Toscolano, Alessandro dei Paganini 5 January 1521.
16mo (121 x 76 mm.). 272,  leaves. PRINTED IN TWO SIZES OF PAGANINI’S CHARACTERISTIC TYPES — SMALL UPRIGHT ITALICS WITH ROMAN AND GOTHIC ELEMENTS (larger 57/8 mm. for 20 lines; Balsamo & Tinto’s Nuovo Corsivo 1c), headlines in roman majuscules, shoulder notes in his smallest font (47; Nuovo Corsivo 1a), white-line woodcut initial, FIFTY-FOUR FULL-PAGE STRONGLY MODELLED WOODCUTS (100/2 x 56/8 mm.).
Mid-19th century crushed blind-ruled red morocco (rubbed), gilt-lettered spine, all edges gilt, blue silk marker.
FIRST COMPLETE EDITION AND THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF THESE WONDERFULLY BURLESQUE WOODCUTS. THIS WORK ESTABLISHED THE NEW LITERARY GENRE OF MACARONICS. Here for the first time, the final eight cantos include Zanitonella (short realistic poems on rural life) and Moschæa (Battle of Flies and Ants). Rabelais placed this in the imaginary library of St. Victor.
The longest and most celebrated piece relates the adventures of Baldus (a prince raised a peasant) and his friends the giant Fracasso, the rogue Cingar and the dog-man Falchetto, who all end up in a giant pumpkin, where poets, philosophers and other liars suffer diabolic dentistry.
Though the comic literary practice of mixing Latin words with Italian words with Latin inflections was popular among students at Padua University, Folengo raised it to an art and composed the first significant works in the genre. The book’s atypically square type area often results in severe cropping of the marginal notes, which are virtually unscathed in this copy. In good condition (title soiled, a couple of minor spots).
¶Sander, Le Livre à figure italien…jusqu’à 1530 2832; The Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection. A Catalog 803; Brunet II: 1317 “much sought after…very difficult to find” (tr.); Nuovo, Alessandro Paganino (1509-1538) 51; Elie, “Alessandro dei Paganini, de Brescia, imprimeur à Venise puis à Toscolano del 1513 à 1533” in Gutenberg Jahrbuch 1967 99-103 no. 18; Balsamo & Tinto, Origini del corsivo nella tipografia italiana del Cinquecento “I Corsivi dei Paganini” 79-101, 79 “essentially independent models, never copied” (tr.), 86 & fig. 24.