1585 · Mantova
Uncommon first edition: Short stories from a military man turned scholar, known for his Giuoco Piacevole. Kraus aptly notes the "novellae [sic] follow the example of Masuccio and Bandello, in that each is dedicated to a famous personage — and offers moral reflections on the examples provided by the stories, which combine historical facts with romantic fantasy," although the Enciclopedia italiana (online) remarks dryly that some of the subjects "avuto migliore vita artistica da altri scrittori." While the title claims this is a "Prima parte," no more were printed, and indeed these stories were not reprinted until the 18th century.
An artful production, the text is printed in single columns using roman and italic type with head- and tailpieces, decorative initials, small in-text decorations, and a sizable printer's device on the title-page incorporating the phrase "virtute et labore."
Provenance: Small signature in ink of J.E. McKinley, M.D., on title-page along top edge; most recently in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
Kraus, Italia, 192; EDIT16 CNCE 47029; Brunet, III, 1904; Graesse, Trésor de Livres Rares, IV, p. 608. Not in Adams. 20th-century full calf, spine with raised bands double-ruled in gilt with daisy stamps in compartments, covers framed in gilt double-fillets, all edges gilt; spine gently sunned. Light age-toning and staining with the occasional spot; of several different paper stocks with a few uneven fore-edges and later repairs. Provenance markings as above. => Attractive. (Inventory #: 38107)