EMBROIDERY -- Nova esposizione de recami et dessegni all molto illustre Signora Ippolita Manfredi. Venice: Giacomo Antonio Somascho, n.d. [ca. 1602-12].
8° (216 x 140mm). Letterpress title and 25 woodcuts of embroidery designs, each measuring 159 x 89mm., most leaves ruled in red. The leaves, signed A2-8, originally formed one quire of 8 leaves, with A1.8 acting as a wrapper, but they are now bound as six 2-leaf quires within A1.8 (now separated). (Very light spotting on title.) 19th-century vellum-backed marbled paper boards. Provenance: late-18th-century note in German (trimmed).
AN APPARENTLY UNRECORDED book of embroidery and lace patterns, dedicated to Ippolita Manfredi. The high status accorded embroidery in Renaissance Italy is demonstrated by the number of successful artists who produced, in addition to paintings, designs for embroidery and lace. According to Vasari, Pierino del Vaga created needlework designs, and Cesare Vecellio, cousin of Titian, produced one of the most important pattern books. Two designs in the present unrecorded book appear to derive from a pattern in Vecellio's Corona delle nobili et virtuose donne (1591): the third and fourth patterns each incorporate the musical-instrument design by Vecellio (illustrated by Lotz, plate 83:163). It is possible that these woodcut patterns were printed as proofs, since they are printed on wastepaper formerly used as a calendar, which Somascho (active 1602-12) then bound up with a printed title. Not in the British Library; not in Lotz.