SGRILLI, Bernardo Sansone (ca. 1733-1755). Descrizione della regia villa, fontane, e fabbriche di Pratolino. Florence: Stamperia Granducale. Per i Tartini, e Franchi, 1742.
2° (356 x 250mm). Collation: A8 B6. Two etched initials, one head- and one tailpiece, 6 etched double-page views by Stefano della Bella, 5 engraved plans (3 folding, 2 double-page) and one double-page architectural elevation by Sgrilli. Contemporary vellum. Provenance: Sir George Strickland Bt. (Boynton, Yorkshire, armorial bookplate).
A FINE COPY of a work including an important series of plates by Della Bella, all 2nd or 3rd states with numbers. The plates are important not least because the original villa and grounds were destroyed by explosives, on the orders of Grand Duke Ferdinand III of Lorraine in 1822. The villa and gardens were originally created as a summer retreat for Grand Duke Francesco de Medici and his wife Bianca Capello by Bernardo Buontalenti. He started work on the site in 1569 and installed automata, grottoes in which mythological tableaux appeared and vanished, water games both on the ground floor of the villa and in the gardens where visitors could be surprised by a sudden drenching, or pass through an avenue of water jets without feeling any ill effects. Today, the only significant fragment to remain is the gigantic figure of Appennino by Giovanni Bologna. Plate 1 has engraved text added, an issue not recorded by De Vesme 838-843; Berlin Kat. 2699.