London, South Kensington
23 March 2005
PIGNA, Giovanni Battista (ca. 1529-1578). Historia de Principi di Este, Ferrara: Francesco Rossi, 1570. 2° (329 x 233mm). Elaborate wood-engraved armorial device on title (the majority of leaves on stubs or with marginal repairs, faint water-stain throughout, edges of first and last gatherings rolled with some creasing). Contemporary vellum, spine hand-lettered in ink (vellum soiled, some water-stains, hinges cracked, corners rubbed). Provenance: J. B. B. (inscription in a contemporary hand at foot of title) -- Giambattista Morandi (inscription dated 1755 to the front free endpaper). Sold not subject to return.
FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed 'J. B. B. authoris munus', later in the collection of Giambattista Morandi, author of Historia Botanica Practica (Milan 1744). Pigna, historian and poet, was Chancellor of the Duke of Ferrara. The Historia is his principal historical work; it surveys Ferrara's ruling family, one of Italy's oldest and most powerful up to the 16th-century. It is also an important source for the history of Northern Italy and the Medicis from the 4th- to 15th-centuries.
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