12 June 2009
PARMA 1690 -- Four extensively illustrated libretti for operas and ballets commissioned by Ranuccio II Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza, and performed at Parma to celebrate the wedding of his son Prince ODOARDO II FARNESE of Parma (1666-93) and DOROTHEA SOPHIE of Neuburg (1670-1748), daughter of the Elector of the Palatinate. 4o (280 x 160 mm each), bound together with the 2o plates in one volume (350 x 235 mm). (Tears in some plate folds, several other plates slightly cropped or repaired, a few minor stains.) Contemporary Italian paper boards (soiled). Provenance: Lathrop Harper (sold to Gourary 1956).
AURELI, Aurelio & Bernardo SABADINI (composer). Il favore de gli dei. Parma: Ducal Press, 1690. Very large folded etched and engraved plate by CARLO VIRGINIO DRAGHI, 14 full-sheet plates by Antonio Lorenzini, Ludovico Mattioli and other etchers after DOMENICO MAURO AND FERDINANDO GALLI DA BIBBIENA (1657-1743). -- SAME. La gloria d'amore. Same imprint and date. 2 very large folded etched plates by Gasparo, Pietro and Domenico MAURI and 15 full-sheet etchings by Antonio Verga and Sebastiano Bianchi after the Mauri brothers. -- LOTTI, Lotto & Giuseppe TOSI (composer), L'età dell'oro. Piacenza: Bazzachi at the Ducal Press, 1690. 5 folded etched plates by Martial Desbois, Ugolinus, or Carlo Antonio Forti after ALESSANDRO BARATTA or Ferdinando da Bibbiena. -- SAME. L'idea di tutte le perfezioni. Same imprint and date. 6 full-sheet etchings by the same artists.
All four works are of the greatest rarity, but the complete series bound together with the full complement of the spectacular plates is a truly exceptional occurrence. Bibbiena and the Mauro brothers invented the ingenious machines for staging these productions, mounting the second piece on the large body of water recently constructed in the palace grounds. FEDERICO CRIVELLI was responsible for the choreography. Berlin 4137-9; Vinet 591-2; Watanabe 1120, 1122-4; Wotquenne pp. 65, 69, 82, 84.
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