• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2178

    Splendid Ceremonies the Paul and Marianne Gourary Collection of Illustrated Fête Books

    12 June 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 101

    FLORENCE 1579 -- GUALTEROTTI, Raffaello (1543-1638). Feste nelle nozze Del Serenissimo Don Francesco Medici Gran Duca di Toscana; Et della Sereniss. sua Consorte la Sig. Bianca Cappello. Florence: Filippo and Jacopo Giunta, 1579.

    Price Realised  

    FLORENCE 1579 -- GUALTEROTTI, Raffaello (1543-1638). Feste nelle nozze Del Serenissimo Don Francesco Medici Gran Duca di Toscana; Et della Sereniss. sua Consorte la Sig. Bianca Cappello. Florence: Filippo and Jacopo Giunta, 1579.

    2 parts in one, 4o (225 x 155 mm). Collation: A-G4 H2, 16 plates etched by ACCURSIO BALDI and BASTIANO MARSILI after designs by GUALTEROTTI and PRINTED IN BISTRE (7) AND CHARTREUSE (9), lettered A-B + C-P (plate F in second state); Aa-Cc4 (second setting of the outer forme of sheet Bb). Woodcut architectural title-border in second state, incorporating the Medici arms and a view of Florence, printers' woodcut device of the Medici-Cappello arms at the end of part 1, woodcut historiated initials. (Marginal foxing, plate A shaved at right edge, plate + cropped at right edge but image unaffected, plate I shaved at left edge, short tear in plate N mended, plate P faintly inked.) 20th-century fawn quarter morocco. Provenance: Prince Liechtenstein Library, acquired in 1949 by; H.P. Kraus (cat. 66, no. 282, sold to Paul Gourary 1954).

    FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION (a briefer, unillustrated description was published earlier but is apparently no longer extant), THE RAREST ISSUE WITH ALL PLATES PRINTED IN COLOR (red or green). Other issues have the etchings in black (see next lot) or a combination of black and color plates. The pageant and entertainments, culminating in a tournament, officially celebrated the second marriage of FRANCESCO I of Tuscany (1541-1587), following the death of his first wife Joanna of Austria, to his long-time mistress, BIANCA CAPPELLO of Venice (1548-1587), which had been secretly concluded the year before the announcement and these festivities. The plates document the progress of the spectacle, the courtyard of the Palazzo Pitti (with a cartouche stating the three Florentine artists' names), the elaborately decorated competing carriages and galleys, machinery, and costumed actors. The judges awarded the first prize to the Marittima Pompa show (plate N). The day before the great Sbarra the coronation of the new Grand Duchess had taken place in the Sala del Consiglio. A full account of the events is given by A.M. Nagler, Theatre Festivals of the Medici (Yale UP 1964) ch. 4. Adams G-1355; Berlin 3034; Cicognara 1388; Harvard/Mortimer Italian 223; Lipperheide Si 10; Ruggieri 727; Vinet 605.


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766