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RUSCONI, Giovanni Antonio (1520?--1587)
[Della architettura. 1590]
Della architettvra di Gio. Antonio Rvsconi, con centosessanta figure dissegnate dal medesimo, secondo i precetti di Vitruuio, e con chiarezza, e breuità dichiarate libri dieci. ...
In Venetia appresso i Gioliti, 1590.
[12], 143, [1] p. : wdcut illus. ; 29.4 cm. (2°)

First edition. Rusconi, a Venetian architect and interior designer, had been working on a translation of Vitruvius illustrated by woodcuts prepared in the studio of the printer Gabriel Giolito de' Ferrari as early as the 1520s, but the project was apparently abandoned when a rival translation was undertaken by Daniele Barbaro and eventually published in 1556 (q.v.). After the deaths of Giolito and Rusconi, Giolito's heirs commissioned a short text to accompany publication of some of the blocks, possibly based on Rusconi's original text (now lost). A second edition with reset letterpress and a new chapter on sundials was issued in 1660 (q.v.). The title and imprint are printed in an elaborate woodcut frame; the verso of the title-leaf has a second title beginning 'Dell'Architettvra Di Giovannantonio Rvsconi Libri Dieci. ...'. The final leaf exists in two states: one with the verso blank, the other (as here) with a list of errata. BAL, Early printed books, no. 2880.

Copy Notes The front paste-down is inscribed in ink in a C18th hand 'The First Edition, a scarce and costly book/ The Editions that followed these are not much/ valued in comparison of the first, which is/ called in Porcacchi's index of the/ [?Collona] books/ Gioja Preziosa, a rare jewell.' This note is signed Baretti, possibly the writer Giuseppe Marc'Antonio Baretti (1719--1789) whose publications such as An account of the manners and customs of Italy (London 1768, q.v.) and A dictionary of the English and Italian languages (new ed. London 1778, q.v.) played an important role in rekindling interest in the Italian language and literature. The title-plate is inscribed in ink Cha: Freebairn; the rear paste-down inscribed in ink with variations on the signature of Alex W. Barl[ow?].

Binding C17th French (?) mottled calf, gilt double-rule borders, spine gilt-tooled with crosses and griffons in alternate spine compartments. Both covers with the gilt-stamped arms of Louis-Treslon-Cauchon Hesselin (d. 1662).

Reference Number 6529


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