CARACCIO, Antonio, Barone di Corano (1630-1702). L'Imperio Vendicato, poema heroico ... con gli argomenti e chiave dell'allegoria del conte Giulio di Montevecchio e con le dichiarationi historiche del marchese Gregorio Spada. Rome: Giovanni Battista Bussotti, 1679.
4° (233 x 163mm). Cantos in double column. Engraved portrait of Caraccio by F. Spier. Woodcut title device, initials and headpieces. (Some quires browned, lacking frontispiece).
BINDING: contemporary Roman russet morocco for Innocent XI, the papal arms at centre of a double panel of gilt and blind lines, fleurons at corners of inner panel, gilt spine with lettering-piece, marbled pastedowns, gilt edges (joints and corners rubbed).
PROVENANCE: presentation copy from the author to Pope Innocent XI (shelf mark '2K.11.6', slightly later inscription stating that the book was given by the author to Innocent XI in 1679, and has subsequently been the gift of Livio Odescalchi) -- Livio Odescalchi (1652-1713, nephew of Innocent XI; inscription) -- Spencer Compton, VIII Duke of Devonshire (Chatsworth bookplate, sold by Edward Cavendish, the 10th Duke, Christie's, London, 24 February 1982, lot 513).
FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY TO BENEDETTO ODESCALCHI (1611-1689), BOUND WITH HIS ARMS AS POPE INNOCENT XI. A prominent member of one of Italy's most illustrious families, Benedetto Odescalchi was a strong candidate for the papacy after the death of Clement IX on 9 December 1669, and was unanimously elected Pope on 21 September 1676. While he made successful efforts to combat nepotism and reduce the expenses of the Curia, his reign was marked by a continuous and ultimately successful struggle with the absolutism of Louis XIV of France. He also used his influence to bring about the coalition of Austria-Poland-Russia-Venice against the Turks, and financed the allied army. The 20 cantos of Caraccio's poem, which was subsequently enlarged to 40, are an allegorical religious poem on the fourth crusade against the Turks (1202-04), dedicated to the Republic of Venice. According to a later owner's pencil note, the Vatican Catalogue records two copies bound with these arms (p. 130 and pl. 242). Livio Odescalchi, to whom this copy passed, had no children but famously adopted Balthasar Erba, son of his sister Lucrezia, as his heir on the condition that he adopt his name. BLSTC, 17th-century Italian I, p. 186.