Item #4047 Stanze sulla caccia de’ grilli, con una canzonetta per la morte di un grillo. Gioacchino AVESANI.
Binding as metaphor

Stanze sulla caccia de’ grilli, con una canzonetta per la morte di un grillo. Verona: Guiliari, 1796.

8vo (214 x 146 mm). 28 pp. Contemporary wrappers of woodblock-printed paper over thin flexible pasteboards, the paper with overall zigzag design in red and pale green (fading to backstrip and corners rubbed). ***

An heroic poem on cricket extermination. Avesani taught rhetoric at the University of Verona from 1755 until he died. One of the more skillful productions during the vogue in Italy for elevated verses on mundane subjects, Avesani’s cricket poem was previously published in Parma in 1795, and appeared later under the title La Grilleide. I locate no copies of any edition in American libraries.

The jazzy block-printed stiff paper wrappers, whose overlapping zigzags create a three-dimensional optical illusion, typify the creativity of Italian dominotiers, that is, producers of woodblock-printed decorative papers. Cataloguers have often attributed all block-printed Italian papers to the Remondini firm of Bassano, who indeed dominated Italian decorative paper production in the last quarter of the eighteenth century and into the nineteenth century, and the present Verona imprint may well have been produced by them, but there were a number of smaller Italian firms producing highly varied block-printed paper, including in Bologna and Parma, most of which did not sign their work. Cf. Kopylov, Papiers dominotés italiens (Paris: Editions des Cendres, 2012).
Item #4047

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