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Boiardo, Matteo Maria (ca. 1441-1494).

Tutti li libri de Orlando Inamorato. Del conte de Scandiano Mattheo Maria Boiardo Trati Fidermente [sic] Dal suo Emendatissimo exemplare. Nouamente stampato & historiato. Milan, [Giovanni Angelo Scinzenzeler, after 12 May 1513 and 1518, reissued by Giovanni Antonio Castiglione], 1539.

€ 18.000
The Scinzenzeler-Castiglione Orlando Innamorato  from the library of Giacomo Manzoni
Boiardo, Matteo Maria (ca. 1441-1494).. Tutti li libri de Orlando Inamorato. Del conte de Scandiano Mattheo Maria Boiardo Trati Fidermente [sic] Dal suo Emendatissimo exemplare. Nouamente stampato & historiato.. Milan, [Giovanni Angelo Scinzenzeler, after 12 May 1513 and 1518, reissued by Giovanni Antonio Castiglione], 1539.

4° (190x133 mm). Collation: a8 (± a1.2.7.8), b-z8, &8, [cum]8, [rum]8, 2A- H8, I6 (± I1.2.5.6.) Fols. a1 and a2 signed A1 and A2, in a different type; fol. m3 signed m2, and corrected in manuscript in this copy. [378] leaves. Text in two columns. Gothic and roman type. 74 woodcut vignettes; one woodcut decorated initial on black ground on fol. a2r. Eighteenth-century honey calf, tooled in gold. Covers within a double fillet frame, four small floral tools inside the corners of the border. Spine with five raised bands, compartments tooled in gold; gilt title on hazelnut morocco lettering piece.
Marbled pastedowns and flyleaves. Edges speckled red and blue (rather faded). Upper hinge slightly weak. The note ‘V.B.66' in red ink on the verso of the front marbled flyleaf; the pencilled note ‘Raro 8500'. A good copy, spotting and foxing throughout; old repair to the outer upper blank corner of the title-page. Early marginalia (slightly trimmed) and reading marks; canto numbering in the the same hand.

Provenance: Giacomo Manzoni (1816-1889; small ex libris on front pastedown; see Bibliotheca Manzoniana. Catalogue des livres composant la Bibliothe?que de feu M. le Comte Jacques Manzoni. Premie?re Partie, Citta? di Castello 1892, lot 3067); traces of a large ex libris, possibly to be referred to the library of Giuseppe Cavalieri (1834-1918; see T. De Marinis, Catalogue des livres composant la Bibliothe?que de M. Giuseppe Cavalieri a? Ferrara, Florence 1908; no. 273).

Castiglione's reissue of an edition of Boiardo's famous poem printed by Giovanni Angelo Scinzenzeler between 1513 and 1518, of which no copy survives.

The Scinzenzeler Orlando innamorato had long been considered a bibliographical ghost, at least until the in-depth research of Neil Harris. Analysing the different types employed in the 1539 edition, Harris discovered that the leaves of this later edition actually represented a re-use, on behalf of another Milanese printer, Giovanni Antonio Castiglione, of the earlier Scinzenzeler edition for the purposes of offering an apparently ‘new' edition of the Orlando innamorato on the market. The rare volume presented here therefore offers a highly interesting example of reprinting and substantial recycling.

Son of the printer Giovanni Castiglione, Giovanni Antonio ran a workshop that specialized primarily in music printing. The elder Giovanni had had a certain relationship with Scinzenzeler, with whom he shared a number of woodblocks used for illustrating chivalry books. Later, Giovanni Antonio somehow came into possession of unsold copies of the Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto printed by Scinzenzeler shortly before his death in 1526, as well as copies of Boiardo's Innamorato dated to 1513/18. Both editions were then re- issued by Castiglione in 1539, with updated title-pages and colophons. In the case of the Orlando Innamorato, Castiglione reset – using a different font – the original outer sheet of the first quire signed a (fols. a1, a2, a7, and a8) and the outer sheet of the last quire signed I (fols. I1, I2, I5, and I6), in order to modify the original title-page and colophon. The title-page came to bear the indication ‘Nouamente stampato & historiato', whereas the colophon on fol. I5r bears the imprint ‘Impressum Mediolani. M.D. XXXIX', identical to the formula closing the 1539 re-issue of the Furioso.

The illustrative apparatus is of course that allegedly included in the original edition printed by Scinzenzeler, which derived from various chivalric cycles. The only novelty is represented by the woodcut depicting a duel on fol. I2r, i.e., one of the leaves reset by Castiglione for actualizing the colophon. Not being in possession of the original woodblock that had first illustrated the scene, Castiglione replaced it with a vignette previously used in the Libro del Danese printed by Scinzenzeler in 1513, as well as in the Vendetta di Falconeto issued by Giovanni Antonio's father Giovanni in 1512 – an example of re-use that would seem to further confirm the existence of a sort of collaboration between the two Milanese printing presses.

In his census, Harris records only six copies (the only copy preserved in the United States – Wellesley College – is not complete) of Castiglione's re-issue in institutional libraries, to which the copies kept at the Biblioteca Antonio Panizzi in Reggio Emilia, and at the Kunstbibliothek in Berlin are now to be added.

The present copy once belonged to one of the greatest Italian book collectors of all time, Giacomo Manzoni. Manzoni's library focused especially on early Italian literature, and it is thus no surprise that he was also the owner of another rare edition of Boiardo offered in this catalogue, the complete Orlando Innamorato printed by Nicolini da Sabbio in 1539, which was later acquired by another great collector of Italian books, the Ferrarese Giuseppe Cavalieri. It is quite plausible that the copy of Castiglione's re-issue presented here was also purchased by Cavalieri at the Manzoni auction sale in 1893: the measurements of a large ex libris once pasted on its front pastedown are well compatible with Cavalieri's ownership label, and the Catalogue des livres composant la Bibliothe?que de M. Giuseppe Cavalieri (1908) includes an entry of the Scinzenzeler-Castiglione Orlando Innamorato.

N. Harris, “Una aggiunta agli annali di Giovanni Angelo Scinzenzeler: l'Orlando innamorato datato 1539”, La Bibliofilia, 89 (1987), pp. 168-178; A. Ganda, Niccolo? Gorgonzola editore e libraio in Milano (1496-1536), Firenze 1988, pp. 35-40, 72-74, 103-109; N. Harris, Bibliografia dell'Orlando Innamorato, vol. 1, no. 13, pp. 55-59; L. Balsamo, “Annali di Giovanni Angelo Scinzenzeler stampatore in Milano (1500-1526). Supplemento”, La Bibliofilia, 95 (1993), no. 36**; A. Ganda, “Annals of Giovanni Angelo Scinzenzeler printer in Milan (1500-1526). A Supplement”, D. V. Reidy (ed.), The Italian Book 1465-1800. Studies Presented to Dennis E. Rhodes on his 70th Birthday, London 1993, pp. 65-87; A. Ganda, “Giovanni Antonio Castiglione e la stampa musicale a Milano”, La Bibliofilia, 100 (1998), pp. 301-324.

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