22 - 23 March 2005
IMPERIALI, Guiseppe Renata, Cardinal (1651-1737) -- Giusto FONTANINI (1666-1736). Bibliothecae Josephi Renati Imperialis, Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Diaconi, Cardinalis... catalogus secundum auctorum cognomina ordine alphabetico dispositus una cum altero catalogo scientiarum & atrium. Rome: Francesco Gonzaga, 1711.
2o (348 x 226 mm). Engraved arms on title. (Some spotting throughout.) Contemporary Italian full vellum, dark red lettering piece, sprinkled edges (covers bowed, few splits along joints, few losses at ends of spine). Provenance: Parma, Jesuit Seminary (faint inscription on title).
The very fine catalogue of the vast library of some 24,000 works, one of the most important Italian seventeenth century cardinalate libraries. Imperiali was to miss the papacy by one conclave vote in 1730. He built the collection on the foundation of the library of his uncle, Cardinal Lorenzo Imperiali (d. 1673) and augmented it by the acquisition of major portions of the large library of another Cardinal, Jean Walter de Sluse (1627-1687) whose catalogue, by F. Desaine, appeared posthumously in 1690. He also added to it the library of Marcello Severolo, listed in the Appendix on pp. 537-582. Fontanini, the eminent scholar, is said to have worked on the catalogue for ten years; it is noteworthy for containing both an alphabetical and a subject index (pp. 583-738). Forty years later Thomas Ruddiman used it as a model for his catalogue of the Advocates' Library in Edinburgh. Imperiali's testamentary instruction to make his library accessible to the public was ignored by his heirs: the books on canon law were sold by auction in Rome in 1796; other sections were acquired by Pope Pius VI and by Grand Duke Ferdinand III of Tuscany. Pollard & Ehrman 332; Taylor, pp.108 and 247.
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
In the late 19th century Emile Gallé’s vibrant glassware helped to transform ideas of what art could be. Specialist Carina Villinger shares her insights
Highlights from Adventurous Spirit, a private collection sold across two auctions in December and February to benefit a charitable foundation