La Poetica.

[Vicenza, Tolomeo Ianicolo, 1529 (colophon)].

4to, ff. LXVIII; without the two errata leaves, rarely present; woodcut printer’s device to verso of last leaf; title lightly soiled; a fine copy in eighteenth-century mottled calf, skilfully rebacked, triple-gilt fillet, corner flower ornaments, spine gilt in compartments with flower ornament, brown morocco label, dentelles gilt, marbled endpapers; ex libris of the abbey of Sainte-Croix, Bordeaux, to title-page, modern ownership inscription on front free end-paper (Sir Walter Wilson Greg).


US $3092€2517

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First edition, the corrected issue, of Trissino’s milestone essay on language, aesthetic and poetry. The first issue bears the erroneous date of 1549.

A production of characteristic graphic elegance, the Poetica was printed with the italic types produced by Lodovico Arrighi, expressly obtained for Tolomeo Ianiculo by the author himself. ‘For the purpose of printing Trissino’s texts, Arrighi added to his italic the new characters proposed by Trissino for the Italian alphabet’ (Mortimer). Trissino’s proposal was the introduction of new letters, modelled on the Greek types, to represent sounds in the Italian language which the present alphabet left undistinguished. His contribution to the normalization and grammar of the nascent Italian literary language was almost as fundamental and as influential as Bembo’s.

Sir Walter Wilson Greg (1875 – 1959) was one of the leading bibliographers and Shakespeare scholars of the 20th century, conducting lengthy investigations into the spurious dating of several Shakespeare folios.

Adams T-955; BM STC It. p.681; Gamba n.1706; see Mortimer, Italian Books, 507.

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