1925 The Life of Benvenuto Cellini. Bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe. Macmillan


A handsome book, bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, and an important classic Renaissance autobiography.

"The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini was started in the year 1558 at the age of 58 and ended abruptly just before his last trip to Pisa around the year 1563 when Cellini was approximately 63 years old. The memoirs give a detailed account of his singular career, as well as his loves, hatreds, passions, and delights, written in an energetic, direct, and racy style; as one critic wrote, ‘Other goldsmiths have done finer work, but Benvenuto Cellini is the author of the most delightful autobiography ever written.’ Cellini's writing shows a great self-regard and self-assertion, sometimes running into extravagances which are impossible to credit. He even writes in a complacent way of how he contemplated his (attacks) before carrying them out. He writes of his time in Paris:"

'When certain decisions of the court were sent me by those lawyers, and I perceived that my cause had been unjustly lost, I had recourse for my defense to a great dagger I carried; for I have always taken pleasure in keeping fine weapons. The first man I attacked was a plaintiff who had sued me; and one evening I wounded him in the legs and arms so severely, taking care, however, not to kill him, that I deprived him of the use of both his legs. Then I sought out the other fellow who had brought the suit, and used him also such wise that he dropped it.'

— The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, Ch. XXVIII, translated by John Addington Symonds

"Parts of his tale recount some extraordinary events and phenomena; such as his stories of conjuring up a legion of devils in the Colosseum, after one of his mistresses had been spirited away from him by her mother; of the marvelous halo of light which he found surrounding his head at dawn and twilight after his Roman imprisonment, and his supernatural visions and angelic protection during that adversity; and of his being poisoned on two separate occasions." - Wikipedia

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 19.5 x 12.5 x 3 cm. Crushed red moroccan leather with five raised bands to spine; central florets in four compartments and the title and translator in gilt on moroccan overlays in two compartments, all compartments framed in gilt fillets. Boards bordered in double gilt fillet. Floret roll turn-ins in gilt. Decorative endpapers. All edges gilt (AEG). [2] (ii) frontis, iii-liv, title page, 464 [2].

Condition -

See pictures. Edge wear at board edges and joints. A few light rubs. A little chipping to the Moroccan overlay of the title on the spine. A little darkening to spine with a few small cracks in the leather. A few light marks on blank unpaginated 1st endpaper. Connection to silk tie ribbon expired, but the ribbon is still there. A little dust along top edge. Two very small fox dots on fore-edge gilt.

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