Firenze, Amadore Massi et Lorenzo Landi, 1637.
[With :] Relazione delle nozze degli dei favola dell abate Gio : Carlo Coppola […]. Firenze, Amadore Massi et Lorenzo Landi, 1637. Booklet of the show.
4to [231 x 164 mm]: I/ (1) bl. l., (4) ll. including 1 engraved frontispiece, 104 pp. and 7 engraved plates on double page; II/ 50 pp., (1) l., (2) bl. ll. Restorations on the title-page and 3 other ll. Bound in 18th century light-brown calf, restored spine ribbed, red morocco lettering-piece, marbled edges. Corners restored.
Rare first edition of this very beautiful Italian festival book written by Coppola on the occasion of the great duke Ferdinand II and the princess of Urbino’s wedding, complete with the rare booklet of the show. A.M. Nagler, Theater Festivals of the Medici, pp. 162-174; Vinet 612; Vesme & Massar, Della Bella, 918-925; Cicognara 1445; Vinciana 209; Berlin Kat. 4116; BL 17th-Century Italian I, p. 259; Brunet II, 262; Ruggieri 795; Lipperheide 2746.
The superb illustration consists of 1 frontispiece depicting the opening of the theatre and 7 double-page plates engraved by Stefano della Bella after Alfonso Parigi. Those Della Bella’s engravings (the first important work he undertook for the Medici court) are the only testimony left about the sceneries created by Parigi for this remarkable celebration.
“Rare book comprising 8 large figures including the first title engraved by Steph. Della Bella.” (Ruggieri)
« The eight engravings that illustrate this famous stage performance have been engraved by Etienne della Bella, after Alphonse Parigi, the inventor of the decorations and machines reproduced on these plates. Countryside with Florence in the background, – Diana’s forest; – Venus’ gardens; – the sea and heaven, hell; – Vulcan’s forges etc. here is what Della Bella’s light point shows us. The frontispiece (precious information) shows the theatre and the audience before the curtain rising, in the great courtyard of the Pitti Palace. » (Vinet)
A good copy of this rare Italian festival book illustrated by Stefano della Bella.
Schaefer’s copy, bound in modern morocco, was sold for more than $19 000 at the Sotheby’s NY sale on December 8th 1994 (lot 64, knocked down for $17 000), that is to say more than 100 000 fr. about 14 years ago.
Provenance : ex libris John Ord and Harvard College Library (« released »).