Le meraviglie della penna conchiudenti in diversi modi di scrivere delineati, et intagliati. Agostino TENSINI.
Le meraviglie della penna conchiudenti in diversi modi di scrivere delineati, et intagliati.
Le meraviglie della penna conchiudenti in diversi modi di scrivere delineati, et intagliati.
Le meraviglie della penna conchiudenti in diversi modi di scrivere delineati, et intagliati.
Le meraviglie della penna conchiudenti in diversi modi di scrivere delineati, et intagliati.
Baroque Italian Calligraphy
[Verona?], s.n., 1641.

Le meraviglie della penna conchiudenti in diversi modi di scrivere delineati, et intagliati.

Oblong 8vo. [13 x 20 cm], 22 [of 24] ff., engraved throughout, with elaborate borders. Bound in cartonnage. Some light spotting or soiling throughout, but plates in clear impression; for a genre usually subject to heavy use (and abuse), a very good copy indeed.

Extremely rare first edition of a Baroque Italian calligraphy manual for students.  The present copy contains 19 handwriting and calligraphic samples, almost all ornately embellished with figures of men, women, cherubs, birds, insects, or domestic animals, in addition to a portrait of Tensini after the title-page.

Tensini’s samples, mostly passages on classical virtues derived from Roman or Renaissance authors, are textbook studies in Baroque calligraphy, employing the elongated glyphs and inked teardrop serifs and loops that distinguish 17th C chancellaresche cursive from the more functional chancery hand of the Arrighi tradition.  Yet his designs—like those of Tommaso Ruinetti (c. 1596)—are also characterized by a profusion of figurative drawing that surpasses most Italian manuals of the time.  His opening writing sample is encircled by no less than twelve distinct figures, including eagles, owls, and a quartet of ramping dogs; succeeding models are usually enclosed in elaborate scrolled cartouches from which emerge human faces, floral or batwing designs, or—in one spectacular case—two winged phoenixes. 

The volume also includes a plate of Roman capitals, and a final plate presenting a blackletter variant with split heads and tails, as well as a contemporary adaptation of Carolingian miniscule.

Becker points out that, although the handbook was originally composed of 24 leaves, no complete copies of the 1641 edition have been located.  Additionally, both Osley and Berlin list a later 1668 edition as the first, further testament to the rarity of the present edition.

OCLC: Newberry (24 ff. but apparently also missing 4 ff.—clearly an inconsistent collation), also Newberry 1650.  Folger (1668).  Becker suggests a date of 1680 for the Hofer copy. 

* Bonacini 1859; Berlin Becker 69 (which records a copy of this edition at the Met); Osley p. 154 (mistakenly listing the 1668 edition as the first); Berlin 5217 (likewise).

 

Price: $2,650.00

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