12 November 2008,
London, King Street
Price realised GBP 4,375
Estimate GBP 3,500 - GBP 4,500
Narrazione delle solenni reali feste fatte celebrare in Napoli da sua maesté il Re delle Due Sicilie Carlo Infante di Spagna ... per la nascita del suo primogenio Filippo real Principe delle Due Sicilie. Naples: [Stamperia Reale], 1749.
Large 2° (640 x 430mm). Engraved frontispiece by Carlo Gregori, engraved title vignette, 15 double-page plates by Giuseppe Vasi, Nicolas Jardin, Angelo Guiducci, Felice Polanzani and Luigi le Lorrain after Vincenzo dal Ré, two folding. Engraved headpiece and opening initial. (Plates 3 and 6 with small repairs at fold, plates 14 and 15 slightly soiled and repaired at corners, plate 15 with guard renewed, text leaves with a few small corner repairs.) 20th-century Italian vellum and blue boards.
LARGE-PAPER COPY of this sumptuous festival book. The birth of Philip 'the mad' of Sicily on 13 June 1747 was followed by a festival lasting from 4-19 November under the direction of Vincenzo dal Ré. The fortnight featured opera, dramatic performances, concerts, fireworks, masked and gala balls continuing until sunrise, and banquets, 'Spettacoli, de' quali sarà eterna la rimembranza, non solo in Napoli, ma nel mondo tutto" (p. 16). The plates are noteworthy for their representations of the Royal Palace and the Teatro San Carlo which was divided into two parts for nobles and plebeians. They also included "Cuccagna" ("Cockaigne") which delighted the crowds with its wine fountain and its grotto covered in cheese and meat to look like rusticated stone. According to the "Narrazione", the fireworks were unsurpassed, and the final plate is a sectional elevation of the fireworks machine. Dal Ré's original drawings are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Berlin Kat. calls for 16 text leaves as in this copy while Lipperheide and Vinet call for 20. Berlin Kat. 3078; Cicognara 1515; Lipperheide 2765; Vinet 604.
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