22 - 23 March 2005
COLETI, Giovanni Antonio (d.1818). Catalogo delle storie particolari civili ed ecclesiastiche delle Città e de'Loughi d'Italia, le quali si trovano nella domestica Libreria dei Fratelli Coleti in Vinegia. Venice: Stamperia degli Stessi [i.e. G.A. & Sebastiano Coleti], 1779.
4o (258 x 194 mm). (Some pale spotting.) Original plain paper boards, uncut (spine defective). Provenance: "Lud. Lalanne" (near contemporary inscription on flyleaf).
The catalogue of this celebrated collection of the histories of the cities, towns and small localities of Italy is the first of its kind. Arranged alphabetically under the localities, it has an extensive index of authors. The Coleti were a family of printers and booksellers who also produced excellent scholars: DBI counts the Tipografia Coletina among the most important in Venice during the eighteenth century. Giovanni Antonio was the compiler of the catalogue, and alone signed the preface, relates in it that the collection was begun by the brothers' uncle, the well-known scholar Abate Nicolò (1681-1765) and built up over more than thirty years, until it comprised 2,366 volumes. In 1834 the heirs of the Coleti Brothers sold the "richissima raccolta" to the bookseller Gaetano Canciano who in turn sold it to "una casa patrizia inglese" (Ottino & Fumagalli, No. 4,044). A note in French on a flyleaf reveals the buyer: Sir Richard Rawlinson Vyvyan, eighth Baronet (1800-1879), of Trelowarren, Cornwall, a Tory politician who had formed "a most choice library" (DNB). Brunet I:630 ("Ouvrage importante pour la bibliographie des historiens de l'Italie"); Cicogna 4,344; Nicolini, No. 88 (with full-page reproduction of the title); Taylor, p. 136 ("the rare catalogue"). (2)
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