DELLA CASA, Giovanni

DELLA CASA, Giovanni. Novella di Monsignor Gio. Della Casa tratta dal suo Galateo

Livorno, Pei tipi di Francesco Vigo, 1870.


8vo, pp. 13 (=16). Modern buckram gilt. Extremely rare reprint in 16 copies on fine parchment of Rome of this work issued in 1555 in Venice by Gabriel Giolito de Ferrari; commissioned by the man of letters, linguist and bibliophile Francesco Zambrini (Faenza 1810 – Bologna 1887), who edited several ancient vernacular texts and presided over the Committee for the Texts of Language.

CASTIGLIONE, Baldassare (CHAPPUYS, Gabriel)

CASTIGLIONE, Baldassare (CHAPPUYS, Gabriel, Tr.). Le parfait courtisan

Paris, Par Nicolas Bonfons, 1585.


8vo, ã8 ê8 a-z A-V8, pp. (xxxii) 678 (=658) (xxx). Double column, French in Roman letter, Italian in Italic. Printer’s device on title page with motto: “proba me deus et scito cor meum” (Psalm 138:23). C19th ms. note on title page “Monneraye / Monneraye / bon garçon”, with name “Monneraye” appearing occasionally throughout the book on margins. Paper evenly yellowed because of aging, occasional small wormholes to outer and lower blank margin, no loss to text. Some light dampstaining and spotting, edges of initial leaves slightly worn. Rebound in modern vellum with yapp edges.

This is an early French translation of this greatly renowned work of Baldassare Castiglione (1478-1529). Castiglione was an Italian courtier, diplomat, soldier and a prominent Renaissance author. He was born at Mantua, where he served the Gonzaga family, then moved to Urbino in the service of its duke, Guidolbaldo da Montefeltro. In 1506 he was in England to receive the Order of the Garter for his master from Henry VII. In 1524 he went to Spain as papal envoy; he died there in 1529, universally mourned. Finished in 1518, the book sets forth in a series of dialogues the author’s conception of the ideal courtier and the norms of courtesy in a cultured society. Kendall Tarte has shed light on the influence of this work on the French culture of the time in relation to another similar work, especially with regard to the role of women: “La Puce de Madame des-Roches offers a complex portrait of one woman. The book’s fictionalized accounts of Catherine’s body, her expressions of virtue, and her participation in salon activities help the modern reader imagine the Poitiers community of the late sixteenth century. The poets of that group engage with contemporary codes of conduct in their renderings of the salon interactions. Portraits of Catherine Des Roches reflect an idealized view of women, and in her poems Des Roches adopts a stance suggested by such guidelines. A consideration of contemporary conduct books will illuminate the ideas that set the tone of interactions between sexes. Of particular importance are contemporary works that deal with codes of conversation between men and women, and that discuss specifically the question of the speech of women. Two Italian texts, Baldassare Castiglioni’s Libro del Cortegiano, or The Book of the Courtier, and Stefano Guazzo’s Civil Conversatione, provide guidelines for women in polite society. First published in Italian in 1528, Il Cortegiano was enormously influential throughout Europe. The first French translation, by Jacques Colin, appeared in 1537 at King François I’s request. Another translation, Gabriel Chappuy’s 1585 bilingual edition, testifies to the book’s popularity throughout the sixteenth century. Castiglione’s directives for the conduct of the courtier and his lady-in-waiting apply to the parallel situation of sixteenth-century humanist salons. Despite the obvious class difference, the Poitiers group resembles the Italian court in its makeup – both consist primarily of men – and its social practices, which place special emphasis on speech.” Kendall B. Tarte, Writing Places: Sixteenth-century City Culture and the Des Roches Salon, 2007.

 BM STC Fr. C16th p. 94 

CAMILLI, Camillo

CAMILLI, Camillo. I cinque canti…aggiunti al Goffredo del signor Torquato Tasso.

Ferrara, Appresso Giulio Cesare Cagnaccini, & Fratelli, 1585.


12mo, pp. 181 (=151) (1), † b-f12 g4. Predominantly Italic letter, some Roman. Woodcut initials and head-pieces, large d’Este coat of arms on title-page. Light age yellowing and spotting throughout, marginal dampstaining. Imprint repeated on verso of last, no date, early ms. note underneath it. In modern quarter vellum, decorative paper over boards, gilt-tooled lettering on half olive green, half red morocco label to spine. A lovely booklet in good condition.

First printed in 1584, this booklet is the second edition of Camillo Camilli’s additional five cantos, or poems, to the Gerusalemme Liberata (Jerusalem Delivered, 1581) of Torquato Tasso (1544-95). Camilli (d. 1615) was a scholar from Siena who taught letters in the Republic of Ragusa (Dalmatia). He edited a reprint of Tasso’s masterpiece in 1583 with the title of Goffredo, to which he added the present work in order to develop and conclude the love stories of the characters Armida and Rinaldo and Arminia and Tancredi. Camilli’s prefatory letter addresses his dedicatee, Matteo Senarega, who held important political offices in the Republic of Genoa, becoming doge of this maritime power in 1591. Senarega studied law in Louvain and Latin in Venice, where the famous printer Paolo Manuzio was his tutor. Camilli mentions the efforts made by the then chancellor and saviour of the Republic in order to prevent further clashes of civil war between the old nobility (the Doria, Cicala, Spinola, Di Negro, Vivaldi, Cattaneo, Lomellini, Grimaldi families) and the new nobility, whose party had seized the power in the oligarchy. Camilli praises Senarega’s diplomatic skills and tells the reader he learnt from Aldo Manuzio the Younger that the former doge retired to private life, after his successful political manoeuvres. Moreover, Manuzio told Camilli that Senarega enjoys the pleasure of reading poetry, which is the reason why the writer decided to dedicate this work of his to Senarega. Before the first canto begins, Camilli included some celebrative verses dedicated to the great poet Tasso, written by Francesco Melchiori from Oderzo.

 Adams C451; USTC 818083; EDIT16 41545.

LAPINI, Frosino

LAPINI, Frosino. Lettere toscane…in quattro libri

 Bologna, Appresso Anselmo Giaccarelli, 1556.


FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. (viii) 311 (i), (no signature)4 A-T8 V4. Four books bound in one volume. Italic letter, some Roman. Woodcut printer’s device on title page (Hercules fighting Hydra with his club; scene framed within an oval composed by branches of palm and olive tree; motto: “Chi non ci vuol fatica non ci nasca”, that is, anybody who cannot be bothered to toil in life, he would better not be born”, with reference to the Greek hero’s labours). Historiated initials in two size and one initial from a third different set (p. 137, I5), full-page diagram on p. 295, (T4), occasional marginal spotting, browning and ink thumb marks, marginal paper flaws to N4, quire Q with dampstaining throughout outer margin. Occasional early ink underlining and marks on margins, the rare recent pencil signs. Bookseller label on front pastedown (Libreria Antiquaria Angelo Gandolfi, Bologna), bookplate of the French bibliophile, palaeographer and librarian Léon Dorez (1864-1922) on verso of front flyleaf, ms. note of acquisition in French on recto: “Léon Dorez avril 1910”. In contemporary limp vellum, rebacked, a little worn and to cover edges, yet a resistant binding.

First edition of this work in four volumes of the Florentine humanist Frosino Lapini (1520-71). A priest and educator, Lapini was a very prolific writer within the Medicean Court. He translated Latin and Greek classics into Italian vernacular, he undertook intense editorial activity of both classics and modern works, and he engaged with the codification of rhetorical and grammatical rules, and pedagogy. These “Tuscan Letters” are a fitting example in order to understand the intellectual profile of the writer, which was informed by passion for educating and teaching, as well as ambition of being a moral philosopher. As regard to the topics and the style, his work is close to Giovanni della Casa’s Galateo (1558). The dedicatory letter introduces it as a collection of epistles sent to his pupils for real, which the author decided to publish in order to avoid them to be disposed or copied. All the letters appear to have been written in Florence or Bologna between 1553 and 1556. Through the ancient genre of the “familiar letters”, Lapini has the opportunity to illustrate a variety of subjects, stretching from the moral themes of the first book (“On good and its virtue”, “On virtue”, etc.) to properly educational topics, exploring a number of compulsory fields within the Renaissance pedagogical literature: among them, the “Govern of the Prince” (I, pp. 81-104), the “Condition of the Servant” (II, pp. 150-52), the “Strength of Honour” (III, pp. 160-164), “Friendship” (III, from pp. 201-12). Particularly remarkable, divided between book III and IV there is a section on the use of language and its regulation (“About holding one’s tongue”, starting at p. 197, and “On language”, from p. 213 onwards).

CARO, Annibale [with] CASTELVETRO, Ludovico


CARO, Annibale. Apologia de gli Academici di Banchi di Roma, contra messer Lodovico Castelvetro da Modena. In forma d’uno spaccio di maestro Pasquino, con alcune operette incluse, Del Predella, Del Buratto, Di ser Fedocco. … [with] CASTELVETRO, Ludovico, Ragione d’alcune cose segnate nella canzone d’Annibal Caro. Venite a l’ombra de gran gigli d’oro.

 Parma, appresso Seth Viotto, 1573.


8vo, two works in one volume, Roman and Italic letter, head- and tailpieces. 1) ff. (viii) 120, †8 A-P8. First word of title within headpiece, vignette of an unicorn confronting snakes, verso of t-p with large vertical device showing a flintlock for rifles and, above, a broken spear and a knotted rope with motto: “vim vi”. 2) †4A-Y8 Z4 (S2r blank, last three leaves of first quire † with the table of contents bound at the end of the book). Title page with large vignette of a unicorn fighting snakes (one bears wings) within elaborate border and the Farnese family motto: “virtus securitatem parit”, Fletcher’s autograph repeated; verso of t-p with Castelvetro’s device: an owl perched on top of a toppled urn with the Greek inscription “KEKPIKA”, “I have judged” (Tung, 1110). The image closely resembles the figure on the reverse of the Athenian “New Style” tetradrachm (on this, see Amaral, Jr., 388-390). In worn C19th calf over boards, spine richly gilt with lettering on red morocco label. Fresh and clean copies of two interesting second editions.

Annibale Caro (1507-66) was a man of letters who long served the Farnese, the rulers of Parma. In 1553, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese requested that he wrote a song in praise of the royal house of France, which was published with the title Venite all’ombra dei gran gigli d’oro (“Come to the shade of the great golden lilies”). The humanist Ludovico Castelvetro (1505-71), a sympathizer of the Reformation close to the heterodox circle of Modena, who later joined the Italian Protestants emigrated to Switzerland, soon opposed Caro’s song. This originated a twenty-year dispute, which involved aspects of the contemporary debates on language and literary models. Caro initially ignored Castelvetro’s criticism, publishing also a commentary on his song. However, Castelvetro reiterated his negative judgment in his Replica to the commentary and in other short texts, which caused Caro to publish his Apologia in 1558. This work was a violent polemic and attach to Castelvetro not only from a literary point of view, but also from a religious standpoint. Caro questioned the already dubious orthodoxy of his rival. Castelvetro replied in 1559 with his Ragioni. “Then Caro enlisted the support of Benedetto Varchi, who prepared a first draft of a response as early as 1560, but his dialogue, the Ercolano, remained unpublished until 1570. Varchi aimed at discussing broader issues of linguistic relevance, not at a mere refutation of Castelvetro’s arguments. But Castelvetro’s response, Correttione [1572], rejects Varchi’s position and indeed expands the controversy to include his handling of dramatic dialogue as a genre.” Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies: A-J, 2007, p. 406.

This copy has a notable provenance: it is from the library of the Scottish patriot Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun (1655-1716), with his distinctive “Fletcher” signature on both title pages.

EDIT16, n. C-1623 de C-2012. BMC 150 (second work only). Adams C-739 (Only the first work). Gamba, 276 e 1297, notes. Razzolini, p. 88. Cfr. Tiraboschi, Biblioteca Modenese (I, 440 et seq.) and Storia della Letterat. ital. (VII, 1695 et seq.)

ARIOSTO, Lodovico

ARIOSTO, Lodovico. Orlando Furioso

Venice, Appresso Vincenzo Valgrisi, 1573.


4to, two parts in one volume, pp. (xvi) 654 (xxxiv), +8A-Z a-u8. Italic letter, some Roman. Text in double column, explanatory prose. Slightly trimmed. Title within elaborate architectural border with caryatids, masks, grotesques, and angels; imposing timber surmounted by a rich frieze with the profile of the author in apotheosis (“Divino Ludovido Ariosto” inscribed), fashioned as a laureate poet or a Roman emperor. “The portrait is a reverse copy of the Giolito medallion portrait introduced in 1542. The model for these laureate portraits is the profile by Titian.” Mortimer. Small wormhole through centre of t-p and subsequent leaf, no text loss. Friezes with snakes on both caryatids’ plinths with mottos “pro bono malum”, to the left, and “dilexisti malitiam super benignitatem”, to the right. Printer’s device within the portico, repeated on verso of last leaf, showing Moses’s bronze snake around Aaron’s rod, held by two hands and the word “VINCENT” (they will win), a pan with the name of the printer, Vincenzo; imprint in cartouche on lower border; on t-p, Valgrisi’s device appears on an armorial shield supported by putti, motto inscribed on border: “ita exaltari oportet filium hominis / sicut Moyses exaltavit serpentem in deserto” (as the son of man [Jesus] must be glorified, so Moses exalted the snake in the desert). Large decorated and historiated initials, beautiful full-page woodcut illustrations within magnificent border for each canto, descriptive sonnets within superior frames at the start of each poem. Lightly soiled throughout, occasional marginal dampstaining, spotting, and thumb marks. Early ink scribbles, annotations and sketches on the two final leaves, de’ Medici coat of arms drawn on verso of last with some intentional burns in correspondence with three out of the six spheres on the armorial; one burn piercing through the three final leaves. Library bookplate of Edith Mary Webb (“26 Abingdon Villas, Kensington”). In modern quarter calf, marbles paper over thick boards, gilt spine with title and author on red morocco label. A fine copy of this remarkable edition of Ariosto’s masterpiece.

This is a reprint of the Valgrisi edition (first published in 1556) of one of the most important and influential of the illustrated editions of Ariosto of the C16th, with the scholarly notes and explanations of Girolamo Ruscelli; the illustrations were copied and reprinted in many editions throughout the C16th. “Valgrisi’s blocks are the first full page illustrations for Ariosto. He went one step further than Giolito as he had done in his 1552 Boccaccio in an attempt to compete with the Giolito editions. Valgrisi also placed his blocks in the instructive tradition of the Marcolini Dante. The illustration is mentioned on the title page and at the beginning of Ruscelli’s 1556 dedication to Alphonso d’Este, Duke of Ferrara. Ruscelli expalins to the reader the application of the rules of perspective to the multiple scenes in these cuts. The upper part of the block often becomes a map, offering, as Philip Hofer notes, …a tour of the canto by hippogryph. Valgrisi’s artist (probably not Dosso Dossi; see Hofer p. 32) often varied from Giolito’s in his choice of the principal scene for illustration and relegated the Giolitos’s subjects to his background. …Valgrisi’s blocks are printed within borders with figures and grotesques. He was able to use the same blocks without borders in an edition of 1556 for the popular market. There are two different border designs for the illustrations and two smaller cherub borders for the “Argumento” to each Canto”. Mortimer It. vol 1, 29. The great Italian poet Lodovico Ariosto (1474-1533) was on diplomatic and military service before retiring to Ferrara, where he was director of the Este theatre. He was the author of odes, Latin poems, satires, sonnets, and comedies. He first published this work in 1516, which was revised in two further editions the last of which was in 1532. Orlando Furioso became one of the most influential works in Western literature and heavily influenced Spenser’s ‘The Fairie Queene’, which in turn was probably a source for one of the plots in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (Hero/Claudio/Don John). The work was also an influence on Lope de Vega in Spain and Jean de la Fontaine in France.

USTC 810768; EDIT16 2778

CONSALVI, Antonio Maria (Ed.). Orationi

CONSALVI, Antonio Maria (Ed.). Orationi fatte al serenissimo prencipe di Venetia Marino Grimani…

Venice, Presso il Muschio, 1597.


FIRST EDTION. 4to, pp. (12) 171, †4 2†2 A-X4 Y2. Italic letter, a little Roman. Large hand-coloured coat of arms of the Doge Marino Grimani on the title page with the motto “Sydera cordis” (the stars of the heart). Decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. T-p little soiled, marginal dampstaining to the top corners of the initial quires. A single wormhole running throughout most of the book, minimal loss of part of letters. Some modern pencil signs throughout. In contemporary limp vellum, gilt title to spine, hinges are tender and slightly defective. A fine copy.

First and only edition of this collection of Italian vernacular speeches celebrating the election of the patrician Marino Grimani (1532-1605) to the role of Doge, the highest political office in the Republic of Venice. This rich Republic, also known as La Serenissima (the most serene), lasted about a thousands years, from C8th until the end of C18th, when Napoleon Bonaparte suppressed it and annexed part of it to his Northern Italian dominions, while the rest ended under the rule of the Austrians. Venice had been the most powerful mercantile oligarchy on the Adriatic with undisputed hegemony, at least until the middle of the C17th, on the trade routes with the Middle, Central and Far East. Antonio Maria Consalvi was a man of letters flourished between C16th and 17th, who wrote encomiastic works, especially orations and mythological fables. Consalvi had already sung the praises of Grimani in his work published by the same printer of the present collection, Andrea Muschio, on the occasion of Grimani’s election in 1595. This Doge is remembered for his quarrel with the papacy over the latter’s intrusion in the political and spiritual matters of the Republic, as well as the splendid ceremony for the coronation of his wife, the noblewoman Morosina Morosini, who was officially elected Dogaressa of Venice in 1597, the year of publication of the present work. Indeed, this work is a further celebration of the ruling couple of La Serenissima. The dedicatee is Morosina, whom Consalvi calls the “Princess of Venice”. This work includes orations pronounced by several political and ecclesiastical authorities and representatives of the cities of the Republic, and other allied of Venice: Luigi Lana, Ambassador of Brescia; the magistrates Carlo e Nicolò Querini; Francesco Centone, Ambassador of Padua; Giacinto Fornagieri, Ambassador of Rovigo; Ambassador Falconetto, from Chioggia; an homage by the Venetian Monastery of San Zanipolo; Giorgio Piloni, Ambassador of Cividàl di Belluno; the Accademia Veneziana; Mario Frecavalli, Ambassador of Crema; Nicolò Besucio, Ambassador of Bergamo; Nicolò Bolizza, dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Padua; the literate Salustio Lucillo and finally the author Antonio Maria Consalvi. The book terminates with two Latin orations by Aderbale Manerbio, Ambassador of Mantua, and the physician Lucio Scarani, member of the Accademia Veneziana.

Adams C2527.