1546 · Parigi
First edition of Alamanni's "famous didactic poem on the care of fields and gardens" (Schreiber, Estiennes), inspired by Virgil's Georgics. The author was a Florentine-born humanist, poet, and diplomat who spent much of his life in the service of Francis I and Henry II of France, and who — possibly as a peace offering for having once participated in a conspiracy against her father — dedicated the present work to the Dauphine, Catherine de' Medici.
Set in Simon de Colines's Great Primer Chancery Italic, this poetic tribute to agriculture is => the only work Estienne printed in Italian. Schreiber notes that the tallest copy he had seen measured 8 1/4", with the current example coming very close to that; the dedication, errata, and privilege are all present here.
Provenance: Front pastedown with bookplates of Fratelli Salimbeni (with shelving number) and of "G.P.C." (with woodcut image of Pegasus and motto "Nec adversa retorquent"); front fly-leaf with early inked annotation "H.III.161" and lined-through (still partially legible) inscription "Bibliotheque Vallicellane"; title-page with early inked inscription "Petri Salvati - V." surrounding printer's vignette, and obscured inscription in lower portion. Later in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
Adams A409; Brunet, I, 125; Renouard, Estienne, 68:22; Schreiber, Estiennes, 88. Later vellum, spine with gilt-stamped red leather title-label and gilt-stamped blue leather publication label; vellum with minimal dust-soiling and traces of wear to extremities, two bottom-most spine compartments with later replacement (blank) vellum "labels," one now starting to peel slightly. All edges stained blue. Bookplates and inscriptions as above; front free endpaper with later pencilled annotations (one giving incorrect Adams reference). One early inked marginal annotation. Pages gently age-toned, with intermittent minor foxing to margins; final leaf with small paper flaws in lower margin. => An attractive copy of an interesting and significant volume. (Inventory #: 37916)