GALLESIO, Giorgio (1772-1839). Pomona Italiana, ossia trattato degli alberi fruttiferi. Pisa: Niccoló Capurro, 1817-1839.
2 volumes bound in 3, 2° (480 x 320 mm). 160 hand-coloured plates, printed in colour and finished by hand, "Tableau Synoptique du Genre Citrus" at beginning of vol. I. (Light spotting and occasional browning to plates.) Contemporary patterned cloth, backed in green calf, spines gilt, vellum corner tips (some splitting to joints, corners bumped).
THE FINEST ITALIAN WORK ON FRUITS, remarkable for colouring which is at once delicate and intense. The plates appeared in 41 parts, and Domenico del Pino, Antonio Serantoni and Isabella Bozzolini were among as many as twenty artists responsible for the designs. An almost equal number of engravers were involved, Giuseppe Pera, Giuseppe Carocci, Tommaso Nasi and Francesco Corsi being well represented. Sandra Raphael notes that "before Gallesio began this enormous work ... he had already published his Traité du Citrus, which explains the reason for the lack of oranges and lemons in a catalogue of Italian fruit". There was, nevertheless, a change of emphasis in this southerly pomona. It contains only eight apples, a dozen cherries, six apricots and a handful of more exotic fruits. But there are twenty-two figs, the same number of pears, twenty-six grapes and thirty-three peaches. A lawyer and a civil servant as well as a botanist, Gallesio conducted experiments in his fruit garden in Savona later quoted by Charles Darwin to illustrate the development of varieties. Although he died before completion of this work, he had left pre-eminent contributions to the study of Italian fruit. Dunthorne 118: "a very fine work"; Great Flower Books pp. 92-95; Oak Spring Pomona 52; Nissen BBI 683. (3)