London, South Kensington
9 June 2015
APROSIO, Ludovico (1607-1681) – La Bibliotheca Aprosiana. Passatempo Autumnale di Cornelio Aspasio Antivigilmi tr' Vagabondi di Tabbia dette l'Aggirato. Bologna: Li Minolessi, 1673. 12° (139 x 62mm). Engraved frontispiece by Giov. Mattia Striglioni after Domenico Piola, showing the interior of the Aprosiana. (Small losses in the frontispiece and title, frontispiece trimmed in the foremargin.) 18th-century red morocco gilt, black morocco spine label, edges gilt. Provenance: Giacomo Cenni (title inscription) – Robert Shafto (c.1732-1797, politician; bookplate) – William Adair (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION of this fascinating bio-bibliographical work. Aprosio, a learned Augustinian Eremite, collected a vast library, variously estimated at eight to twelve thousand volumes, which he presented to his native city, Ventimiglia. Aprosio conducted a vast correspondence with scholars, writers, and collectors, soliciting books for his library. The first part of ‘this rare little volume’ (Nicolini), up to p. 261, contains his autobiography and the account of his correspondence. The second part is a partial catalogue of the books, arranged under the first names of the donors in alphabetical order. The purpose of his eccentric order may have been to solicit more gifts. Both parts are replete with biographical and bibliographical notes, many of great length. Although never completed, the catalogue is a valuable source for the history of Italian seventeenth-century letters and illustrators. Nicolini 120; Taylor, pp.5-6.
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