced by Aldus for the Virgil of 1501.

The text of Electra was first printed by Blado in 1545, and edited by the Florentine Pietro Vettori (1499-1585) on the basis of a manuscript discovered by his disciples Bartolomeo Barbadori and Girolamo Mei. It is the first edition printed by Blado with his new Greek type, designed by Giovanni Onorio da Maglie at the request of Cardinal Marcello Cervini. The fine volumes presented here had belonged to Sir Robert Peel, Prime Minister of Great Britain, appointed under King William IV and Queen Victoria. They are late examples of the 'Harleian' style, so called after Edward Harley, second Earl of Oxford.

I. Adams E-1030; STC Italian 239; Renouard Alde, 43.10; Ahmanson-Murphy 69; Sicherl Manutius, pp. 291-309; Hoffmann II, p. 68; Legrand I, 31; Layton, The Sixteenth-Century Greek Book in Italy, p. 383; Staikos, Charta of Greek Printing, p. 343; Staikos, The Greek Editions of Aldus Manutius and his Greek Collaborators (1495-1515), New Castle, DE 2016, 33. II. Adams E-1052; STC Italian 239; Fumagalli 79 (“rarissimo”); Ascarelli, p. 100; Hoffmann II, p. 82; M. L. Agati, G. Onorio da Maglie, Roma 2001, pp. 41-44; R. A. Gaunt, Sir Robert Peel. The Life and Legacy, London 2010; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 48.

An illuminated octavo Juntine

56. Seneca, Lucius Annaeus (ca. 4 BC - 65 AD)

Senecae Tragoediae. Florence, Filippo Giunta, July 1513. (bound with:) Euripides (480-406 BC) Hecuba et Iphigenia in Aulide Euripidis tragoediae in Latinum tralatae [sic] Erasmo Roterodamo interprete.... Filippo Giunta’s heirs, December 1518.

Two works in one volume, 8° (165x103 mm). I: Collation: a-z8, &8, A-D8. [8], 215, [1] leaves. Complete with fol. D8 blank. Roman and italic type. Fol. a2 (opening of the preface) is decorated with a large initial in gold and blue, a floral frame surrounding the text in blue, red, green, and gold, and at the bottom, within a circular frame, unidentified coat of arms (presumably Florentine), featuring two red lions or leopards on gold ground separated by an oblique red band. II: Collation: [1-4]8, a-i8. [80] leaves. Roman and italic type.

Woodcut Giunta device on the verso of the last leaf. Blank spaces for capitals, with printed guide letters. Contemporary blind-tooled calf, over pasteboards. Spine with two raised bands, panels divided by a thick frame into two square compartments decorated with a circular pattern at the centre, geometric motifs at the corners. The corners of the upper cover's corners and extremities of spine skilfully repaired, traces of metal ornament pieces and ties. Very good, genuine copy with wide margins. Small round hole in the first four leaves and on the last leaf slightly affecting the text; some staining and soiling.

A fine miscellany, in its contemporary binding, containing two rare Juntine editions.

The volume opens with Seneca's tragedies, a substantial reprint of the edition first published by Filippo Giunta in 1506 and edited by Benedetto Riccardini. As in 1506, the edition is dedicated to Domenico Benivieni and contains a short biography of Seneca, taken from the Pietro Crinito's De poetis Latinis.

The second bound edition is the Euripides of 1516, containing the Latin translation of the Hecuba and Iphigenia Aulidensis by the outstanding humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam, first issued from the Venetian printing house of Aldus Manutius in 1507. The Juntine reprint is introduced with a preface by Antonio Francini, the most productive of the editors active for the Giunti press in the first half of the sixteenth century. The original dedicatory epistle from Erasmus to William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, follows. “Francini's first editorial work for Bernardo after Filippo's death was the 1518 edition of the Historiae of Herodian, in the Latin translation by Poliziano. In the same year he edited Bernardo's printing of the 1507 Aldine edition of Euripides' Hecuba and Iphigenia in Aulide. [...] Presumably this would have been a legal reprint, for Manuzio's ten-year privilege had ended” (Pettas, The Giunti of Florence, p. 34). The copy is presented here in the issue bearing the misprint 'tralatae' on the title-page.

The opening leaf of the first edition is finely illuminated, and includes the coat of arms of an unidentified (and perhaps Florentine) owner, painted as usual in the lower margin.

I. STC Italian 621; Renouard Alde, XXXVII, 42; Camerini Annali, 42; Pettas 53. II. Adams E-1047; STC Italian 239; Renouard Alde, XLIII.6; Camerini Annali, 111; Pettas 122; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 56.

Franchinus Gafurius laudensis Regius musicus corteque mediolanensis phonascus Excell.mo Amico Ambatiae, Viro honoratissimo

68. Gaffurio, Franchino (1421-1522)

Franchini Gafurii Laudensis Regii Musici publice profitentis: De lubrique Mediolanensis Phonasci: de Harmonia Musicorum Instrumentorum Opus.... Gottardo da Ponte, 27 November 1518.

Folio (299x206 mm). Collation: a4, A-M8, N6. [4], c, [2] leaves. Roman and gothic type. Woodcut printer's device on the verso of the last leaf. Large woodcut vignette on the title-page (137x115mm), depicting the author lecturing to students with the caption 'Harmonia est discordia concors', and the long inscription on the edge of the block 'FRAN. GAFVRI[VS]. LAVDEN. TRIA DE MVSICIS VOLUMINA. THEORICAM. AC PRACTICAM. ET HARMONIAM. INSTRUMENTOR[VM] ACCVRATISSIME C[ON]SCRIPSI'. Woodcut coat of arms, in a medallion, of the dedicatee Jean Grolier on fol. a4v. On fol. N6v another large woodcut portrait of Gaffurio (202x102mm) playing the organ. Sixty diagrams, some of which are full-page, the one on fol. H8v depicting eight figures playing various musical instruments. Full-page woodcut on fol. M6v with an allegory of music, showing its derivation from Apollo, the Muses, and celestial bodies. Musical examples printed from blocks on fol. M1v; mathematical examples in the margins. Numerous woodcut decorated and animated initials in several sizes, some on black ground. Contemporary limp vellum. Smooth spine, with traces of inked title at the top. Loss to the lower portion of the spine. In a modern marbled box. A very beautiful copy, a few quires uniformly browned. An early hand has annotated 'Musurgia' on the rear pastedown. A typewritten description of this copy is tipped in on the recto of the front flyleaf.

Provenance: possibly gifted by Gaffurio to Leonardo da Vinci (Gaffurio's autograph inscription on the recto of the first leaf 'Franchinus Gafurius laudensis Regius musicus / corteque mediolanensis phonascus / Excell.mo Amico Ambatiae, Viro honoratissimo'); Leonardo's servant, Batista de Vilanis (ownership inscription on the recto of the front flyleaf, partly inked out, 'Batta de Vilano'); from the library of the Abbey of Saint-Julien, at Tours, France (ownership inscription on the front pastedown, 'Pertinet ad Monasterium Sancti Juliani Turonensis').

An exceptional presentation copy of the rare first edition of one of the most famous music treatises of the Renaissance. The volume bears a dedication, in Gaffurio's own hand, to 'Excell.mo Amico Ambatiae, Viro honoratissimo', i.e., 'his friend in Amboise', possibly one of the greatest artists of all time: Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519).

De harmonia musicorum instrumentorum is the last and most elaborate work published by Gaffurio. Possibly composed around 1500, the treatise deals – as its title reads – with the harmony of musical instruments, and was dedicated by the author to the outstanding bibliophile and patron of the arts Jean Grolier, who was then active in Milan as treasurer of the French army. This edition is rightly famous for its fine illustrative apparatus, including two famous woodcut portraits of Gaffurio, the first of which is printed on the title-page, as a re-use of the block employed by Gottardo da Ponte in 1508 for Gaffurio's Angelicum ac divinum opus musice.

For the second portrait printed at the end of the volume a block first cut for another work by Gaffurio, the Theoricum opus musice discipline (Naples 1490), was re-used. The numerous diagrams and initials supplementing the text were designed by the refined French artist Guillaume Le Signerre, who was born in Rouen and active in Milan and later in Saluzzo (Piedmont).

Beyond the rarity and beauty of this Milanese edition, the most significant and valuable aspect of the present copy undoubtedly lies in the extraordinary story narrated by its provenance, particularly the inscription 'Franchinus Gafurius laudensis Regius musicus / corteque mediolanensis phonascus / Excell.mo Amico Ambatiae, Viro honoratissimo'.

In fact, the formulation used here by Gaffurio – 'Excell.mo Amico Ambatiae', i.e., 'to my most excellent friend in Amboise' – suggests that this copy of the De harmonia musicorum instrumentorum was presented by him as a gift to none other than Leonardo da Vinci. Numerous features appear to confirm this hypothesis. When this volume was published on 27 November 1518, Leonardo was indeed in Amboise (the Latin name for which is 'Ambacia') along with his pupil Francesco Melzi and his loyal servant, Batista de Vilanis, who was mentioned in Leonardo's will, dated 23 April 1519. As the book was printed at the end of 1518, it is possible that Leonardo, who died at the beginning of the following year, never saw the copy, even if his friend had sent it to him. Thus the butler Batista de Vilanis would have taken possession of the volume, signing it with his name 'Batta de Vilano' on the front flyleaf. Later, the book – as evinced by the later ownership inscription – came into the possession of the nearby Abbey of Saint-Julien at Tours.

Gaffurio's close relationship with Leonardo amidst the intellectual elite of the Sforza Court is well documented, and it is also very likely that Leonardo used to visit Gaffurio's rich personal library in Milan. The present copy of De harmonia musicorum instrumentorum not only places striking emphasis on this friendship, but also offers a crucial clue toward confirming the hypothesis that the man portrayed by Leonardo in his celebrated 'Portrait of a Musician' – the identity of whom has long been debated – was actually the maestro di cappella Gaffurio.

Adams G-14; Mortimer Italian, 204; Balensuela-Williams, pp. 75-76; Sander 2989; Santoro, Libri illustrati milanesi, 164; G. Cesari, “Musica e musicisti alla Corte sforzesca”, F. Malaguzzi Valeri, La corte di Ludovico il Moro, IV (1923), p. 210; M. Coleman, Amboise et Léonard da Vinci à Amboise, Tours 1932; F. Fano, “Vita e attività del musico teorico e pratico Francino Gaffurio da Lodi”, Arte Lombarda, 15/2 (1970), pp. 49-62; F. Russoli, “Ritratto di Musico”, Leonardo. La pittura, Firenze 1985, pp. 63-65; C. Pedretti – M. Melani (eds.), Leonardo da Vinci & France, Poggio a Caiano 2010; W. K. Kreyszig, “The Significance of Iconography in the Print Culture of the Late-Fifteenth-Century Music Theoretical Discourse. The Theoricum opus musice discipline (1480) and Theorica musice (1492) of Franchino Gaffurio in the Context of his Trilogy”, Music in Art, 35 (2010), pp. 53-70; M. T. Fiorio, “Leonardo's 'Portrait of a Musician' and some Reflections on his Milanese Workshop”, M. Menu (ed.), Leonardo da Vinci's Technical Practice, Paris 2014, pp. 152-161; L. Fagnart – H. Miesse, “Perché havemo bisogno ancora de maestro Leonardo. Léonard de Vinci au service de Charles II Chaumont d'Amboise”, Raccolta Vinciana, 36 (2015), pp. 47-76; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 68.

Gondola Serenades

146. Caravia, Alessandro (1503-1568)

Naspo Bizaro. nuouamente restampato, con la zonta de lamento chel fà per hauerse pentio de hauer sposao Cate Bionada Biriotta.... Piero di Domenico, [ca. 1570/75].

4° (203x147 mm). Collation: A-L4. 43, [1] leaves, complete with the last blank. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on fol. L3v. Two different large woodcuts on both title-pages (fols. a1r and H4r), respectively repeated as full-page illustrations on fols. F2v and D2v. Six- to nine-line woodcut decorated initials. Fine nineteenth-century English gilt-tooled green morocco, over pasteboards. Covers within rich frames of fillets, friezes, and floral roll. At centre sun-shaped cornerpieces, and fleuron. Spine with five small raised bands, compartments tooled with floral motifs, title lettered in gilt. Board edges decorated with narrow frieze, inside dentelles, marbled pastedowns and flyleaves. Green silk bookmark, gilt edges. A good copy, carefully washed. Minor repair to the verso of fol. B3, with loss of a few letters.

Provenance: Gugliemo Libri (1803-1869; see Catalogue de la Bibliothèque de M. L****, Paris 1847, p. 268, lot 1667, 'Bel exemplaire'; the lot number '1667' is annotated on the verso of the front marbled flyleaf); sold for 19 francs to the Parisian bookseller A. Franck.

The exceedingly rare expanded second edition of this popular comic serenade composed in ottava rima and in Venetian dialect by the Venetian jeweller Caravia, whose name appears at the end of the dedicatory epistle to Antonio della Vecchia. The work first appeared in Venice in 1565, from the press of Domenico Nicolini da Sabbio, and at Caravia's expense. In both editions the fourth Canto is introduced by the separate title-page El fin de l'inamoramento de Naspo Bizaro. El qual per viver da christian batizao, sposa con alegrezza Cate Bionda Biriota.

The edition printed in about 1570/75 by Piero di Domenico 'al segno della Pigna', is, for the first time, supplemented with the zonta to the Canto Quarto (fols. L1v-L3r), entitled Lamento de Naspo Bizarro. The printer could maintain the same quiring as the 1565 edition by omitting, in comparison to the previous edition, the blank leaf H4 separating the third and fourth cantos as well as the plate on fol. L3, showing a wedding party.

The relevance of the Naspo bizaro in the history of Italian popular literature, especially in the context of the commedia dell'arte, is widely recognized. The edition is also rightly famous for its woodcuts, which follow the iconography of the Venetian characters Pantalone and Zanni. Responsible for their execution was the renowned publisher, engraver, and print dealer Niccolò Nelli (ca. 1530 - 1579/86), who had a shop at the Rialto Bridge.

The title-page of the 1570 publication bears the same large woodcut that decorates the previous edition and is signed with Nelli's monogram. The plate shows the Venetian Naspo Bizaro as a canterino, singing his hyperbolic serenade to the beautiful Cate Bionda Biriota – so-named after the rough district of Biri – while his servant Zan Polo eats in his gondola. The block is repeated as a full page illustration on fol. F2v. A second woodcut – likewise a re-use of the one previously employed – is printed, as a full-page, on fol. D2v, and repeated on the divisional title El fin de l'inamoramento de Naspo Bizaro, introducing the Canto Quarto: the scene depicts a different poet-musician, singing and playing under a window, with the city of Venice in the background. The source of this woodcut is different, and the blocks are signed 'AL'.

Adams C-626; Mortimer Italian, 105; Gamba, Serie degli impressi in dialetto veneziano, Venezia 1832, p. 83; E. Benini Clementi, Riforma religiosa e poesia popolare a Venezia nel Cinquecento: Alessandro Caravia, Firenze 2000; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 146.

Con nuovi, rari, e grati balli leggiadri, et amorose rime... — Francesco Guglia, sonnet for Fabrizio Caroso

158. Caroso, Fabrizio (1526/31- after 1605)

Il Ballarino... diuiso in due trattati; nel primo de’ quali si dimostra la diuersita de i nomi, che si danno a gli atti, & mouimenti, che interuengono ne i balli... Nel secondo s’insegnano diuerse sorti di balli, & balletti... Ornato di molte figure.... Francesco Ziletti, 1581.

Two parts in one volume, 4° (233x172 mm). Collation: A-F4; a-z4, Aa-Zz4, †4. [8], 16; 184, [4] leaves. Roman and italic type. Woodcut printer's device on the title-page, and repeated on the separate title-page introducing the Trattato secondo. Engraved author's portrait on fol. B4v, within a border including Caroso's coat of arms, and signed by Giacomo Franco (1550-1620). Twenty-two full-page copper engravings in the text (partially repeated), within ornamental borders and executed likewise by Franco. Woodcut decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Printed music and lute tablature. Red morocco signed by Georges Trautz-Bauzonnet (1808-1879), over pasteboards. Covers within triple gilt fillets. Spine with five raised bands, compartments richly tooled, title lettered in gold. Marbled pastedowns, inside dentelles, gilt edges. A very fine copy. Slightly browned in places.

First edition – dedicated to Bianca Capello – of the most important sixteenth-century Italian treatise on dancing, and one of the most beautiful dance books ever produced, and presented here in the issue bearing Ziletti's device on the title-page.

Born in Sermoneta, Fabrizio Caroso was a protégé of Felice Maria Orsini Caetani (d. 1596), Duchess of Sermoneta. He spent most of his life in Rome, where he was active as a dancer, 'inventore di scene', dance master, musician, and composer. He was the last proponent of Renaissance Italian dance style, opposing the French danse noble, which had begun to spread across Europe in the last decades of the Cinquecento. Caroso was not only a practicing dancer, but also a refined theorist, and his Ballarino – i.e., The Dancer – provides a vast amount of detail about the dances of the period.

The first part of this magnificent work illustrates fifty-five rules for steps, while the more lengthy second part describes seventy-six separate dances, including, among others, the alta, bassa, balletto, pavan, cascarda, saltarello, and spagnoletta. Each dance is supplemented with a poem in praise of a different woman – mostly members of Roman noble families – and includes musical notation for lute. Each of the dances under discussion is designed for one or more pairs of dancers. Throughout the work, Caroso celebrates the concept of 'nobil vivere', and the figure of the well-educated dancer-courtesan.

The work is especially praised for its illustrative apparatus, which includes twenty-two full-page copper engravings executed by the renowned artist Giacomo Franco. These illustrations depict the positions of dancers at the beginning of each of the various dances and cumulatively represent a precious iconographic source not only for the history of dance, but also that of fashion as well as culture more generally.

In 1600 Caroso published an expanded edition of his manual, entitled differently La nobiltà di dame, which likewise enjoyed wide popularity, and was reprinted in 1605 and 1640.

Adams C-755; Mortimer Italian, 106; RISM C, p. 1233; Gregory & Bartlett I, 53; Lipperheide 3055; P. D. Magriel, A Bibliography of Dancing, pp. 42-44; A. Feves, “Fabrizio Caroso and the Changing Shape of the Dance, 1550-1600”, Danse Chronicle, 14 (1991), pp. 159-174; P. Gargiulo (ed.), La danza italiana tra Cinque e Seicento. Studi per Fabrizio Caroso da Sermoneta, Roma 1997; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 158.

Their splendour cannot be described, and anyone who did not see it could not believe it — J. M. Saslow

171. Scarabelli, Orazio (fl. 1580-1600) - D’Alfani, Epifanio (fl. 1586-1615)

Festival prints relating to the wedding of the Grand Duke Ferdinando I de’ Medici to the Princess Christine de Lorraine. Filippo Suchielli, [after 1592].

An album with fifteen double-page etchings and engravings, each leaf approximately 315x418 mm, tipped onto stubs. Eighteenth-century écaille calf, covers within gilt triple-fillet border, at the centre of the upper cover the initials 'P. A.' and, below, 'PIATTI' stamped in gold. Smooth spine decorated with gilt floral tools, title printed in gold on morocco lettering-piece. Marbled pastedowns and flyleaves; light-blue silk bookmark. Red edges. A very good copy, small loss of paper to plate [1], skilfully repaired; some occasional waterstaining and spotting throughout, mainly to the versos and margins.

Provenance: P. A.; Piatti (both lettered on the binding).

An extremely rare collection of these fine prints – all with wide margins – depicting the architectural ornamentation, scenic designs, and jousts relating to the event which mobilized, and combined the intellectual and artistic forces of Tuscany at the zenith of its prestige: the wedding of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinando I de' Medici, to the French princess, Christine de Lorraine, which took place in 1589.

While the pair had already married in 1586, the marriage was not celebrated until Christine's arrival into Florence on 30 April 1589. The festivities required ten months of preparations, and lasted all throughout the month of May until 8 June 1589. They consisted of pageants, balls, games, cavalcades, processions, a naumachia or naval battle in the inner courtyard of Palazzo Pitti, and other performances – including a demonstrative soccer match in front of the Basilica di Santa Croce on 9 May – all glorifying the couple. Especially noteworthy are the so-called intermedi typical of the Florentine theatre tradition, i.e., short performances of songs, music, and dances inserted between the acts of the comedies being presented.

Owing to the magnificence of the events depicted, it may well be the only festival book to have received a monograph expressly devoted to it: James Saslow's The Medici Wedding of 1589.

While more common examples of these prints can be found loose as single sheets, this copy, like the most comprehensive surviving set (held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and including twenty-nine plates), is bound in a haphazard order featuring a more complete body of work that helps evoke something of the grandeur of these formidable proceedings. The Getty Museum similarly has a composite album, although theirs is lacking our plate [12], Stage setting, intermedio 4.

This comprehensive collection includes fifteen plates, as follows:

Plate [1]: Sixth entry arch, Canto degli Antellesi (platemark 241x322 mm). Unsigned. [Getty no. 17; Saslow no. 6].

Plate [2]: First entry arch, Porta al Prato (platemark 242x340 mm). Signed 'Oraz S.' in the lower right corner. [Getty no. 3; Saslow no. 1].

Plate [3]: Second entry arch, Ponte alla Carraia (platemark 251x337 mm). Signed 'Oraz S.' in the lower right corner. [Getty no. 15; Saslow no. 2].

Plate [4]: Fourth entry arch, Duomo facade (platemark 244x340 mm). Signed 'Oraz S.' in the lower right corner. [Getty no. 14; Saslow no. 4].

Plate [5]: Seventh entry arch, Palazzo Vecchio facade (platemark 265x344 mm). Signed 'filippo suchielli for in Siena' in the lower right corner. [Getty no. 1; Saslow no. 7].

Plate [6]: Fifth entry arch, Canto de' Bischeri (platemark 246x338 mm). Signed 'Oraz S.' in the lower right corner. [Getty no. 2; Saslow no. 5].

Plate [7]: Third entry arch, canto dei Carnesecchi (plate mark 247x337 mm). Signed 'Oraz S.' in the lower right corner. [Getty no. 18; Saslow no. 3].

Plate [8]: Naumachia, Pitti courtyard (platemark 245x350 mm). Signed 'Oraz S.' in the lower right corner; in the middle of the upper margin 'filippo suchielli for Siena'. [Getty no. 6; Saslow no. 87].

Plate [9]: Pitti Palace courtyard equipped for foot-combat (platemark 234x324 mm). Unsigned. [Getty no. 5; Saslow no. 71].

Plate [10]: Stage perspective (platemark 234x342 mm). Signed 'Orazio Schari. Fiorentino' in the lower right corner. [Getty no. 4; Saslow no. 68].

Plate [11]: Joust in Piazza Santa Croce (platemark 241x337 mm). Signed 'Orazio Sccarabelli Fior. no. Fec' in the lower right corner; at the lower left margin 'filippo suchielli for Siena'. [Getty no. 12; Saslow no. 70].

Plate [12]: Stage setting, intermedio 4 (platemark 257x359 mm). Signed on chariot wheel 'D. Epiphanio. d. Alf. M. Vall. Incid.'; at the lower left corner 'filippo suchielli for Siena'. Lacking from Getty Album; [Saslow no. 52].

Plate [13]: Chariot procession of Neptune (platemark 246x335 mm). Signed 'D. Epiph. fec.' in the lower right corner; at the lower left corner 'filippo suchielli for Siena'. [Getty no. 9; Saslow no. 88].

Plate [14]: Stage design, Intermedio 2 (platemark 243x336 mm). Signed and dated 'D. Epif:o d'Alfiano Mon:co Vallombrosano f. 1592' in the lower right corner. At the centre of the lower margin 'filippo suchielli for Siena'. [Getty no. 11; Saslow no. 27].

Plate [15]: Stage scene, Intermedio 5 (platemark 248x355 mm). Unsigned. At the lower left corner 'filippo suchielli for Siena'. [Getty no. 8; Saslow no. 55].

In the present album, plates nos. [1], [2], [5], [7], [8], [11]-[15] are in the second state, after being reworked by the printer and typographer Filippo Succhielli from Siena. Succhielli added his address to plate nos. [5], [8], [11]-[15], and changed some details in plate [1] (adding the inscription 'principes Religione et Iustitia dii fivnt' and two coats of arms at the base of the external columns); in plate [2] by replacing the Medici-Lorena coat of arms; in plate [7] by replacing the Medici-Lorena coat of arms; in plate [14] by adding a cardinal's coat of arms surmounting Apollo's head; in plate [15] by replacing the peacock emblem in the cartouche held by Amphitrite with the cardinal's arm which had previously appeared in plate [15]. Saslow apparently only knows of variants for this plate (in “three states”), ignoring the reworkings found on other plates listed above.

J. M. Saslow, The Medici Wedding of 1589: Florentine Festival as Theatrum Mundi, New Haven, CT 1996; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 171.

A wedding account printed on blue paper

182. Rinuccini, Camillo (1564-1649)

Descrizione delle Feste fatte nelle Reali nozze de’ Serenissimo Principi di Toscana D. Cosimo de’ Medici, e Maria Maddalena Archiduchessa d’Austria. Giunta, 1608.

4° (232x158 mm). Printed on blue paper. Collation: [π]2, A-H4, I2, K-L4, M2, N-T4, V2. [4], 149 [i.e. 147, pp. 69-72 omitted], [1] pages. Complete with fol. M2 blank. Roman and italic type. Text partly printed in two columns. Woodcut coat of arms of the Medici and Habsburg families on the title-page. Fine woodcut compass rose on the recto of fol. N4. Woodcut decorated initials, small tailpieces. Contemporary vellum, over pasteboards. On both covers, a blind-tooled coat of arms of the Vettori family. Smooth spine with running stitches, title and small decorative motif inked in a contemporary hand, partly faded. Marbled pastedowns. Covers slightly stained, lower corners somewhat bumped. A good copy, printed on strong paper. Some spots, light browning. A few small wormholes, occasionally affecting a few letters.

Provenance: the Florentine Vettori family (armorial binding); James Bindley (1737-1818; the note on the recto of the front flyleaf, 'Jan. 1819 Bindley 2d Sale £ 2.10'; and his sale, Evans, 11 January 1819, A Catalogue of the Curious and Extensive Library of the Late James Bindley, Esq. F.S.A. Part The First, London 1818, p. 37, lot 1043, “on blue paper”); purchased by Richard Heber (1773-1833; small stamp 'BIBLIOTHECA HEBERIANA' on the recto of the front flyleaf; see the sale catalogue Bibliotheca Heberiana. Catalogue of the Library of the Late Richard Heber... Part The Second, Sotheby & Son, London 1836, p. 200, lot 3819, with the note “printed on blue paper,” and sold for the sum of 2 pounds and one shilling); the Italian bibliophile and bookseller Giuseppe Martini (1870-1944; his bibliographical notes on the front flyleaves, including 'Coll. completo G. Martini', and 'Largo margine'); acquired from the English bookseller Percy Mordaunt Barnard in 1916 (see the note on the verso of the flyleaf, 'Barnard, Turnbridge Wells, Inghilt. Agosto 1916').

A marvellous and exceedingly rare copy, printed on blue paper, of one of the most famous festival books of the late Renaissance: the first edition of Camillo Rinuccini's description of the sumptuous ceremonies organised around the wedding of the eighteen-year-old Crown Prince Cosimo II de' Medici to the Archduchess of Austria Maria Magdalena, cousin of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II, celebrated in Florence in 1608. This blue-paper copy was likely offered by the author to a member of the important Florentine Vettori family, whose coat of arms is stamped on the binding.

Florence witnessed an unprecedented series of events in celebration of the union between Cosimo, who would become Grand Duke of Tuscany only a few months after his marriage, and his bride from the powerful Habsburg house: plays, musical intermezzi, giostre, horse ballets, a triumphal procession, banquet, and even a naval battle or naumachia on the Arno river. Camillo Rinuccini narrated all of these magnificent events, and his Descrizione enjoyed wide and immediate success. Especially noteworthy is Lorenzo Franceschi's Ballo et Giostra de' venti (fols. N1r-N4r), a poem in octaves describing a horse ballet illustrated with a fine thirty-two-point compass rose or wind rose (fol. N4r), which was also issued separately from the Giunti press.

At least four other issues from 1608 have been recorded, each with varying numbers of pages and, occasionally, plates. This copy corresponds to the enlarged issue, in which Rinuccini's report is supplemented, in the last quires, with two musical dialogues by Francesco Cini – La notte d'amore (fols. O1r-O4r) and L'Argonauta (fols. P1r-P4r) – as well as I Cavalieri sanesi a valorosi e cortesi professori d'arme (fols. Q1r-V2r).

The number of plates included in the various issues of Rinuccini's Descrizione, depicting different ceremonies or banquets and executed by Matthias Greuter, is uncertain: Watanabe-O' Kelly calls for two plates, but a few copies containing five plates are recorded. The copy on blue paper described here is in its original binding, and apparently never included plates, of which there is no mention in the early nineteenth-century sale catalogues of the exquisite libraries of James Bindley and Richard Heber, respectively, to whom this fine volume later belonged.

“Vinet [...] conjectures that the plates were published separately, each having been dedicated to a separate person [...] in similar cases the author, publisher or the buyer might bring the plates to the printer for inclusion in the bound book” (Pettas, The Giunti of Florence, p. 753). The blue-paper recorded copies do not usually include plates.

STC 17th century, 749; Camerini 318; Pettas 871a; Cicognara 1412; Lipperheide II, Si 14; Sartori, Libretti italiani a stampa, 7648; Vinet 608; Watanabe-O'Kelly & Simon 1241; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 182.

A fascinating mirror of Italian society at the beginning of the Seicento

190. [Commedia dell’Arte]

Album with representations of Italian, mainly Venetian, costumes and characters. Illuminated manuscript on parchment. Italy (Venice ?), first quarter of the seventeenth century.

125-127 x 190-195 mm (oblong). [22] single leaves mounted on paper guards, compensation guards added at regular intervals. Foliation in pencil, corresponding neither to the number of leaves nor their respective position within the album. Twenty-two miniatures in full colour with occasional use of gold and silver. One miniature with a paper flap (fol. 7). Headings written in gold, in a regular antiqua capitalis hand. Mid-twentieth-century dark blue morocco, signed by the Italian binder Bernasconi. Title lettered on the spine, inside dentelles. Three paper flyleaves at beginning and end, marbled pastedowns and first flyleaves. In a modern marbled slipcase. Well-preserved manuscript. Most miniatures in fine condition, only minor rubbing, two miniatures (fols. 5 and 13) partly smudged, occasional staining, several repairs around the edges of the leaves.


The album is composed of twenty-two miniatures, painted on the recto of each leaf (versos blank). While the first two miniatures (fols. 1 and 2) are set in frames and have fully articulated backgrounds, the others follow a simpler scheme. A stripe of beige-pink sets the stage for a défilé of figures.

Fol. 1r: 'Come si bace li piedi del papa';

fol. 2r: 'Come le done si petinano nel sol per rossir li suoi capeli';

fol. 3r: 'Gentildona venetiana & Donzela venetiana';

fol. 4r: 'Procurator di Venetia & Magnifico di Venetia';

fol. 5r: 'Duco di Venetia & Duchesa di Venetia';

fol. 6r: 'Cortegiano de la corte del papa & Comendatore in Padoa';

fol. 7r: 'Cortesiana & Vedoa Feraresa';

fol. 8r: 'Caposta di Padoa & Procurator in Padoa';

fol. 9r: 'Cortegiana romana & macarela';

fol. 10r: 'Un evesque de France allent en prossession';

fol. 11r: 'Generale de Larmata di Venetia & Concilio di Venetia';

fol. 12r: 'Medico';

fol. 13r: 'Gondola di Venetia';

fol. 14r: 'Come li batuti vano nela processione';

fol. 15r: 'Arlequin & Isabella & Franquatripa';

fol. 16r: 'Un contadino sacando otirando lato duna capra';

fol.17r: 'Contadina';

fol. 18r: 'Charlatano';

fol. 19r: 'Mascarata';

fol. 20r: 'Come si porta il vino nel tempo di vendemi';

fol. 21r: 'Un pescator il quale va pescando pece sopra il fiumo';

fol. 22r: 'Come duy fachini giocano a la m[ora]'.

A fascinating manuscript containing twenty-two fine, full-colour miniature drawings of Italian costumes for men and women of different social ranks, scenes of local life, ceremonies, and characters from the Commedia dell'Arte. Twelve of these drawings depict Venetian scenes or dress, suggesting the album may have been executed in the Veneto region, particularly in Venice or Padua, leading centres not only for manuscript production and publication, but also for fashion and the trading of textiles.

At that time, the vogue to buy similar drawings or miniatures from print shops or booksellers, or to commission a personalized costume collection from local artists, was widespread among foreign travellers in Venice and other Veneto cities like Padua. In the age of pre-Grand Tour travels, such albums provided a sort of 'book of memories', illustrated with scenes from local life, especially its ceremonies and dress. These albums were thus produced according to a traveller's individual preferences, and the drawings were rarely signed by the artists. Notably, such travel albums, and particularly those produced in the Venetian milieu, often included representations of courtesans in addition to drawings of noble or wealthy women. “Visitors often purchased visual representations of courtesans' dress in the Venetian marketplace, and then placed them, together with colored miniatures of other Venetian fashions of both men and women, in personal albums as memories of their visits” (M. F. Rosenthal, “Cutting a Good Figure,” p. 52).

Another group might be said to form around rather cheeky representations of courtesans. Two such illustrations are of especial note. The first is a drawing of a woman dyeing her hair blond, an allurement closely associated with Venice, as attested by Titian's nudes. The second shows a courtesan – ironically juxtaposed with a widow – with a moveable flap for a skirt. This conceit derives from Bertelli's Diversarum nationum habitus, though the flap is lacking in many copies of the printed book. When the flap is lifted, the woman is seen to be essentially naked, wearing only a pair of stockings with fancy ribbons and some high-heeled shoes.

The remaining miniatures show various figures in a seemingly arbitrary order, including some depicting figures from the Commedia dell'Arte, which are of the greatest interest. Developed in sixteenth-century Italy, the Commedia dell'Arte is a type of theatre characterized by improvised dialogues based around plot outlines and featuring a set of stock characters. Fol. 15 presents three of the most famous among these latter. Harlequin is the darling of the audience: witty, often impertinent, and full of jokes; he and Franquatripa – whose name signifies 'nonsense', and who's a real good-for-nothing – belong to the 'Zanni' or simple folk. Isabella is most often the beautiful girl whose adventurous path to a happy union with her beloved forms a central plotline. Closely related is the miniature entitled 'Charlatano' (fol. 18). Charlatans entertained with fantastic stories, often about illnesses and miraculous cures for which they held in stock a wide selection of 'medicine' on sale for the audience. Like the comedians they performed in city and town piazzas. Another aspect of the fascination with theatre and costume is illustrated by the masquerade (fol. 19), a popular pastime of the wealthy Venetians, which of course reached its annual peak at Carnival.

The miniatures in the second part of the present album, among which the flagellants certainly stand out, present other strata of society: a peasant woman and her male counterpart, a fisherman, two vineyard workers, and two servants at leisure. This last miniature shows the pair engaged in a round of mora, a popular Italian game in which two players simultaneously hold up one or several fingers, each player trying at the same time to predict the number of fingers shown by the other. Taken together, the miniatures, which may originally have belonged to a larger series, offer a cross-section of Venetian society at the beginning of the seventeenth century, as indicated by the fashion style. With its faithful representations of costumes, typical traditions, and social habits, the album is a truly precious historical document.

The focus on dress also relates to contemporary printed costume books, including Bertelli's Diversarum nationum habitus and the De Habiti antichi et moderni by Cesare Vecellio, which first appeared in Venice in 1590 and subsequently went through many editions. Both Bertelli's and Vecellio's works offer a veritable mine of information on clothing, textiles, and luxury goods such as jewellery.

Similar albums are highly sought after by collectors for their rarity and the beauty of their visual representations. Famous examples include the ms Egerton 1191 of the British Library, which was produced in Venice or Padua in the 1570s, and the album known as Mores Italiae, held by the Beinecke Library (ms 457), which was executed in the 1570s for a foreign student matriculated at the University of Padua.

M. A. Katritzky, “Scenery, Setting and Stages in Late Renaissance Commedia Dell'Arte Performances:Some Pictorial Evidence”, Ch. Cairns (ed.), Scenery, Set and Staging in the Italian Renaissance: Studies in the Practice of Theatre, Lewiston, NY 1996, pp. 209-288; U. Ilg, “The Cultural Significance of Costume Books in Sixteenth-Century Europe”, C. Richardson (ed.), Clothing Culture 1350-1650, Aldershot 2004, pp. 29-47; T. Storey, “Clothing Courtesans. Fabrics, Signals, and Experiences”, ibid., pp. 95-108; M. A. Katritzky, The Art of Commedia: A Study in the Commedia dell'Arte 1560-1620 with Special Reference to the Visual Records, Amsterdam 2006; M. F. Rosenthal, “Cutting a Good Figure. The Fashions of Venetian Courtesans in the Illustrated Albums of Early Modern Travelers”, M. Feldman (ed.), The Courtesan's Arts. Cross-Cultural Perspectives, Oxford 2006, pp. 52-74; Eadem, “Fashion, Custom and Culture. Two Early-Modern Illustrated Album,” M. Rippa Bonati - V. Finucci, Mores Italiae. Costumi e scene di vita del Rinascimento: Costume and Life in the Renaissance, Cittadella 2007, pp. 79-107; A. Vitali, La moda a Venezia attraverso i secoli. Lessico ragionato, Venezia 2009; S. Goltz, “A Venetian Sixteenth-Century Costume Book as an Authentic Visual Record”, M. Aldrich - J. Hackforth-Jones (eds.), Art and Authenticity, Farnham 2012, pp. 50-61; P. Jordan, The Venetian Origins of the Commedia dell'Arte, London 2014; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 190.

The festival of Saint Rosalia, the ‘little Saint’ of Palermo

204. Paruta, Filippo (1552-1629)

Relatione delle feste fatte in Palermo nel 1625 per lo trionfo delle gloriose reliquie. Di S. Rosalia vergine palermitana. Scritta dal dottor don Onofrio Paruta, canonico della chiesa metropolitana di Palermo, figlio di Filippo. E poi perfettionata da don Simplicio Paruta monaco cassinese.... Pietro Coppola, 1651.

4° (200x145 mm). Collation: [π]2, †4, A-T4, V2, X4, Y2, Z4, [χ]2. [12], 176, [4] pages. Roman, and italic type. Fols. [π]1 and [π]2 with half-title and engraved frontispiece, respectively. Four folding plates engraved by Francesco Nigro and Francesco La Barbera, after Gerardo Astorino and Vincenzo La Barbera. Modern morocco, richly gilt tooled. Original edges speckled. A good copy, minor repairs to the outer margin of the first leaves and small worm-track to the gutter of a few leaves, in both cases without any loss. Tears repaired along the fold of one plate.

Extremely rare edition of this festival account attributed to Filippo Paruta, but edited by his son Simplicio – who is also responsible for signing the dedication to the Senate of Palermo – and published posthumously under the name of his other son, Onofrio.

In the note to the reader Onofrio provides a detailed list of the works (orations, occasional writings, inscriptions for ephemeral architecture, etc.) of his father, Filippo, who was secretary of the Palermo Senate and chiefly responsible for the iconographic program realized on the occasion of the 1625 festivities.

At the beginning of the 1620s the viceroy Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy rebuilt the Accademia dei Riaccesi, which gathered in the Royal Palace, and entrusted the scholar and mathematician Carlo Maria Ventimiglia with the direction of the academy. Around his figure gravitated many of the artists and scholars who designed the program and the solemn procession of the relics of St. Rosalia, held in June of 1625 as a sign of gratitude for deliverance from the plague. Among them were the painters and architects Gerardo Astorino and Vincenzo La Barbera; the engraver Francesco Negro; the scholar Martino La Farina, who conceived the allegorical arch of the Genoese nation; and, above all, Filippo Paruta, who was also linked to Ventimiglia through a common passion for numismatics and antiquities. Paruta was involved in all literary activities related to celebratory events since the end of the sixteenth century. In 1625 he inspired the triumphal arch that the Senate erected in Piazza Villena and was responsible for the account of the festivities, which in the end was only published after his death in 1651.

The constitution of such a large and complex team to be entrusted with the creation of the apparatuses testifies to the importance of this event which officially marked the beginning of the cult of St. Rosalia. The solemnity of 1625 had no immediate follow-up and it was only in 1649 that the feast of St. Rosalia was formalized with all those peculiarities that would characterize the following decades (see no. 222). In 1625, in addition to the impressive processions and solemn ceremonies in which all local communities, religious and civil, took part, two magnificent horse rides were organized; one, in particular, took place at the conclusion of the festivities, after the solemn mass in the cathedral. It was followed by fireworks, organized by the German nation, along with tournaments and jousts. At the very end the nobility walked in gala dress along the Via Colonna.

Michel VI, p. 80; Biblioteca centrale della Regione siciliana “Alberto Bombace”, Sanctae Rosaliae Dicata, Bibliografia cronologica su Santa Rosalia, September 2004, pp. 12-13 (accessed January 2018); V. Petrarca, Genesi di una tradizione urbana. Il culto di S. Rosalia a Palermo in età spagnola, Palermo, 1986, p. 82; M. Sofia di Fede, La festa barocca a Palermo: città, architetture, istituzioni, “Espacio, Tiempo y Forma”, series VII, 18-19 (2005-2006), pp. 49-75; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 204.

The new multipoint perspective scenery

218. David, Domenico (d. 1698)

La forza della virtu drama per musica da rappresentarsi nel Teatro Malvezzi l’anno m.dc.xciv... Dedicato all’Eminentissimo, e Reverendissimo Sig. Cardinale Marcello Durazzo Legato di Bologna.... Antonio Pisarri's heirs, 1694.

4° (199x137 mm). Collation: A8, B-H4, I6. 82 pages, lacking the last blank leaf. Roman and italic type. Twelve folding etchings, engraved by Carlo Antonio Buffagnotti after Marco Antonio Chiarini; each plate signed by artist and engraver, and with caption titles. Rebound in cardboards covered with a beautiful eighteenth-century gilt-blocked floral paper. Marbled edges. A good copy, some foxing and staining. Title-page slightly soiled, pale waterstain to the title-page and second leaf, small repaired tear to fol. B1, without any loss. Other repaired tears on some folding plates with no damage. B1, without any loss. Other repaired tears on some folding plates with no damage.

The rare first illustrated edition of this opera libretto in three acts, published on the occasion of its presentation at Bologna's Teatro Malvezzi. The librettist is Domenico David, while the music was composed by Giacomo Antonio Perti (1661-1756), whose name is not mentioned in the work. The drama had already been performed the previous year, in 1693, in the Teatro San Giovanni Crisostomo in Venice with music by Carlo Francesco Pollaroli. On that occasion the libretto had been printed in Venice by Nicolini, in an unillustrated edition in 12° format. These editions testify to the success of the opera, which deeply influenced Metastasio's libretto for the Siface (Naples 1723).

The 1694 Bolognese edition is enriched with twelve splendid plates illustrating the different stage scenes, engraved by the printmaker, painter, and accomplished cellist Carlo Antonio Buffagnotti (1660-ca. 1715) after drawings executed by the renowned Bolognese architect Marcantonio Chiarini (ca. 1652-1730), who trained with Francesco Quaino and Domenico Santi. Active in Bologna and Milan, Chiarini was a quadratura specialist and painted scenography for several plays. The plates included in La forza della virtu attest to his use of the scena per angolo, or multipoint perspective, a significant innovation in seventeenth-century stage design which is generally attributed to Francesco Bibiena, but was in all likelihood used here for the first time. “Until this time, all perspective scenery had a single vanishing point – for a spectator seated in an ideal position, the scenery seemed to disappear at a single point in the distance [...] Multipoint perspective, as the name implies, could have several vanishing points. The effect [...] was to free the stage from the auditorium. The scene behind the proscenium no longer had to conform to the scale of the spectator, it could be larger than life. There was no need for symmetry: a scene could be shown from any point of view” (The Cambridge Guide to Theatre, Cambridge 2000, p. 1093).

Frati, 8208; Gaspari V, 396; Gregory-Sonneck, p. 526; Grove Dictionary of Opera I, p. 1086; Sartori, Libretti italiani a stampa, 10875; Schatz 7948; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 218.

Ex dono Auctoris

219. Meyer, Cornelius (1629-1701)

Nuovi ritrovamenti divisi in due parti con trè Tavole in lingua Latina, Francese, & Ollandese. Parte prima. Delli ordegni per cavar pali. Armature della calamita. Del modo di levare i sassi sott’acqua, e trovar la lega dell’oro, e dell’argento... Rome, Giovanni Giacomo Komarek, 1696. (bound with:) Idem. Alla Santità di N.S. Papa Innocentio XI. Beatissimo Padre. [Rome, Giacomo Antonio de Lazzeri Varese, 1679]. (bound with:) Idem. Nuovi ritrovamenti dati in luce dall’Ingegneiro [sic] Cornelio Meyer per eccitare l’ingegno de’ virtuosi ad aumentarli, ò aggiungervi maggior perfettione... Rome, Giovanni Giacomo Komarek, 1689. (together with:) Idem. L’Arte di restituire à Roma la tralasciata Navigatione del suo Tevere. Divisa in tre parti.... Giacomo Antonio de Lazzari Varese, 1685.

Two volumes containing four works, in near uniform bindings.

First volume. Three works bound together, folio (411x261 mm). I. [28] unsigned leaves, including title-page with a large engraved vignette showing a dragon with the caption 'Drago come viveva il primo di Decembre 1691 nelle paludi fuori di Roma'; dedication to the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III dated Rome, 22 June 1696; 22 leaves consisting of plates with letter-press explanatory text, all of them half-page (except two full-page and three double-page); 4 leaves of indices in Latin, French, and Dutch. Roman and italic type. II. Collation: A14. [14] leaves. Issued without title-page, opening with dedicatory epistle to Innocent XI. Twelve numbered half-page engravings accompanied by explanatory text below, printed on recto only. Roman and italic type. The plates are partly dated between 1677 and 1679, engraved by Giovanni Battista Falda and Jacques Blondeau, after Meyer. III. Collation: [π]2-1, A-D2, 2D2, E2-1. [12] leaves. Roman and italic type. Typographical ornament on the title-page. Fifteen engravings in the text, two of which are double page. Most of the plates signed by Meyer as designer, and sometimes as both designer and engraver. The double-page astronomical engraving is signed by Ioannes Baptista Honoratus Polustinus.

Contemporary limp vellum. Extremities of the spine damaged. Fine, unsophisticated copy. Worm-tracks on the upper margin of several leaves not affecting the text, some leaves somewhat loose.

Second volume. Three parts, folio (401x265 mm). [92] leaves, 15, [1] pages. All leaves are unsigned, except for fols. [9-10] signed A-A2 and the final 8 leaves signed A-D2. The edition includes: two additional titles with dedication to Innocent XI and a large allegorical engraving present here in two states (one variant has the caption title 'Fluminis Fluctus Letificant Civitatem' written on a cartouche on top of the engraving, while the second version has 'D.O.M.' instead); a letter-press title with a woodcut ornament; sixty-eight engraved illustrations and maps (six double-page, one full-page and the rest half-page). The final 15 pages contain the relations of the Sacra Congregatio riparum Tyberis, and end with the colophon 'Romae, ex Typographia Rev. Cam. Apost., 1685'. The first illustration of part two, a double-page map showing the Delineatione del stagno di Maccarese, is captioned: 'In Roma, nella stamperia di Nicol'Angelo Tinassi, 1681'. The comet plate referred to in the list of plates is absent, in keeping with all other copies. At the bottom of the figura quarta in Part one are two contemporary ink drawings of technical structures. Roman and italic type. Woodcut head- and tailpieces.

Contemporary vellum, over thin boards. Spine with inked title, partly damaged and with a few losses. A genuine copy, with good margins. Some browning and foxing, double-page map of Delinatione del stagno di Maccarese heavily browned.

Provenance: I. Meyer's own inscription 'Ex dono Auctoris' on the verso of the front flyleaf; on the front pastedown nineteenth-century armorial ex-libris of the Odescalchi family, bearing the motto 'per servire s'acquista servi quando poi', and engraved by Michelassi. II. Meyer's own inscription 'Ex dono Auctoris' on the verso of the front flyleaf.

Two-volume set containing four rare first editions by Cornelius Meyer (Cornelis Meijer), both volumes bearing the author's inscription 'Ex dono Auctoris'. Dedication copies of these already rare works are extremely hard to come by separately, and even more so bound together, and in copies complete with all their parts. This is the case of this set, in which the first volume also bears the ex-libris of the Odescalchi family, and it is especially noteworthy that Pope Innocent XI Odescalchi was the patron of Meyer as well as the dedicatee of the second edition bound in this volume.

I. The first work bound – Nuovi ritrovamenti divisi in due parti... Parte prima – though printed seven years later, in 1696, forms the first section of a two-part work, which gathers some of the author's technical inventions and scientific experiments. The second part, Nuovi ritrovamenti dati in luce, was issued first, in 1689, but both texts are clearly related insofar as the index to both parts is printed at the end of the Part one.

The plates show inventions and experiments undertaken by Meyer in Rome and other places like Livorno and Civitavecchia: among others, the large magnet of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, instruments and technical tools to raise cannons and poles from below the sea and to break stones underwater, methods for melting metals, canalization and other hydraulic works, a plan of the harbor of Livorno, fortification works, spectacles, games and curiosities including how to break a glass with a musical instrument, the eclipse of Jupiter's first satellite, a map of the mouth of Po river, chariots, the design of a room, the orbit of a comet, and fountains. One of the plates included here shows the Civitavecchia harbor, where the author recovered the hull of a sunken vessel.

The third work included in the first volume – the one bound in the middle – is the rarest of all three. It was issued without a title-page and opens with a dedication to Innocent XI Odescalchi. Meyer's name appears at the end of the dedication, while the imprint is at the bottom of the last two leaves. As stated in the notice to the reader, with this publication Meyer intended to show to the general public how he so brilliantly completed the first task assigned to him by Clement X upon his arrival in Rome.

Born in Amsterdam, Cornelius Meyer left his country in 1674 for Venice, then a popular destination for Dutch engineers seeking employment. He moved to Rome one year later. Pope Clement X put Meyer in charge of a major project aimed at protecting the Via Flaminia against the flooding of the Tiber. Meyer, whose plans were less expensive than those proposed by the project's former head engineer, Carlo Fontana, constructed a passonata, i.e., a row of piles, in the Tiber, which deflected the river's current away from the Via Flaminia.

II. First edition of Meyer's important work on the restoration of the Tiber River for navigation, L'arte di restituire a Roma la tralasciata navigatione del suo Tevere, which is considered his masterpiece, and is presented here in its second issue (the first issue is dated 1683 on the title-page).

After this first successful work on the Tiber, Clement X and his successor Innocent XI hired Meyer to improve navigation on the river with the purpose of increasing commerce. Meyer came up with revolutionary solutions to expedite travel along the river and in 1683, with the help of artist Gaspar van Wittel, he published his projects in L'arte di restituire a Roma la tralasciata navigatione del suo Tevere. The book, which is divided into three parts, was both a record of Meyer's engineering skills as well as a form of self-promotion for seeking further commissions. It includes a beautiful series of etchings by Meyer himself as well as by Giovanni Battista Falda, Gaspar van Wittel, Jacques Blondeau, Barend de Bailliu, Balthasar Denner, Gomar Wouters, Johannes Collin, and Ioannes Baptista Honoratus Polustinus. It was with his designs in L'arte di restituire that Meyer consolidated his reputation among the artistic and scientific elite of Rome.

Michel & Michel V, p. 161; Cicognara 3791-3792; Olschki 17589; Poggendorff II, 134; Rossetti 7022-7023c; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 219.

Festival culture in Baroque Palermo

222. Vio, Ignazio de (1659-1749)

L’Emporio delle glorie palermitane, o vero il compendio di molti pregi della Città di Palermo, consecrato a S. Rosalia Vergine Palermitana, nella solennità di quest’anno 1704.... Domenico Cortese, 1704.

4° (183x129 mm). [4], 138, [2] pages. Four engraved folding plates, signed 'D. Paulus Amato Ingignerius inventor'. Decorated woodcut initials and tailpieces. Modern gilt-tooled morocco. A good copy, some foxing and staining. Upper margin slightly trimmed but not affecting the text. Some marginal repairs, small restored hole on fol. D8, with loss of a few letters.

First edition of this work describing the magnificent religious festival held in Palermo in 1704 in honour of the city's patron saint, St. Rosalia, who, according to local tradition, had saved the city from the plague (see no. 204). The text is attributed in the dedicatory epistle to the Jesuit Ignazio de Vio, teacher of theology, mathematics, and Hebrew. Between 1693 and 1704 he published several works on the festival of Santa Rosalia, which, initiated in 1625, began on 12 July and lasted four days. The cult of the patron saint was strongly supported by the Jesuits, who were directly involved – as this publication testifies – in the organisation of processions and other festivities.

The volume is supplemented with four fine plates, which are signed by the leading architect, engineer, and painter Paolo Amato (1634-1714), the designer and inventor of all the spectacular ephemeral structures or apparati. Amato was in charge of the fabulous decorations for almost all festivities commissioned by the Senate of Palermo between the 1680s and 1714, the year of his death. One of the folding plates is especially impressive: it measures 1098 mm in length, and shows a procession of chariots looking like galleons. The other plates are also of great interest, depicting various ephemeral structures used in the festival, such as an incredible firework machine built as a castle on an island surrounded by boats and elaborate church apparati.

“Con la llegada de la dinastia Borbón al solio español, el festino se enriquecerà con nuovos tipos de decoración; en los palacios públicos y privados, arcos triumfales, etc. Así los vemos en las últimas celebraciones del Palermo español, entre 1701 y 1713 [...] En 1704 el carro de la santa fue sostituido por un simulacro del Bucintoro de Venecia y la máquina de fuegos se presentó come un castillo sobre una isla, rodeado de barcos” (La fiesta barroca, p. 123).

Melzi I, 355; Biblioteca centrale della Regione siciliana “Alberto Bombace”, Sanctae Rosaliae Dicata, Bibliografia cronologica su Santa Rosalia, September 2004, p. 58; S. di Fede, “La festa barocca a Palermo: città, architetture, istituzioni”, Espacio, Tiempo y Forma, series VII, 18-19 (2005-2006), p. 65; M. Cornelles, V. Manuel et al. (eds.), La fiesta barroca. Los reinos de Nápoles y Sicilia (1535-1713), Palermo 2014, pp. 111-123; F. Checa Cremades - L. Férnandez-González, Festival Culture in the World of the Spanish Habsburgs, Farnham 2015, pp. 229-231; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 222.

Musical instruments in the Museum Kircherianum

226. Bonanni, Filippo (1638-1725)

Gabinetto Armonico pieno d’Istromenti sonori indicati, e spiegati dal padre Filippo Bonanni della Compagnia di Giesù offerto al santo re David. Giorgio Placho, 1722.

4° (240x175 mm). [16], 177, [1, with the errata] pages. Frontispiece engraved by Giovanni Battista Sintes after Stefano Spargioni containing an excerpt from Psalm 150. A portrait of King David with a harp engraved by Arnold Van Westerhout after Spargioni, and 151 full-page engraved plates depicting musical instruments. The plates are numbered I-CXLVIII; two plates are numbered XII-XIII and XIII-XIV; numbers XXIX and LXXVIII are repeated; two plates are not numbered (pp. 94 and 138); pl. CIII is misplaced before p. 131. Plate no. XXXIII (p. 80) is folding and depicts the magnificent organ at Palazzo Verospi in Roma. The unsigned plates are attributed to Van Westerhout and Spargioni. Woodcut title vignette, elaborate woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces. Contemporary mottled calf, covers within triple gilt fillet. Spine with five raised bands, gilt-tooled; title in gold on morocco lettering-piece. Marbled flyleaves, red edges. Spine damaged, joints heavily restored. A good, genuine copy. Very light browning throughout, some plates more heavily browned.

First edition of the earliest attempt to describe and depict every known musical instrument from ancient times up to the period in which the author lived, and one of the most important eighteenth-century sources for the history of musical instruments. The edition is presented in the issue supplemented with the final Aggiunta containing seven additional pages of text and twelve more plates; the errata on the recto of the final leaf, which replaces the errata leaf that was bound in the first issue after fol. X5v, is also augmented with three new entries.

The author of this work, the Jesuit Filippo Bonanni, was chief librarian at the Collegio Romano, and succeeded his teacher Athanasius Kircher as Professor of Mathematics. He was also responsible for the Museum Kircherianum, and this volume presents the important collection of musical instruments once assembled in this museum. Bonanni describes a total of 151 ancient and modern instruments, including examples from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and America: among others, violas, violins, mandolins, and Spanish guitars; oboes, tubas, and double-flutes; bagpipes, bird calls, and clam-castanets; serpentone, palla di bronzo, xilorgano, and zampogne; Jewish, Roman, Chinese and Persian horns; and other exotic instruments like the 'Tamburro de Batam', and the 'Instrumento di Affricani'. Several instruments are also related to the New World, such as the 'Trombo della Florida'. The double-folding plate shows the 'Galleria armonica', i.e., the elaborate multi-keyboard built by Michele Todino and held at that time in the Roman palace of 'Signor Verospi'.

The present book, reprinted in 1723, was Bonanni's last publication.

RISM B-6, p. 161; Hirsch IV, 1476; The New Grove, 3, p. 14; A. Mayer-Deutsch, Das Musaeum Kircherianum. Kontemplative Momente, historische Rekonstruktion, Bildrhetorik, Zürich 2010; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 226.

in carta Turchina con Rami cinabrio — Libri Stampati da Giuseppe Bettinelli

230. Valaresso, Zaccaria (1686-1769)

Rutzvanscad il Giovine. Arcisopratragichissima Tragedia. Elaborata ad uso del buon gusto de’ Grecheggianti Compositori da Cattuffio Panchianio Bubulco Arcade. Giuseppe Bettinelli, 1737.

8° (204x138 mm). CXXXV, [1] pages. Printed on blue paper. Engraved allegorical frontispiece in orange ink, counted in the foliation. On the title-page engraved vignette in orange ink. Two engraved initials and headpieces printed in orange. Nine full-page satirical copperplates, counted in the foliation and printed in red and orange ink; the engraving on fol. C4r is repeated on fol. F1v. Contemporary vellum, over pasteboards. Smooth spine, with inked title, partly faded, traces of an earlier lettering-piece; minor losses to the foot of spine and lower cover. Green silk bookmark. A beautiful copy, ink stains to the lower inner corner of the last two leaves, not affecting the text.

Provenance: Isidore-Justin-Séverin baron Taylor (1789-1879; on the recto of the front flyleaf cutting taken from his sale catalogue, Catalogue de la bibliothèque dramatique de feu le baron Taylor: vente, Paris, 28, rue des Bons-Enfants, 27 novembre-13 décember 1893, lot 2262).

An extraordinary copy, printed on blue paper, of this 'ultra-super-tragical tragedy' (P. Monnier, Venice in the Eighteenth Century, p. 34). Valaresso's tragedia satirizes the contemporary tragic dramaturgy, and in particular the inflated and tearful Ulisse il giovane (The Young Ulysses) by Domenico Lazzarini, first performed in 1718. The plot takes place in the fictional capital of Nova Zembla, the domain of the protagonist Rutzvanscad, King of China, and governed by two dictators, mockingly named – with obscene wordplay – Tettinculusso and Culicutidonia. The Rutzvanscad il Giovine originally appeared in Bologna in 1722 printed by Ferdinando Pisarri, but the present third edition is the first and only edition to be supplemented with illustrations. Of this tragedy two issues are known: an ordinary issue on white paper and illustrated in black, and a deluxe issue in carta Turchina con Rami cinabrio – as Giuseppe Bettinelli states in the catalogue of his publications included at the end of the volume (fol. I4r). The text is illustrated with ten full-page copperplates (one repeat), exceptionally printed in the present copy in orange and red ink. The depicted scenes poke fun at tragedies based on the Greek model, which are based on horrible events and far removed from contemporary life. The first plate introduces the charlatan 'Astrologa di Piazza', while the last one shows the prompter explaining that the characters 'Son tutti morti' ('are all dead'). These engravings are unsigned, but Eleonor Garvey suggests they may be the work of Gaetano Zompini (see no. 249).

Furthermore the volume has a very appropriate provenance, having once been held in the library of the famous French dramatist and traveller Isidore-Justin-Séverin Taylor, whose influential role in the cultural life of Paris led him to be known as the 'Father of Artists'. In 1825 he was made Royal Commissioner of the Theatre Français, where he opened the door to the Romantic movement, by supporting the work of Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas.

Allacci 686; Gamba 2297; Lancetti, Pseudonimia, 58.; Melzi I, 189 ('faceto critico-satirico componimento'); Lapiccirella, Libri illustrati veneziani del XVIII secolo, no. 244; Lanckoronska, Venezianische Buchgraphik, 72; Morazzoni, Il libro illustrato veneziano del Settecento, p. 221; P. Monnier, Venice in the Eighteenth Century, Boston 1910; E.M. Garvey, “Some Venetian Illustrated Books of the Eighteen Century in the Harvard College Library”, Bulletin du bibliophile, 2 (1999), pp. 293-312; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 230.

The damask chairs of the Imperial Diet

233. Imperial Diet Ceremonies

Disegni dei sedili e banchi nelli varj Apartamenti dell’Imperiale Palazzo di Vienna disposti per li Ministri ed Ufficiali aulici secondo il rispettivo loro grado cominciando dal Sedile di S.M.C. sopra 4. gradini sotto il Baldacchino.... Manuscript on paper, in French. Austria (?), mid-eighteenth century.

335x205 mm. [6] leaves. Six watercolours depicting the tables and armchairs (mostly coloured in green, brown, and red) in the Hofburg Imperial Apartments once used for meetings of the Imperial Diet. Contemporary marbled and gauffered paper. Italian title inked in a contemporary hand on the upper cover, small paper label on the spine, with early shelfmark. Paper rather abraded along the board edges. A well-preserved manuscript.

Fascinating album of six watercolours depicting the furnishings – especially the chairs, armchairs, and tables – of the great chambers of the Imperial Diet at the Hofburg in Vienna. The former imperial palace and main residence of the Habsburg dynasty rulers, the Hofburg is also the only court residence to have permanently been kept furnished. As the documented seat of government, its chambers provided the setting for countless ceremonies and delegate receptions for Diets held in Vienna, this being the highest representative assembly of the Holy Roman Empire.

The plates are titled, in French, La Sale de Re et Correlation; Le College Electoral; Le College des Princes; L'Appartement Electoral; L'Appartement des Princess; and Le College des Villes Imperiale. For each of the six plates, a legend is provided describing the furniture depicted as well as the relative placements of the Emperor and Prince-Electors, among other various representatives. Thus, for example, the plate Le College des Princes illustrates the furnishings for meetings presided over by the Imperial Diet's Council of Princes, including the chairs of its director, co-director, and secretaries, the bench for the bishops of Osnabrück and Lübeck, and even a clock – an 'horologe fait de la manière que celui de Strasbourg' – and small jam table – a 'table petite pour les Confitures'. The plate of the College Electoral, meanwhile, depicts a large table with a seat for the envoyés of the different Prince Electors, 'selon l'ordre suivant Mayence, Treves, Cologne, Bohême, Bavarie, Saxe, Brandenbourg, Palatin et Brounsvic': also in this chamber is a small table for Confitures that must not be missed. The tables here are covered in green velvet and the chairs are upholstered in a wonderful red damask rendered with especial care by the work's anonymous artist.

An album of watercolours (353x221 mm) titled Mobiliar der Zimmer zur Kaiserwahl and illustrating six identical subjects is now preserved in the Hessische Landesbiliothek Fulda (Hs 48). The Moravian Library in Brno holds a similar album, bearing the exact same German title, but with illustrations that have been rather carelessly executed.

This newly discovered manuscript is of the greatest import to the history of the Imperial Diet and its ceremonial traditions, as well as the history of eighteenth-century design in general.

G. von Demilić, The Hofburg in Vienna: Dwelling and Ceremonial Apartments of the Former Imperial Family, Vienna [ca. 1930]; H. Karner (ed.), Die Wiener Hofburg 1521-1705. Baugeschichte, Funktion und Etablierung als Kaiseresidenz, Wien 2014; L. Hellmut (ed.), Die Wiener Hofburg 1705-1835. Die kaiserliche Residenz vom Barock bis zum Klassizismus, Wien 2016; M. Beck, Macht-Räume Maria Theresias. Funktion und Zeremoniell in ihren Residenzen, Jagd- und Lustschlössern, Berlin 2017; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 233.

Bodoni’s finest illustrated book

243. Paciaudi, Paolo Maria (1710-1785)

Descrizione delle Feste celebrate in Parma l’anno MDCCLXIX per le auguste Nozze di Sua Altezza Reale l’Infante Don Ferdinando colla Reale Arciduchessa Maria Amalia. nella Stamperia Reale, [1769].

Imperial folio (552x406 mm). [8], 76 pages. Parallel text in Italian and French. Engraved title-page within architectural border, the typographical title-page follows. Thirty-six engraved plates, thirty of which are full-page and six are double-page. Engraved head- and tailpieces. Contemporary mottled calf, with the gilt arms of Duke Ferdinand I of Bourbon-Parma on the covers. Spine with seven raised bands, title in gold on red morocco lettering-piece in the second compartment; the other compartments richly decorated with gilt tools showing the symbols of the Bourbon-Parma coat of arms: the towers, the rampant lion and the fleur-de-lis. Joints restored, a few repairs to covers, gilt arms on front panel worn and rubbed. A good copy, light marginal staining to a few leaves, ink spots on the half-title and last plate. Tears repaired in the margin of some plates.

A magnificent festival book printed by Bodoni just a year after his appointment as head of the ducal typography, on the occasion of the marriage of Ferdinand, Duke of Parma to the Archduchess of Austria Maria Amalia of Habsburg-Lothringen, Imperial Princess and daughter of Francis I and Maria Theresa. The wedding was formally celebrated at Colorno on 27 July 1769, but the splendid festival organised in celebration of the union took place in Parma. “On 19 July 1769, Maria Amalia left Mantua for her solemn state entry into the duchy of Parma [...] Finally, on 24 August, Ferdinando and Maria Amalia made their way in a huge procession from Colorno to the cathedral of Parma [...] Planning these events required all Du Tillot's formidable organizational skill, and he insisted on recording the results in the most beautiful way possible. To this end, he gathered Bodoni, [the chief architect of the ducal court Ennemond] Petitot, and Benigno Bossi, the renowned engraver, and exhorted them to produce albums that would astonish everyone with their magnificence. The first and most important of these was Descrizione delle Feste celebrate in Parma” (V. Lester, Giambattista Bodoni, pp. 79-80).

The publication is one of the finest illustrated volumes issued from the Stamperia Reale, “Forse il più attraente di tutti i libri di Bodoni per la bellezza delle figure” (Brooks). It was realised by Bodoni in close collaboration with Ennemond Alexandre Petitot (1727-1801), the latter having been responsible for designing the sumptuous apparati, fabulous scenography, and lavish costuming prepared for those festivities. The bilingual text in Italian and French was composed by the court librarian Paolo Maria Paciaudi and describes the various celebratory performances: tournaments, costume balls, processions, fireworks, a pastoral play in the Boschetto d'Arcadia, and a Chinese fair, all of which are depicted in the marvellous plates, engraved by, among others, Benigno Bossi, Domenico Muzzi, and Giuseppe Patrini, and executed after the designs of such leading artists as G. Volpato, G. Zuliani, Paolo Maria Bossi, and above all the aforementioned Petitot.

The edition, presented here in its first issue, was printed in 1,002 copies, which are housed in different bindings. This copy is one of 144 bound in bazzana, i.e., mottled calf; some of these also bear the Bourbon-Parma coat of arms in gilt, as with the present example.

Brooks 6; De Lama II, 4; Giani, pp. 1-3; Berlin Katalog 3080; Watanabe-O'Kelly & Simon 1141; V. Lester, Giambattista Bodoni: His Life and His World, Boston 2015, pp. 79-80; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 243.

Neoclassical scenography

260. Basoli, Antonio (1774-1848)

Raccolta di prospettive serie, rustiche, e di paesaggio dedicate al merito di alcuni mecenati, professori, amatori di belle arti, ed amici. Incise a semplice contorno, e stampate in carta velina ad uso di Francia per poterle acquerellare... Disegnate da Francesco Cocchi... Incise da diversi scuolari del professore Francesco Rosaspina, dall’autore e dal disegnatore. vendibili presso l'autore e presso diversi negozianti di stampe e libri in Bologna, 1810.

Oblong folio (380x485 mm). Title-page with engraved vignette at the centre; 102 plates (numbered I-CII) engraved by Ignazio Sarti, Giulio Tomba, Luigi and Francesco Basoli, after Francesco Cocchi. Contemporary half-calf. Spine tooled in gilt; title in gold on morocco lettering-piece. A fine copy.

The Raccolta di prospettive serie, rustiche, e di paesaggio is composed of a wide range of inventive set designs by one of the most important and active Italian scenographers of the nineteenth century, Antonio Basoli. This is the first published collection of his stage designs, which were widely copied and imitated. The album includes landscapes, interiors, neoclassical reconstructions of Rome, and Egyptian scenes.

Born in Castel Guelfo, near Bologna, Basoli was educated by his father in classical art, classic and contemporary literature, and in the works of Giovanni Battista Piranesi (see no. 239). He often worked in partnership with his brothers, Francesco and Luigi. He taught at the Accademia Clementina in Bologna until 1826, and was active as a scenographer at the Teatro Taruffi, also in Bologna. Many of his publications, as with the present example, had a didactic purpose.

Berlin Katalog 4165; Millard IV, 15; Thieme-Becker II, 599; C. Ricci, La scenografia italiana, Milano 1930, pp. 2 and 23, pls. 138-146; F. Farneti-E. Frattarolo et al. (eds.), Antonio Basoli, 1774-1848. Ornatista, scenografo, pittore di paesaggio; il viaggiatore che resta a casa, Argelato 2008; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 260.