927G Poggio Bracciolini 1380-1459

Facetie poggii. Poggii florentini oratoris facundissimi facetiarum aureas libellus…

Venice: Cesare Arrivabene, 1519                                  $5,900

Duodecimo 142 x 102mm a-i8, 9-18. 122 pp. Pirated?   Bound in full vellum. Typical warping of the vellum boards. Light soiling spread evenly over vellum.

Scare, with no copies of this early edition of a Humanist jest book found on OCLC FirstSearch, and very few copies found prior to the date of this edition.

IMG_0710Given its rarity, it may be that this particular edition was an inexpensive pirated version that was intended to be read rather than displayed.

Woodcut  illustration on title page and woodcut initial devices throughout. Printer’s device on colophon. ‘Facetie’ means jest book as used here. Thus this is a collection of humorous and off-color tales and anecdotes.Bracciolini was an early Florentine Humanist who rediscovered a good number of important Classical works buried away in monasteries. He also devised a much used form of script, and he excelled in writing dialogues, a particular genre of writing widely practiced in his day.   Of all his own writings, it is ‘Facetie’ that is today the best known. Cesar Arrivabene was a printer active in Venice in the first quarter of the sixteenth century.

“Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini (b. 1380–d. 1459) is one of the more interesting of the early Italian humanists. He spent almost fifty years in the service of the papacy but never took orders and had no hesitations about ridiculing the vices of churchmen. His literary output covered a wide range, including speeches, dialogues, translations, letters, history, and fables, but he is probably best known today for his manuscript discoveries and for his polemics, which he unleashed against several of the most famous scholars of his day. His final years suggest well the contradictions posed by his life and works: at the age of fifty-five, he left his long-term mistress to marry a young woman of eighteen and delegitimized the fourteen children he had had with the mistress, but this did not keep him from being named Chancellor of Florence in 1453 and state historian.” (Poggio Bracciolini
Craig Kallendorf 2015)