IN PRAISE OF THE HORN

Elogio del corno. Dell‘ autore della felice produzione italiana intitolata Della Necessità ed Utilità dei Debiti.

Venice, Stamperia Graziosi, 1796.

8vo, pp. xxiv [of which pp. i-vi are blank]; woodcut printer’s device on title; some foxing in places throughout, largely marginal; uncut in recent plain wrappers.

£275

Approximately:
US $348€322

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Elogio del corno. Dell‘ autore della felice produzione italiana intitolata Della Necessità ed Utilità dei Debiti.

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Only edition, as far as we can tell unrecorded, of this anonymously published poem in praise of the horn. Although ostensibly a chaste work extolling the virtues of the instrument, there is enough to suggest that the poet may have been thinking along less musical lines; the horn, we are repeatedly told, is only to be played in front, never behind, and the ‘giovine umano col corno in mano’ is associated not with any musical god but with Harpocrates, the god of secrets. There is, however, little to stop the determinedly innocent reader remaining so.

We have been unable to identify the author, or his supposed other work (Della necessità ed Utilità dei Debiti). No clue is provided by the five pages of publisher’s advertisements at the end of the volume, which includes many works intended for a female readership, as well as translations of the Marriage of Figaro and works by Voltaire and Rousseau.

Not in Melzi; not in SBN or OCLC.

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