Vita

Benvenuto CELLINI

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Item#: 126362 price:$3,500.00

Vita
Vita

"THE LIFE HAS WON CELLINI HIS IMMORTALITY": SCARCE FIRST EDITION OF CELLINI'S LIFE, 1728

CELLINI, Benvenuto. Vita di Benvenuto Cellini, Orefice e Scultore Fiorentino. Colonia [i.e., Napoli]: Pietro Martello [i.e., Berenstadt], 1728. Quarto, contemporary full marbled sheep, gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, red morocco spine label, marbled endpapers. $3500.

Scarce first edition of Cellini's famous autobiography in the original Italian, in handsome contemporary gilt-decorated sheep.

"His banishment from Florence when he was 16, for brawling in the streets, set the pattern. At 23 he was condemned to death for skirmishing (which did not stop him from continuing to fight anyone who offended him); at 27 he turned soldier, defending a castle against an overwhelming enemy; at 30 he killed a man, and was saved from trial and execution only by the intervention of the Pope; at 34 he was once more forced to fly from the law after wounding an enemy, and he spent much of his 38th and 39th years in prison" (Parker, 1). Cellini was considered one of the greatest artists of his time, an expert goldsmith who became a noted sculptor, serving two popes, the Medici family and French monarch Francis I. "It is, however, the Life which has won Cellini his immortality" (Bull, 13). Cellini's original manuscript never saw print in his time due to potential conflicts that its publication might have instigated; it wasn't until the 18th century that naturalist Antonio Cocci saw them through the press under the false Colonia/Pietro Martello imprint. A facsimile edition was published in Florence in 1792, distinguished from this true first edition by printing "appartenenti" without hyphenation at the beginning of line 7 of the title page, incorporating a different woodcut device, and numbering the preliminaries. Engraved armorial bookplate of the Biblioteca Scati-Grimaldi (di Casaleggio), an aristocratic Italian family based in Acqui.

A handsomely bound copy in fine condition, with a nice Italian provenance.

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