Due orazioni in lingua toscana. Accusa contra Leon secretario, di secreti rilevati. Difesa. Parma: S. Viotto, 1 January 1547. (With:) Oratione de la pace. Rome: A. Blado, March 1534.

TOLOMEI Claudio (1547)


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Woodcut impresa on title page of the Oratione, woodcut initials. 

2 works in one vol. 4to (205 x 145mm.). ff. [24]; [44]. Contemporary vellum backed in the 18th century with marbled paper, title lettered along spine (a little wear to spine).

Rare first edition dedicated to Giovanni Battista Grimaldi, collector of Apollo and Pegasus bindings.

The Due orazioni are the second publication of Tolomei in 1547. Written in 1544 while Tolomei was on a visit to Capodimonte, the dedication dated 20 Rome 1544, is to Giovanni Battista Grimaldi, and in it refers to the two speeches as 'scherzi': 'if they please you as much as they pleased those who heard them, to hear it will make me doubly delighted; if they don't please you, please pretend that they do'. The two elements, the accusation and the defence, are cast in Ciceronian form, with breaks for the reading of witness statements etc. 'Leon the secretary' who stands accused is perhaps a fictitious figure.

Giovanni Battista Grimaldi (1524- c. 1612) is, of course, the collector for whom were made the Apollo and Pegasus bindings, so long described as 'Canevari' bindings until the true identity of the collector was brilliantly discovered by Dr. Anthony Hobson ( Apollo and Pegasus An enquiry into the formation and dispersal of a Renaissance library (1975) esp. pp. 107-115.

The book was printed at Parma by Sette Viotto at the instigation of the editor of Tolomei's letters , Fabio Benvoglienti, and is set in an Arrighiesque italic. On the verso of the last leaf is a strange alphabetic rebus ' the printer's trap'. 'According to what Tolomei told Grimaldi in a letter of 12 May 1547 (printed Hobson p. 203) this 'quadrangolo' puzzled him, and was the printer's idea 'di capo suo' 'to catch thieves red-handed' (Hobson p. 115). Perhaps it was intended that if anyone tried to pirate the work, he might be caught out by not copying the arrangement of letters exactly.

The speech on peace addressed to Pope Clement VII following the Treaty of Cambrai in 1529 has Tolomei urging the Pope to use his influence with the Holy Roman Emperor in order to make peace with France and unite against the Turks. The six page preface is by the poet Giovanni Guidiccioni (1500-4) . The type used by Blado is Arrighi's italic, which had been used in 1539 by Blado for Versi, et regole de la nuova poesia Toscana with which Toloemi was again closely associated. On the title-page is an impresa of the altar of Concordia Augusta taken from a Roman coin.

Some burn marks on the fore-edge towards end of first work (not affecting text) and last leaf of prelims foxed in outer margin.

Censimento 16 39071 and 24036.

Stock Code: 46886

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