An attractive 16th century philosophy work, the 1st edition of Garimberto's Problemi Naturali e Morali, in an attractive binding with beautiful endpapers, printed by the venerable Venetian printing press of Vincenzo Valgrisi and... with a mystery.
In both this copy, and the Google scanned copy, the last two leaves are glued together, cancelling a "Lettori" that was between "Il Fine" and the colophon ("Lettori can be seen when held to the light). What did this letter say, and why was it cancelled? Was it cancelled at publication, or was it required by The Inquisition?
About the Work -
It's been called a "curious and varied work" and includes "problems" that address tarantula bites, the new Atlantis (Americas), corpses, and the light spectrum, among many others.
About the Author -
Girolamo Garimberto was a Bishop in the Catholic Church, author, art collector and antiquarian. The Dizionario Biografico degli Italiana (1999) records that he was in the group that accompanied Pope Clement VII to Orvieto during the sack of Rome in 1527. This may have driven his passion for art as he is known for his role in securing art and antiquities for Cesare Gonzaga, The Church, and others. He also built his own collection, which was rapidly dispersed after his passing, by his nephew Giovan Francesco. He wrote a number of works but is best known for his 1567 "...Fatti Memorabili...", which records a brief description of numerous cardinals and popes.
Bookplate of the Baron de Riseis on the pastedown. Possibly the de Riseis of Castello Ducale di Crecchio.
Physical Attributes -
Measures approx. 16.5 x 10.7 x 2 cm, 8to. Vellum binding with "GARI. PROB NATU." in gilt in a compartment on the spine with a gilt roll at the top and bottom of the spine. All edges sprinkled in red. Unique decorative endpapers (I see berries and leaves).
Pages - (1), xvi, 230, (1)
Signatures - 8, O8, P4
OCLC - 954794242, 914264115 and 242770636, for a total of four copies in the world's libraries.
See pictures. Binding with some edge wear, darkened spots, etc. Bottom of front joint with 2 cm of damage exposing spine and breaking bottom tie (see top tie for how it should look). A little fading to gilt on spine.
Ex libris ticket on pastedown. Numerous ex-libris inscriptions on 1st blank unpaginated page and title page, some over printed text. Also two spots and an ink smudge on title page. Light foxing near edges. Occasional toning. Occasional moisture marks in fore-edge margin.
Last two leaves of printed text are toned, have foxing, and moisture marks from being glued; the last leaf glued to the colophon, it seems to have been cancelled as the verso of the stuck together leaves is "Il Fine". The google scanned edition also has those two leaves glued together. Holding it to the light I can read that it was some form of "Lettori" the publisher or author must have had second thoughts about. A conservator should separate them and see what was hidden!
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