(Venetia: Appresso Dominico de' Franceschi [but Giovanni Battista Pasquali], 1570 [i.e., ca. 1768]). 365 x 267 mm. (14 3/8 x 10 1/2"). 2 p.l., 63,  pp.;  leaf (title), 76 pp.;  leaves, 42 pp.,  leaves;  leaf (title), 131,  pp.
AN ORIGINAL 18TH CENTURY BINDING OF FLEXIBLE TEXTURED PAPER BOARDS BACKED WITH DAUBED PAPER, the volume contained in a modern wooden folding box covered in patterned paper and with a gilt-stamped cloth back. With engraved title pages and 218 ARCHITECTURAL ENGRAVINGS, 158 OF THEM FULL-PAGE. Fowler 232. Covers with large, faint water spots, lower cover with one-inch tear to fore edge, paper split over one spine band, general wear to spine and extremities, but the insubstantial original paper binding remarkably solid and certainly pleasing as an unlikely survival. Faint dampstains to lower third of leaves in final gathering and to inner margin of parts of books III and IV, occasional minor marginal stains, mild foxing, or thumbing, but an extremely bright and fresh copy with wide margins.
This is a famous facsimile of an early edition of Palladio's widely influential work on architecture, offered here in a most intriguing binding. Andrea Palladio (1508-80) was one of the greatest Renaissance architects, and his influence is felt to the present day. According to Britannica, Palladio's "palaces and villas were imitated for 400 years all over the Western world; he was the first architect to systematize the plan of a house and consistently to use the ancient Greco-Roman temple front as a portico, or roofed porch supported by columns (this was probably his most imitated architectural feature), and finally, in his 'I quattro libri dell'architettura,' he produced a treatise on architecture that, in popularizing classical decorative details, was possibly the most influential architectural pattern book ever printed." The brain child of architectural historian Tommaso Temmanza and the British Consul in Venice, Joseph Smith (1673/4?-1770), the present edition is universally recognized for its very accurate reproduction of the first printing of 1570, with especially fine engraved versions of the original woodcuts. A famous collector and connoisseur whose library of early printed books was a frequent stop on the Grand Tour of the Continent, Smith partnered with printer G. B. Pasquali to issue limited editions of fine replica copies of great works in his collection. Perhaps he did this out of an altruistic desire to make the masterpieces available to others, or perhaps his motivation had more to do with the financial reversals he suffered from bank failures in England. Goethe, a great admirer of Palladio, acquired a copy of Smith's edition on his Italian tour, describing it as "not actually the first edition, but a very conscientious copy, edited by an Englishman. One must concede to the English that they have always known how to appreciate what is good." He even visited Smith's grave on the Lido, noting "to him I owe my copy of Palladio, and I offered up a grateful prayer." The binding here is particularly noteworthy: to begin with, 18th century books bound in paper are not especially common, and it is next to impossible to imagine that an original paper binding like this one would survive intact on a visually engaging large folio architectural book that invites frequent use. (ST11980)
Add to Cart Price: $12,500.00
PJP Catalog: 71.055