Item #2437 Le Satire et altre Rime piacevole. Ercole BENTIVOGLIO.
Le Satire et altre Rime piacevole.
Le Satire et altre Rime piacevole.
Le Satire et altre Rime piacevole.
The Turner – Dunn – Martini copy

Le Satire et altre Rime piacevole. Venice: Gabriel Giolito de Ferrari, 1546.

Bound with: MORATO, Fulvio Pellegrino (d. 1549). Rimario de tvtte le cadentie di Dante, e Petrarca, raccolte per Pellegrino moretto Mantouano. Nouamente con la gionta ristampato. Venice: Francesco Bindoni & Maffeo Pasini, 1546 (colophon 1547).

2 vols. in one, 8vo (155 x 96 mm). Bentivoglio: [1], 2-27 ff. Woodcut printer’s marks on title and last leaf, two historiated woodcut initials. Morato: [28] ff. Woodcut device on title & last leaf (large cut of an angel leading a child by the hand). Double column. Both works in italic types. (Bentivoglio with light foxing to title and small gluestain on title verso from removal of a bookplate or clipping, faint dampstain in last quire.) 19th-century English Russia leather, sides with outer gilt rule and blind-tooled panel design with central lozenge, board edges with gilt hatching near corners, spine lettered in gold, gilt edges (upper joint restored, lower joint rubbed). Provenance: J. Hunter, 1813, inscription & price note; Robert Samuel Turner (1818-1887), bookplate (sales June & Nov. 1888); George Dunn (1865-1912), letterpress bookplate (sales Sotheby’s 1913-1915); the Luccan-New York bookseller Joseph Martini (signed collation note, accession no. 46 & various bibliographical pencil notes on flyleaves and on verso of second title (some with red underlining).(signed collation note, accession no. 46 & various bibliographical pencil notes on flyleaves and on verso of second title (some with red underlining).***

1) First Edition. The poet Bentivoglio was educated at the court of his uncle Alfonso I d’Este. A friend of Ariosto and a talented musician, his talents lay rather in reflexion and observation than in action, and he viewed the diplomatic charges forced upon him as onerous and a distraction from his literary pursuits. This collection of six satires, each to a different dedicatee, and several other poems, all written around 1530, is considered his most accomplished work.

The first satire mocks older men who fall in love and make a woman the center of their lives. The second is a bitter look at war, specifically atrocities committed by the Spanish during the siege of Florence in 1529. The third satire, dedicated to the well-known physician Antonio Musa, mocks the ignorance of those who declare themselves doctors having read neither Aristotle, Plato, Avicenna or Galen, but only “two recipes and Donato’s writing rules” (due recette et le regole a pena di Donato, f. 7r), and advises the ailing to let nature run its course or to abide by the tried and true remedies of their forebears. In Satire IV Bentivoglio turns a withering gaze on avarice and counsels moderation of one’s material and emotional desires. Satire VI, dedicated to his brother, provides a detailed autobiographical picture of the daily life of a Ferrarese gentleman of leisure, describing a balanced life of study, physical exercise and social diversion; and the final satire returns to the theme of the golden mean.

The other pieces include an 8-page poem in praise of cheese (Del Formaggio), "il primo nutrimento humano," without which no meal is complete. As India has its armed elephants, so beautiful Lombardy has its astounding cheeses (types, smells and savors are enumerated), and "certo'l formaggio è cibo celeste."

Bound second is Morato’s popular dictionary or concordance of rhymes in Dante and Petrarch, the first rhyming dictionary in Italian (first ed. Venice 1529). This edition is scarce (it is not to be confused with another Venice 1546 edition published by the brothers da Sabbio).

The copy passed through several distinguished collections. Robert Samuel Turner was “an extremely refined collector of the Beckford type, a great connoisseur of French, Italian and Spanish books” (de Ricci, English Collectors, 164). George Dunn, of Wooley Hall, Maidenhead, “had a most carefully selected series” of early printed books (ibid., 183), and was one of the first bibliophiles to pay attention to early bindings. Of the great Giuseppe Martini, bookseller, scholar and collector of Italian literature, much has been written (and he was the subject of a colloquium held in Lucca in 2014). His habit of writing notes and comments (in pencil) in the books that passed through his hands makes his books instantly recognizable.

1) EDIT-16 CNCE 5340; Bongi, Giolito 135; BM/STC Italian 84. Cf. DBI 8:615-18.
2) EDIT-16 CNCE 59160; cf. Fowler, Petrarch Collection, p. 375 (other 1546 edition).
Item #2437

Price: $5,200.00