Dei delitti e delle pene
1812 · Milano
Edition printed in royal folio (47 cm tall) in an edition of only 50 copies, signed by the printer, Luigi Mussi, who had learned his craft in Bodoni’s shop.
Folio (47 cm); xv, 206, [2 blank] pages. Contemporary green cloth with green polished morocco backstrip titled and decorated in gilt. Vellum tips. Margins are remarkably wide. Some wear at spine ends and extremities. Negligible traces of finger-smudges here and there. Preserved in custom slipcase constructed of cloth-covered board. Justification page completed in manuscript, numbered and SIGNED by the publisher, Luigi Mussi, with acknowledgment of the purchaser, one Antonio Martonitotti of Pavia. Later bookplate of Emilio de Marchi Gherini, secretary of the ill-fated Banco Ambrosiano, which collapsed under scandal in 1982 after the corpse of its chairman, Roberto Calvi, was discovered hanging from a rope under Blackfriars Bridge in London.
References: PMM 209 (1764 ed.); Gamba 2147 (“magnifica ristampa”) and 2148; Very Good+.
One of the great texts of the Enlightenment presented in spectacular style by the Milanese printer Luigi Mussi, who had apprenticed with Bodoni and absorbed his design sensibilities. Mussi appears to have been one of the earliest exponents of the “limited edition” a marketing incentive that became more common in the late 19th- and early 20th-century. This grand folio was produced in a numbered edition of 50 copies on “velino reale” paper (out of a total run of 60), numbered and signed by Mussi.