Specchio Di Esopo. Pandolfo COLLENUCCIO.
Specchio Di Esopo.

Specchio Di Esopo.

Rome, Ludovico degli Arrighi 1526.

4to. [ii], [30]p. PRINTED IN ARRIGHI’S LARGEST CURSIVE TYPE (Casamassima IV, 142/3), his smallest cursive type used for the colophon, ROMAN FOR TEXT MAJUSCULES, title in a large open roman.

Patterned wrappers (worn).

First Edition. A moral fable set as imaginary dialog, AESOP'S MIRROR “ANTICIPATES CASTIGLIONE” (D’Ascia). The work treats the qualities, particularly wit and humor, necessary to the courtier. The interlocutors are Aesop (representing the author), Hercules, Plautus, Lucian and the king. The banter of the dwarf and the strongman dominates until they reach the palace, where the latter’s influence gains access and the other three characters join the conversation. It could, of course, be staged. Diplomat, administrator and poet, Collenuccio died in prison, strangled. This, one of his most felicitous literary productions, was posthumously published by his son.
          Entirely independent of Aldine models, Arrighi’s cursive fonts shaped the appearance of books printed in central and northern Italy to the 1570s, particularly through the publications of Blado and his heirs, Calvo, Cantigalli, Janiculo and the Dorico.
          Elegant and innovative, this quarto figures among a handful of books — at most five — printed in Arrighi’s “sharp” cursive font, used only briefly in 1526. Highly stylized, its letter forms differ dramatically from those of his 1524-25 types and those of his final font, in service from October 1526 to June 1527. For instance, we here find high contrast thick and thin strokes, strong serifs on ascenders and descenders, the “antique” g, a flamboyant z, an upright f, the still more conspicuous ff ligature, and, most strikingly, ROMAN MAJUSCULES. Balsamo and Tinto call this font “more virile” and Morison “a thoroughly professional design”. I have identified two other examples in the U.S. In good condition, a large copy (scattered light foxing).
¶Casamassima, “I disegni di caratteri di Ludovico degli Arrighi Vicentino” in Gutenberg Jahrbuch 1963 24-36 & 34,23 & fig. 5; Casamassima, “Ancora su Ludovico Degli Arrighi Vicentino” in GJ 1965 35-42 & 41,31; Balsamo & Tinto, Origini del corsivo nella tipografia italiana del Cinquecento cap. 1 “Ludovico degli Arrighi detto Vicentino” 127-47 & fig. 54; Morison, Early Italian Writing Books: Renaissance to Baroque ed. Barker 56 & 168; D’Ascia, “Humanistic Culture and Literary Invention in Ferrara at the Time of the Dossi” in Dosso’s Fate: Painting and Court Culture in Renaissance Italy ed. Ciammitti et al. 309-32; EDIT16 CNCE 12772.

Item #10889

Price: $6,800.00