Lettere di diversi eccellentiss[imi] huomini raccolte da diverse libri: tra le quali se ne leggono molte, non più stampate, con gli argomenti per ciascuna delle materie, di che elle trattano, e nel fine una tavola delle cose più notabili, a commodo de gli studiosi.
Venice, Gabriel Giolito de' Ferrari, 1559. soft cover, Octavo (17cm); 488,  pages. Giolito device (phoenix atop flaming orb) on title page; alternate device (phoenix facing the sun) on colophon page. Woodcut initials and ornaments throughout. Bound for utility in contemporary flexible vellum, worn and discolored in places, and not entirely entire. Text block sound and generally in very good condition, with few stains. Early ownership inscription in ink in upper margin of title page. Notation in early hand on rear blank, later notes on last two text pages. Generally, a clean, sound copy in well-worn binding. Preserved in custom-made cloth clamshell box with title label on spine. Reference: Bongi, II,67; Gamba, 1462 (1554 ed.; also citing a 1558 edition which does not appear to have actually existed). Very Good
¶ In the context of Renaissance society, publishing a well-crafted letter was one more way for courtiers and notables to broadcast their refinement, like wearing the clothes we see in Renaissance portraiture. Private letters were indeed public matter, enthusiastically shared and discussed. Some letters became famous. Paolo Manuzio issued collections of letters, and Giolito followed. Giolito had his resident scholar, Lodovico Dolce, create a "greatest hits" volume of letters that had appeared in print in a wide variety of sources. Dolce set out to collect "the most beautiful letters and the ones of greatest value." First published in 1554, the collection became a model for Italian prose, as well as a storehouse of stories about 16th-century celebrities. The book was produced in small quantity and quickly sold out. A second edition was necessary, and Dolce prepared it with a completely new dedication, and with notable changes in content from the 1554 edition, including the addition of several letters by Giulia da Ponte. Of the two editions, Bongi writes "both are very uncommon, and highly sought by collectors. Since there are notable differences between the two, with each containing letters that are missing in the other, both would be worthy of acquisition by a true devotee." (Bongi I, 442).
Rodger Friedman Rare Book StudioProfessional seller
Book number: 5511
USD 1000.00 [Appr.: EURO 856.5 | £UK 772.5 | JP¥ 104665]