Parma, Co’tipi Bodoniani, 1795. 4to, 54 leaves, some edges untrimmed. With an engraved title-page and 40 plates printed in sepia, with black ornamental borders, by Jose Teixeira Barreta. Early stiff vellum, backstrip gilt with red and black labels, gilt edges, a fine copy in a modern cloth box. First Bodoni edition, and one of a few Bodoni imprints issued with illustrations (the others mostly being fête books). This copy has large margins and is printed on fine paper with the plates in delicate shades of sepia -- it may be one of 12 copies that Brooks and de Lama refer to as ‘colored’. De Lama notes copies with plates printed in black, plates “medesimi coloriti all’etrusca” and (this copy) “altri coi rami stampati in rosso pallido entro un arabesco nero”. Updike, Printing Types, vol. 2, page 165 etc. notes that Bodoni’s earlier books (such as this) are to be preferred both for their fine design and presswork, for which he was justly renowned. This work, a collection of poems, is printed in roman and italic; each poem is illustrated with an allegorical engraving, contained in an elaborate border (all different) printed in black -- in a simple neo-Classical style. Barreta (Benezit gives Bareto) was a Portuguese Benedictine monk whose artistic skills were renowned -- in addition to these engravings he executed a number of full-scale paintings at his monastery which still survive. A second edition (without the plates) appeared in 1804. Brooks 600. De Lama II, 107/8. Weiss Catalog 11 (1926) #249 (but of the four copies, none with this configuration of illustrations in russet and borders in black). (Inventory #: 107250)
Bibles, theology and religion, Bindings, Early & Fine Printing, Illustrated Books, William Blake & His Circle, Illuminated Manuscripts, Private Press Books, T.F. Dibdin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Children's Books 1600-1950
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