La Zucca del Doni Fiorentino.

DONI Anton Francesco (1589)


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Woodcut of Polo’s Cerberus device on title page, woodcut headpieces and initials, typographic ornaments. Italic and Roman type.

8vo (150 x 105mm). [40], 279, [1]ff. Eighteenth-century Italian vellum, spine with earlier label and gilt-lettered title, marbled edges (covers slightly bowed).

Venice, Appresso Girolamo Polo, 

An attractive and uncommon later edition of the exceedingly popular La Zucca, or 'The Pumpkin', by churchman, poet, writer, artist, bibliographer, some-time publisher and editor Anton Francesco Doni (1513-74). First published in instalments starting in 1551, the 'Tavola per Sommario' by Doni here lists the variety to be found amongst its contents, including 'chitchat, frapperies, chimera, witticisms, rhymes, castles in the air, icy jests, scalding retorts, mind-bending riddles..'. Both whimsical and borne out of necessity - instalments came, in some cases, as and when Doni needed income - it is a frenetic and bitingly satirical collection of different genres in which mockery of his contemporaries and in particular the Church, was par for the course. It is in his address to readers that Doni elaborates on the metaphor of the pumpkin; 'questa mia zucca in scritto ha fatto come la zucca naturale, che in sei o otto giorni cresce interamente'. This edition was edited by Giovanni Capugnani, whose introduction, Anatomia sopra la Zucca del Doni provides a potted biography of the author.  

Provenance: Bookplate on front paste-down of 'Biblioteca Banzi', with handwritten shelf-mark, above the bookplate of Rosita Levy Pisetzky (1898-1985), Italian fashion historian. 

Slight worming of title page, staining to title page and final leaf, small hole in title page, not touching text; otherwise clean copy in good condition. 

A. Tedesco, 'Anton Francesco Doni', Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies (2006). Adams, D836. (Not in BMSTC). CNCE 17721. 

[OCLC: North America: UCLA, Folger, Brigham Young, National Gallery of Art (DC), Thomas Fisher, Huntington. UK: Cambridge, London, Oxford].

Stock Code: 228124

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