CALOPRESE, Gregorio (1654-1715). Lettura sopra la concione di Marfisa a Carlo Magno, contenuta nel Furioso al canto trentesim'ottavo. Part I [all published]. Naples: Antonio Bulifon, 1691.
4° (229 x 160mm). Two large woodcut historiated initials, woodcut head- and tailpieces. (Title and preliminaries slightly browned at margins, quire D browned.)
BINDING: early 18th-century Roman morocco in gilt and silver for Clement XI, wide frame of fillets and roll-tools blocked with the papal arms, pointillé tooling around the shield and built up at corners, the remaining ground semé with stars, gilt and silver pointillé work on spine, marbled pastedowns, gilt and gauffeured edges (silver oxydised, joints rubbed).
PROVENANCE: Pope Clement XI (binding, later stamp on title and press mark 'JJ. 214 1. G.XV.A8', the original shelf mark crossed through and replaced by 'HH129', contemporary ms slip at end stating that a projected second part was not printed).
Giovanni Francesco Albani (1649-1721), the intellectually-gifted descendant of a noble Umbrian family, had himself become known as an author at the age of eighteen, 'translating from the Greek into elegant Latin.' Elected to the papacy on 23 November 1700 at the remarkably young age of 51, he was one of the great Popes, and among many achievements enriched the Vatican library with manuscript treasures collected in Syria and Egypt by Joseph Simeon Assemani. 'A passionate bibliophile,' he also 'bought en bloc the large and splendid collection of books of Cassiano dal Pozzo and a smaller collection of a Canon, Giovanni Paolo Murra.' The library was entailed to Cardinal Alessandro Albani (1692-1779), the Pope's youngest nephew, and partly housed in Rome, partly in Urbino. It was the books in Rome which were 'stamped and pressmarked after the Pope's death, between 1725 and 1752.' In 1798, the library, now the property of Cardinal Gianfrancesco Albani the younger (1720-1803), was sequestered by the French directory and dispersed (see Anthony Hobson, Apollo and Pegasus, Amsterdam, 1975, pp. 119-120).
FIRST EDITION. Only the first of four projected parts of this poetical discourse, said to have been delivered 'nell'Accademia degl' INFURIATI di Napoli nell'anno 1690,' were published and it ends with a catch-word. BLSTC 17th-century Italian I, p. 170.