Pinelli Library Catalogue with Prices Realized

Bibliotheca Maphaei Pinellii Veneti Magno Jam Studio Collecta, a Jacopo Morellio Bibliothecæ Venetæ D. Marci Custode Descripta et Annotationibus Illustrata.

Venice: Carlo Palese, sold by Lorenzo Baseggio, 1787.

Price: $3,750.00

About the item

First edition. Engraved portrait frontispiece of Pinelli by F. Bartolozzi in vol. 1, large fold-out engraved plate of the Pinelli papyrus in vol. 3, five engraved plates of Egyptian and classical sculpture in vol. 5. 6 vols. 8vo. Pinelli Library Catalogue with Prices Realized. Contemporary quarter vellum, paint-speckled "tutti frutti" boards. Fine. Taylor, Book Catalogues, pp. 97-98. Provenance: Marlborough Rare Books (with Edith Spencer collation note); Pierre Beres (his sale, 8 July 2005, lot B-1148).

Item #309403

A beautiful, large-margined copy of the catalogue of the great Pinelli library in Venice, written by Abbé Morelli, of the Biblioteca Marciana, for the purposes of dispersal. The library was assembled over the course of 200 years by the Pinelli family, whose members were Stampatori Ducali, or offical printers to the Roman Senate. The last in the line, Maffeo Pinelli, died in 1785.
The Pinelli library, which contained more than 12,000 items, including early printing, Greek and Latin manuscripts of the 11-16th centuries, and ancient Egyptian papyri, was bought en bloc by London bookseller James Edwards and his associates, Robson and Clarke, and brought to auction in two London sales in 1789-90. A separate auction catalogued was prepared under the title Bibliotheca Pinelliana: A Catalogue of the Magnificent and Celebrated Library of Maffei Pinelli, Late of Venice (London, 1789). Highlights of the sale included the second volume of the 36-line Gutenburg Bible (item 125 here), bought by Sir George Shuckburgh for 14 guineas, and the 1462 Fust and Schoeffer Bible, sold for 30 pounds (item 126). (The library is not to be confused with the collection assembled by Gian Vincenzo Pinelli (1535-1601) and later incorporated into the Biblioteca Ambrosiana.)
This copy in a colorful "tutti frutti" Italian binding of paint-speckled boards, taller than the Breslauer copy and comparable to the Lisburne-Abbey copy (sold Christie's 2015), and with the prices realized of the London sales supplied in a contemporary hand in the margins — certainly a laborious task, as the library catalogue and sale catalogue do not exactly correspond.