1789 · Parmae
From the Bodoni press: Sermon given by Ridolfi, chamberlain to Pope Pius VI, on the occasion of the death of Carlos III, King of Spain. The volume is dedicated to Carlos IV, whose father had been a long-standing patron of Bodoni's — and the new king did choose to maintain the printer's pension. The present example is=> an unnoted edition, Brooks 384 describing the 1789 quarto as "4 ccnn. (la prima bianca, la seconda colla figura), VIII, 29 pp.," while the copy at hand is collated as above, with a frontispiece, two preliminary leaves, nine (plus one blank) pages of preface, and 34 pages of sermon. => That is, Bodoni printed TWO quarto editions, each with a different setting of the text!
De Lama notes that only 1325 copies were printed of the quarto edition in total.
The engravings: The frontispiece, depicting the pope conducting the king's funeral service, was engraved by Raphael Morghen after Stefano Tofanelli, as were the headpiece to the dedication (a medallion with the profiles of Charles IV and his queen, surrounded by a cupbearer, a mother with children, and Athena with sword and scales) and the large vignette on p. 1 (another medallion — this one of the deceased — surrounded by a figure holding the pontifical hat and keys of St. Peter, a mourner holding a mirror, and Athena leaning on a pillar, accompanied by a lion). Three more vignettes, one incorporating the abbreviated Spanish royal coat of arms, were engraved by Giovanni Volpato after Tofanelli, and the text is additionally decorated with two engraved decorative capitals (unsigned). => All of the engravings were extremely well accomplished, with de Lama praising their graceful execution.
Provenance: Front pastedown with bookplate of Brian Douglas Stilwell.
Of this quarto edition, WorldCat locates only two U.S. libraries reporting ownership (Huntington, Sacramento Public).
Brooks 384 (for another edition); De Lama, II, 55/56. Modern half red morocco and marbled paper–covered boards, spine with gilt-stamped title and gilt-ruled raised bands. First and last few leaves with light foxing in upper portions. => A very nice copy of this very attractive production, here in an unusual state. (Inventory #: 40139)