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    The First Collected Edition of Machiavelli's Works

    Niccolò Machiavelli. Tutte le Opere di Nicolo Machiavelli cittadino et secretario Fiorentino, divise in v. parti, et di nuovo con somma accuratezza ristampate. [N.p., n.d.],1550 [possibly Switzerland, ca. 1610-1619].

    First "Testina" edition, first collected edition of Machiavelli's works. Five parts bound in two quarto volumes (9.5625 x 6.6825 inches; 244 x 170 mm.). Each part separately titled and paginated. [2, general title and contents leaf], 441 [i.e. 431], [1, blank], [4], 189, [3, blank]; [6], [2, blank], 140, 14, [2, blank], 364 [i.e. 362], [2, blank], 185, 15, [1, blank], [4, double-page diagram] pages. Small woodcut portrait of Machiavelli holding his book repeated on all six title-pages (this copy lacks the separate title for the "Historie fiorentine."

    In this copy, Volume I contains the "Historie fiorentine" (441 [i.e. 431], [1, blank]) and "L'Asino d'oro con tutte l'altre sue operette" ([4], 189, [3 blank] pages); Volume II contains: "Il Principe" ([6], [2, blank], 140 pages), "Discorsi...sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio" (14, [2, blank], 364 [i.e. 362], [2, blank] pages); "I sette libri dell'arte della Guerra" (185, 15, [1, blank], [4, double-page diagram] pages).

    Eighteenth-century goatskin. Covers stained green and decoratively bordered in gilt, smooth spine elaborately tooled in gilt in compartments with black and brown morocco gilt lettering labels, board edges ruled in gilt, turn-ins decoratively tooled in gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Bindings a little rubbed, front joint of Volume II starting, small piece missing from the black lettering label on Volume II. Armorial bookplate of John Wingfield Larking on front pastedown of each volume (rubbed in Volume I).

    While the present edition was placed fifth among the"Testina" editions by Gamba, Machiavelli's bibliographer Adolph Gerber considered it to be the earliest of this unusual series of counterfeit editions. He dated it to ca. 1609 and 1619 (revised by Bertelli & Innocenti to 1610-1619).

    The first "Testina" edition, the edition designated "A" by Gerber, and thus the first collected edition of Machiavelli's works. The date on the title-pages is false: none of the "Testina" editions was printed before 1609, and all are deliberately dated 1550 to circumvent the Papal interdiction on Machiavelli's works.

    Adams M9. Bertelli & Innocenti 203.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    7th-9th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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