Posthumous first edition of Faerne’s Fables, published by Silvio Antoniano.
Brunet, II, 1160; Harvard, Italian, 178; Praz, p. 57; Adams Cambridge, I, F 115.
Pope Pius IV had commissioned Faerne, from Cremone, to choose a hundred of fables by Aesop and others. Faerne died in 1561 before finishing his work which was completed and edited in 1563.
La Fontaine will go over some of these fables a century later: “The Earthen Pot and the Iron Pot”, “The ass with a load of sponges and the ass with a load of salt”, “The ant and the grasshopper”, “The lark and her young ones”, “The Fox and the grapes”, “The Fox and the Crow”.
This beautiful edition is illustrated in very first state with the 100 beautiful full-page copper-engravings, after drawings attributed to Titian.
Copies dated 1564 and even 1565 present these identical plates but bibliographers consider that only copies of 1563 present the particularity of the first state.
Very expressive and marked by movement, these finely executed etchings are to be related to the woodcuts inspired also by Titian’s drawings and which will illustrate in 1570 Verdizzoti’s Fables.
Very beautiful copy, extremely wide-margined (height 213 mm against 210 for the Harvard copy) of this “rare and unusual” (Brunet) first edition of a very beautiful Italian illustrated book of fables.
It comes from the Paul Hart collection with ex-libris.