Forteguerri, Niccolò (1674-1735). Ricciardetto di Nicolò Carteromaco. Tomo primo [-secondo]. Lucca [i.e. Venice], [Stefano Zuliani], 1766.

Forteguerri, Niccolò (1674-1735). Ricciardetto di Nicolò Carteromaco. Tomo primo [-secondo]. Lucca [i.e. Venice], [Stefano Zuliani], 1766.

900.00

Forteguerri, Niccolò (1674-1735).

Ricciardetto di Nicolò Carteromaco. Tomo primo [-secondo].

Lucca [i.e. Venice], [Stefano Zuliani], 1766.

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A well disguised burlesque poem

Forteguerri, Niccolò (1674-1735).

Ricciardetto di Nicolò Carteromaco. Tomo primo [-secondo]. Lucca [i.e. Venice], [Stefano Zuliani], 1766.

Two volumes, 12° (188x118 mm). Printed on blue paper. I. [4], xxxvi, 420 pages; the first quire II. 430, [2] pages. Last leaf blank. Two frontispieces engraved by Antonio Baratti (1724-1787), that of vol. I bearing the author’s portrait. Engraved title-pages. Thirty numbered plates in total (vol. I: pls. I-XV; vol. II: pls. XVI-XXX), engraved by Baratti after Pietro Antonio Novelli (1729-1804). Woodcut head-and tailpieces, decorated initials. Contemporary vellum over pasteboards. Spines with three raised bands, morocco lettering-pieces with gilt titles and volume numbering (the lettering-piece related to vol. I erroneously pasted onto the spine of vol. II, and vice versa). Green bookmarks. Some small stains and spots to the covers. A good copy, slightly dusted; some marginal foxing.

A blue paper copy of the first illustrated edition of this famous burlesque poem, which originally appeared in 1738.

Forteguerri – a member of the Roman Academy of Arcadia – composed the Ricciardetto between 1716 and 1730, and the work enjoyed a manuscript circulation while the author was still alive. It was published posthumously in Venice in 1738, disguising both the real identity of its author, under the name of Nicolò Carteromaco, and the place of publication, which is erroneously stated as ‘Paris’. The work quickly became a veritable best-seller, and numerous editions followed, despite its inclusion in the Roman Index Librorum Prohibitorum on 12 January 1739, owing to its anticlerical content.

As with the first edition, the finely illustrated edition presented here likewise prudently bears a fictional imprint: the volumes were indeed not printed – as stated on the title-pages – in the Tuscan town of Lucca, but rather in Venice. In 1764, the Venetian censorship had in fact granted permission to the printer Stefano Zuliani to publish the Ricciardetto, but only ‘con luogo di Lucca’, i.e., with the indication of Lucca as the place of printing, in order to avoid conflicts with the Roman tribunal.

Melzi I, 179; C. Di Donna Prencipe, Letteratura e vita in Niccolò Forteguerri. Napoli 1984; P. Bravetti, O. Granzotto, False date. Repertorio delle licenze di stampa veneziane con falso luogo di edizione (1740-1797), Firenze 2008, p. 194.