Il Petrarcha, con l'espositione d'Alessandro Vellutello; di novo ristampato con piu cose utili in varii luoghi aggiunte. Venice, 'al segno della speranza', 1550.

PETRARCH Francesco (1550)


Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.


Large woodcut device to title depicting 'Hope', ornamental initials. 

8vo (160 × 91 mm). [viii], 316, [9]ff (including final blank leaf). Seventeenth-century continental brown morocco, triple blind fillet on covers, spine with five raised bands, richly gilt in compartments, red morocco label lettered 'Petra/cha' over two lines (slightly rubbed and darkened). 

A very attractively bound, mid-16th century Venetian pocket edition of Petrarch. Although common in Italian libraries it is located by USTC in only four North American institutions (Duke, Chicago, Johns Hopkins and the Thomas Fisher Library).
The text of this edition is that first assembled in 1525 by Alessandro Vellutello, the Lucchese editor best known for his 1544 illustrated Dante. It opens with Vellutello's account of Petrarch's life, followed by the Sonetti e Canzoni, the Triomphi and the additional Rime, all with Vellutello's copious marginal glosses.
The Venetian printer 'al segno della speranza' was active from 1544-88, based first in Santa Maria Formosa and then in San Giuliano; Censimento states that up to the 1570s this was most likely Giovanni della Speranza, perhaps to be identified with Giovanni Francesi. Books from this press usually bear the woodcut device depicting Hope, as here, and are almost always in pocket format. In the early nineteenth-century the book was in the possession of Sir John Hope (1781-1853) of Pinkie House, near Musselburgh, who served as MP for Edinburgh for 8 years. Perhaps the 'speranza' device appealed?
Provenance: early continental armorial bookplates to front and rear, with traces of another removed. 19th-century inscription on title-page of the Scottish aristocrat and politician Sir John Hope (11th baronet; 1781-1853) Pinkie House (East Lothian, Scotland).
Slight soiling to lower portion of ff. 3r and 6v, lower fore corner of final blank torn away.
Censimento Edit 16 CNCE 47373. BMSTC (Italian), p.504. 

Stock Code: 239416

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