PROSTITUTION. UNRECORDED IN US

Parte presa nell’eccellent.mo Conseglio di Dieci. 1615…In materia delle pubbliche meretrici.

Venice, appresso Roberto Meietti & Evangelista Deuchino, [1615].

£1,950

FIRST and ONLY EDITION. 4to. 4 unnumbered ll., A4. Italic letter, little Roman. Woodcut vignette with St Mark’s lion to t-p, decorated initial. Upper margin of t-p repaired, some thumbing, a little dust-soiling, edges untrimmed and a bit frayed. A good copy in modern purple boards.

A remarkably preserved copy of this Venetian edict addressing a major issue of public order: prostitutes. It is a rare survival of C17 ephemera of which only 2 copies are recorded, in Rome and Venice. The Consiglio dei Dieci was established in 1310 to monitor and preserve the public order of the Serenissima in Venice and on the mainland. The edict attacked ‘meretrici’ (prostitutes) who circulated, causing ‘gossip and universal nausea’, by boat or coach in their customary dresses or those of honest, married women, sometimes wearing masks and accompanied by servants, or who attended public events like masses, weddings or fairs. The edict reiterated previous prohibitions adding that the game of cards and dice should be forbidden in brothels. Punishment for transgressors included five years in prison, having their nose and ears cut off publicly between the columns of St Mark, being whipped from St Mark to Rialto and banned from Venetian territories. Boatmen, coachmen and servants who failed to denounce transgressions would also be punished with prison and whipping. The edict was to be hung in St Mark, Rialto and on public boats.

No copies in the US. Only Casanatense and Marciana copies recorded.

USTC 4026409. Not recorded in any bibliographies.

L2893

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