1574 Gli Ornamenti Delle Donne (Women's Ornaments), Giovanni Marinello. Beauty and personal care techniques of 16th century Venice.


An early work on personal care and beauty for women; noted for it's unapologetic advancement of personal beauty in a pious age, and it's use of the "vulgar" Italian language, rather than the academic Latin, allowing for greater readership among women of the time.

"A practical manual of hygiene and beauty, from bleaching hair and whitening teeth to removing bodily odors. It is remarkable for its sane defense of women's quest for physical attractiveness, a search (the author) would also defend." (Panizza, L., 1999, The Nobility and Excellence of Women..., p.3 of Introduction)

The "Marinello Schools of Beauty" claim Marinello as "the founder of Modern Cosmetology".

The work is not without controversy though. The University of Chicago posted this blurb - "The Italian physician Giovanni Marinello’s book is a comprehensive manual on female beauty and adornment containing, among hundreds of recommendations, advice on cosmetics and more than two dozen recipes for making dyes to bleach hair blond. Each of the four chapters is dedicated to a part of the female body, which is materially and visibly dismembered on the page, thus reflecting a fetishist desire aimed at the construction of an ideal body for men’s visual pleasure." (posting titled - Male Voices Defining Urban Women)

This is the second edition, the first was printed in 1562.

Note this copy lacks its Chapter Index and Table of Contents that were printed at the end of the work.

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 14.5 x 9.5 x 3 cm. OCLC (Worldcat library reference) #9000714. Modern vellum binding, title stamped on spine. Marbled endpapers. Pages - (1), viii, 376, (1).

Condition -

See pictures. Modern vellum binding. A little thumbing and shelf wear to binding. Just the slightest bit splayed (boards curve just a tiny bit towards open at the ends). Erroneous "complete" pencil note written on the marbled flyleaf, "A" written on the back. Thumbing and soiling to the title page, with a repair at the bottom corner. There is an ink initial in an old hand at the top of signature a2. There is occasional foxing spots and page toning throughout. There is an intermittent moisture mark at the top edge that sometimes intrudes into the page header. Pages are toned from consistently from page 85 to 105. In the original printing there was a chapter index, and a table of contents at the rear; this copy ends at the last page of the work ("IL FINE") and does not include the index and table of contents. Last 3 leaves have moisture mark at fore edge, no text affected. Last leaf has a 1 cm hole at the bottom, no text affected.

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