22 - 23 March 2005
CAPPONI, Marchese Alessandro Gregorio (1683-1746) -- Alessandro Pompeo BERTI and Domenico GIORGI. Catalogo della Libreria Capponi, o sia di libri italiani del fù Marchese Alessandro Gregorio Capponi, Patrizio Romano... con Annotazioni... e coll' Appendice de' libri latini, delle miscellanee, e dei manoscritti in fine. Rome: Bernabò & Lazzarini, 1747.
4o (275 x 205 mm). Title printed in red and black, engraved title vignette showing the interior of the library. Contemporary boards, entirely uncut (spine partly perished).
Capponi held the official positions of principal supplier to the Apostolic palaces, Privy Chamberlain to the Pope, and president for life of the Vatican Museum. He devoted his life from the age of twenty to book collecting (though he also assembled a fine collection of antiquities and paintings). He was the first Italian book collector who exclusively collected Italian literature from Dante to Moroni, excluding classical Greek and Latin literature. Though his library, in 1734, suffered losses through a fire on the second floor of his palace in Via di Ripetta in Rome, he soon replaced them, adding more books and manuscripts. He left his library, "cosa più gelosa e cara" (i.e. his most delicate and dearest possession) to the Vatican library. The catalogue is mainly the work of Berti (1686-1752), member of the Congregation of the Clerics Regular of the Mother of God, assisted by Giorgi (1690-1747), Prefect of the Biblioteca Angelica, but based on Capponi's preparatory work; it appeared after the library had been transferred to the Vatican Library at the end of 1746; Petzholdt calls it a principal source of the later editions of Haym's "Biblioteca Italiana."
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