The Italian Settecento
Ariosto, Lodovico. [Opere] Orlando furioso
... delle annotazioni de' più celebri autori che sopra esso hanno scritto, e
di altre utili, e vaghe giunte in questa impressione adornato, come
nell'indice seguente la prefazione si vede. Venice: Stefano Orlandini,
Folio (39 cm); 2 volumes: , 576;  400 pages, and 52 engraved
plates. Half title present, first title printed in red and black, with
engraved vignette on title page. Full-page portrait of the author by C. Orsolini. Second title within engraved border by Giuseppe Filosi. Section
title to the Commedia within woodcut allegorical border. Fifty-one full-page
engravings by Filosi and by Giuliano Giampicoli, within one of 3 elaborate
borders, one signed Filosi. Woodcut head- and tailpieces. Bound in recent
quarter leather over buckram-covered boards, with seven panel, leather title
labels in period style. Bright and crisp impressions, clean and fresh text.
References: Morazzoni 213; Gamba 60; Brunet I,437; Graesse I,199; Melzi 173;
Agnelli Ravegnani I,3.
Splendid illustrated edition of Ariosto's works, considered the culmination
of 17th-century baroque styles of Venetian book design and the first
emergence of the 18th-century neoclassical flowering. This copy features
strong, clean impressions of the plates, including the Orsolini's great
portrait, and fifty-one elaborate, full-page allegories ahead of each canto
of Orlando Furioso (which occupies the entire first volume) and the Cinque
Canti. The contents of the second volume also include the seven comedies,
the epistle to Bembo, the satires, L'Erbolato, and poetry in Italian and
Innocenzo Frugoni; Francesco Algarotti; Saverio Bettinelli. Versi sciolti di tre eccellenti moderni autori. Bassano:
16cm; 298 pages. Bound in original publishers boards. Boards worn with worm trails
present at joints and extending to first two leaves of text. Text somewhat shaken in binding. A few leaves are dog-eared, but text is generally
clean. Book bears several manuscript ownership
marks of Carlo de Herra (fl. 1800-1850). De Herra apparently
owned the book in his youth, and claimed it by writing his name on the upper board (dated
1791), and on all three edges of the text block. The
book is protected by contemporary wrappers fashioned out of an envelope addressed to Ferdinando de Herra, with remains of
original red wax seal. Pen
trials on upper flap of wrapper. (4208) $100.00
Verse epistles by three of Arcadias most representative voices. The Accademia degli Arcadi was a literary
fraternity (and by imitation, a literary style) established at the end of the 17th
century with the aim of replacing extravagant baroque fashions with more serious and
rational expression. This collection
first appeared in mid century, and was frequently reprinted.
Bisso, Giambatista (1712-1787). Introduzione alla volgar poesia.
Venice: Presso G. Orlandeli,
4. ed. molto migliorata, ed accresciuta dallautore, spezialmente dun nuovo
libro della poesia teatrale antica e moderna. 19cm; xvi, 271
pages. Woodcut ornaments.
Contemporary vellum over boards.
About very good. (4223)
An eighteenth-century ars
for Italian writers, including detailed analyses of prosody, rhyme, tropes, and even a
prophetic chapter on dialogism.
edition was expanded to include a discourse on dramatic poetry.
Appended is a dictionary of iconology and an essay
on Rhyme and Prose by Scipione
Boccalini, Traiano (1556-1613) ;
Girolamo Briani (1581-1646).
De Ragguagli di
Parnaso. In questa quinta
impressione da molti errori diligentemente espurgata. In Venetia: Appresso gli
heredi di Gio. Guerigli, 1630.
4° (22cm); 3 parts in two volumes.
Printers device on title pages.
Woodcut initials and ornaments.
in contemporary stiff vellum, titled in manuscript on spine.
Shelf wear and dust.
Light damp marks present.
ownership inscriptions canceled on front blank.
References: Gamba, 1802 (1624 ed.);
Born in Loreto,
Boccalini embarked on a political career and
actually served briefly as governor of Benevento.
He railed against the domination of Italy by Spain,
France and Austria. In 1605 he began to
publish his barbed dispatches (ragguagli), which
numbered more than 300 by the time of his sudden death (poison?) in 1613.
The author imagined Parnassus as a city in
continuous vacation, where poets and politicians meet.
He pretends to send reports from this city on a large variety of themes, but mainly
on politics. The anti-Spanish satire becomes
Magalotti, Lorenzo (1637-1712). Lettere familiari... con le annotazione del Domenico Maria Manni.
Venice: Presso Giambatista Pasquali, 1762.
Menzini, Benedetto (1646-1704) ; Pietro
Mengoni, editor. Opere. Florence:
Nella Stamperia di S.A.R., per li Tartini e Franchi, 1731-32.
20cm; xvi, 680 pages, and engraved frontispiece numismatic portrait.
Printers device on
title page. Woodcut initials.
Bound in full vellum over
manuscript on spine, with paper shelf label.
Scientist and man of letters, courtier and diplomat in the service of the Medici,
Magalotti was secretary of the Accademia
del Cimento, and in 1667 he edited
the Saggi di
Naturali Esperienze (Essays on
natural experiments), recounting the academicians most notable experiments. He
traveled extensively as a diplomat for the Grand Dukes of Tuscany.
In 1678, a sudden break in his relations with the
Medici interrupted his career and journeys. Magalotti retired
for a decade from public life, dedicating himself to writing the
Lettere familiari, published posthumously in Venice in 1719.
These essays seem to question the cognitive
limits of science, and to pose the merits of traditional Catholicism against Atheism.
One recognizes the seeds of the Intelligent
First collected edition. 22 cm; 4 volumes. Title page of volume 1 printed in red and
black. Engraved portrait frontispiece in volume 1. Woodcut initials and ornaments. Bound
in contemporary full vellum with titles burnished in gilt on spines. Spines discolored by
sunlight. Few worm trails in bindings, especially volume IV. Upper hinge splitting in
volume III. Text bright and clean with few marks or blemishes. Reference: Gamba, 673.
An uncomfortable priest, Menzini wrote fierce attacks on the hypocracies of his
profession, as well as classically-fashioned odes, canzoni, sonnets, elegies and satires.
This collection, edited by Pietro Mengoni, includes a life of the author by Giuseppe
Lodovico Antonio (1672-1750).
Della pubblica felicità oggetto
de buoni principi.
19 cm; , 408 pages.
Date and publisher location from salutation after preface.
Bound in later polished calf over marbled boards,
spine decorated in gilt.
at extremities. Text pages browned.
Reference: Kress 4974. (4232)
One of several editions published in 1749; priority among them is unclear.
The librarian-philosopher who sought to reconcile
the principles of Enlightenment with Catholicism here applies his vast erudition to
questions of political economy and the function of government.
Muratori, Lodovico Antonio (1672-1750).
Delle forze dell intendimento umano, o sia, il pirronismo
confutato... Venice: Giambat[t]ista
19cm; xx, 272,  pages.
on title page.
in contemporary marbled paper over boards, with leather label titled in gilt on spine.
Insiginificant worm trails on boards; small abrasion on title page,
An argument defending human reason against the
anti-Cartesian essay by Pierre-Daniel Huet,
Traité philosophique de la
foiblesse de lesprit
humain (An Essay Concerning the Weakness of Human
was certainly Huets equal in
the breadth and depth of his studies, and in his
vast command of the literatures.
Muratori, Lodovico Antonio (1672-1750); Giangiuseppe Orsi
(1652-1733). Memorie intorno alla vita del marchese
Giovan Gioseffo Orsi, Bolognese. Modena: Bartolomeo Soliani, 1735.
First edition. Octavo (19 cm);  117  pages; first two pages blank. Three
parts, each with separate title page, continuously paginated. Woodcut putto
device on two title pages; woodcut initial and ornaments. Bound in 1/4 vellum
over pasteboard, titled in manuscript on spine. Scattered foxing, yet sound,
clean and entire.
Orsi's main contribution to the Italian enlightenment resided in his pamphlet
war with the French Jesuit chauvinist Dominique Bouhours at the beginning of the
18th century. Bouhours argued for the universality of the French language and
the superiority of the French spirit. Here the librarian-philosopher Lodovico
Antonio Muratori presents an impassioned eulogy for his intellectual
predecessor, recently dead, and edits his surviving poetry. The 39-page
introduction is followed by Orsi's poems, and then by a collection of memorial
sonnets by Muratori, Tassoni, Zanotti and others.
Muratori, Lodovico Antonio (1672-1750).
La vita del Padre Paolo
Segneri juniore della Compagnia di Gesu. Saggiungono alcune Operette Spirituali
composte dal medesimo religioso ... Modena:
Bartolomeo Soliani, 1720.
17 cm; xx, 459 pages.
Bound in later vellum over boards.
Francesco ; Alessandro Tassoni ; Girolamo Muzio ; Ludovico Antonio Muratori. ...Le Rime ... riscontrate co i testi a penna della Libreria Estense, e
co i fragmenti dell'Originale d'esso Poeta.... Modena: Bartolomeo Soliani,
4to (23 cm); xxxv, , 860 pages. Woodcut device on title page. Woodcut initial. Bound in
earlier vellum (remboitage) pressed into service for which it was not quite ample. As a
result, the gutter has split between the first and second leaves, holding by strained
threads. Titled in manuscript on spine. Light damp stains at beginning and end of text.
Reference: Brunet: IV, 553 ("toujours recherchée"). $225
First printing of the Muratori/Tassoni edition of Petrarch, which placed the two leading
literary figures into something of a editorial competition. Each poem in the Canzoniere is
followed by Muratori's and Tassoni's comments (along with Muzio's 16th-century notes),
which occasionally agree. One laments the unfortunate binding (a decision made in the
18th-century by someone trying to be thrifty), but the book is important.
Piozzi, Hester Lynch Thrale (1741-1821) and others.
Florence Miscellany. Florence: Printed for G. Cam, 1785.
First edition, presentation copy. Octavo (21 cm); 224
pages, including three pages of engraved music. Manuscript leaf in
Piozzi's hand bound in. Bound in contemporary English tree calf, gilt,
covers with an outer border of Greek key pattern between gilt fillets
and framing an interlaced gilt inner border with tooled corner ornaments
of flowers, board edges, turn-ins, and text block edges gilt; marlbed
endleaves; expertly rebacked with wriginal backstrip laid down, corners
repaired. Some very minor foxing. Manuscript alterations (by Piozzi) on
pages 62, 209, 215. Censored lines on pages 9, and 27 left blank, but
small pasted slip corrects text on page 20. Nineteenth-century bookplate
of Walter Hamilton; penciled note of Pickering & Chatto on lower endleaf
dated 1937. $8,500
Reference: Rothschild 1437; Maggs catalogue 1083, #398 (this copy).
Presentation copy from Hester Lynch Piozzi to her friend and
correspondent, the Cambridge professor of Arabic Leonard Chappelow, with
his signature on the title page and note on the front fly-leaf, "Given
to me by my Good Friend Mrs. Piozzi April 1787." Opposite Mrs. Piozzi's
"Translation of an Italian Sonnet upon and English Watch," is inserted
an AUTOGRAPH TRANSCRIPT of the original Italian poem in Piozzi's hand.
The typographical error in the printed text annoyed her, as she wrote to
Lysons from Rome in March, 1786, "They have printed it 'touched by a
magic hand.' It should be 'wand,' for 'hand' comes in the line that
rhymes to it." Here, she crossed out "hand" and wrote "wand" in black
The collection was a collaboration between four English ex-pats (Piozzi,
William Parsons, Robert Merry and Bertie Greatheed) and their Italian
friends, among them Piozzi husband (who contributed a musical serenade),
Lorenzo Pignotti, Angelo d'Elci, Marco Lastri and Giuseppe Parini. Their
idea was to reinvigorate poetry by injecting Italian poetic traditions
into English letters. In addition to original poems, the volume notably
translates selections from Petrarch, Dante, Tasso and Poliziano into
English, as well as contemporary political odes and panegyrics to
The collection was written off as unserious by contemporary critics (in
part due to it Piozzi's preface, which presents it as light amusement),
yet it was the first important English engagement with Italian poetry
after Milton, and it led English Romantics into Italian territory. The
authors shared copies from the paltry print run between themselves and
sent out copies to their friends.
Roberti, Giovanni Battista (1719-1786).
Cento favole esopiane ... dedicate al merito sommo di sua
Eccellenza la Marchesa Donna Margarita. Como:
17cm; , 8, 228 pages.
Woodcut and typographic
ornaments and initials, including typographic running headers,
in full mottled calf tooled in gilt on spine, worn at edges and extremities with some loss
at crown. Contemporary decorated paper
pastedowns. Title page browned and
abraded at gutter (the result of an old repair?).
Cello tape repair to leaf *2.
Some browning at gutter of last leaves.
Else only occasional spots, stains or worm trails,
mostly in margins. References:
Parenti 431 (following error of Gamba,
2420, which cites the Bassano 1782 edition). (4189)
Satiric and serious poems by the Jesuit philosopher who tried to justify Catholicism and
the Enlightenment. The poems are
Aesopian fantasies with modern implications (the Nightingale in America, for
instance, or The Mushrooms and the Lemon.
This is the true first edition, preceding the Bassano
edition cited as the first by Gamba and
Roberti, Giovanni Battista (1719-1786).
Lettera del Signor Conte Abate Giambatista Roberti sul
prendere, come dicono, laria, e il sole.
19cm; 74 pages.
engraved historiated initial showing a
holding an open book while riding a scallop shell off-shore with the sun at the horizon.
Bound in contemporary decorated
paste paper wraps.
splitting at spine, with some loss; first quire almost loose.
Essay in letter form on the healing power of Nature, and on the beneficial aspects of sun
bathing and breathing clean air.
Saccenti, Giovan Santi (d.
1749). Le rime di Giovan Santi Saccenti da Cerreto Guidi
accademico sepolto con le note di U.P.D.C. Florence: Gaspero Ricci, 1808.
Prima edizione fiorentina, corretta ed accresciuta di altre Rime finora
inedite (First Florence edition, revised and enlarged with previously unpublished
poems). 16cm; 2 volumes in one.
for utility in green polished calf over marbled boards, worn at edges and extremities.
Titled in gilt on spine, with
shelf label in manuscript.
Hinges split but holding.
Occasional marginalia in manuscript.
References: Melzi 3:446 (glossing
U.P.D.C. as Un Prete di Cerreto, and identifying him as Nicola
Saccenti; Gamba, 2425, note (queste poesie ... danno
buona copia di voci e di graziosi modi di dire).
Saccenti is a
beacon for all who are brilliant, sharp, wise, full of the poetic gift, and yet excluded
from financial or social success.
Saccenti made his living as an itinerant notary.
While he lived, he read his poems-shiny as knives
and sharper-to great acclaim at gatherings for friends.
They circulated in manuscript for a dozen years after his death before appearing in
print, full of mistakes, in 1761. Satires in
the tradition of Juvenal and Persius, but informed by
Enlightenment sensibilities, the collection also includes a version in modern
dress of Horaces Ars poetica,
and a mock epic entitled Il Vezzoso (The Dandy).
The present edition claims priority in Florence,
capital of the poets native region.
Zanotti, Francesco Maria
(1692-1777). Dellarte poetica ragionamenti cinque. Bologna:
Lelio dalla Volpe, 1768.
First edition. 22cm; xii, 401,  pages.
Printers vignette on
in contemporary quarter calf over marbled boards.
Extremities quite worn, marble paper pulled away from base of upper board with
loss. Text rather clean,
with negligible foxing at first and last pages.
Refrence: Gamba 2514 (citing Parini,
nulla vha di simile fra le Poetiche moderne).
Zanotti, Francesco Maria (1692-1777).
Raccolta di alcune poesie volgari e latine.
Milano: Giuseppe Marelli, 1774.
12mo (16cm); 118 pages.
Attractive woodcut and typographic ornaments.
in full mottled calf, tooled in gilt on spine.
Binding somewhat worn, hinges split but holding.
Text shaken in binding.
Graceful 18th-century poetry on philosophical and political themes in Italian