ONLY RECORDED COPY?

Grida sopra il datio Della Carne, Pesce, & Oglio & dell’Estrattione de gl’Animali.

Modena, Per Giulian Cassiani Stampator Ducale, 1636.

£1,250

FIRST EDITION. Single sheet, 43 x 32cm. Roman letter. Woodcut arms of Francesco I d’Este as Duke of Modena and Reggio, decorated initial. Uniform light browning, edges uncut, a little dusty, horizontal centre fold. An exceptionally well-preserved copy, ‘80’ pencilled to upper blank margin.

An exceptionally well-preserved (and probably the only surviving) copy of the first edition of this ‘grida’ concerning taxes imposed on meat, fish, oil and their export. The ‘gride’ were ordnances or edicts issued by the authorities, which were then ‘gridate’ (declaimed loudly) by criers in squares to inform citizens. The present was issued to provide partial relief to the ducal coffers after difficult years including the plague of 1630-1, which killed over 40% of Modena’s inhabitants, and the Thirty Years’ War. By September 1636, when the ‘grida’ was issued, Modena had first been prey to winter raids of grain and fodder by the French troops lodged in Parma, and had then participated in the invasion of Parma alongside the Spanish troops. The ‘grida’ sought ‘extraordinary help’ due to the ‘excessive expense caused by the ongoing wars’. It forbad, within the walls of Modena, the killing of ‘oxen, cows, beeves, calves, goats, kids, lambs, sheep, pigs and gelding’ anywhere but in public slaughterhouses, at the price of 4 quattrini a pound to be paid to the taxman. Fines for transgressors included the seizing of the animals, and a payment of 50 or 25 scudi, according to the size of the animal; the ‘snitch’, if there was one, retained anonymity. Exempt was the killing for family use of pigs, kids or lambs, which had not been bought or acquired by exchange, or their killing (by anyone, except butchers) at Easter, from Good Friday to the Resurrection. Any sale or transport of oil as well as live or dead, salted or unsalted fish was subject to 6 quattrini a pound. For everyone the export, from the Duchy to or through foreign states, of the abovementioned animals plus poultry, and derived products, including ‘dead meat’ like salame or sausages, was also banned. Exemption existed for shepherds, though they had to request a license. The ‘grida’ included a list of fines, in Bolognini, for the export of poultry—i.e., peacocks, geese, capons and pigeons. It was printed by the ‘stampatore ducale’ Giuliano Cassiani. An esteemed printer of literary and legal works, as ‘stampatore ducale’ he ‘monopolised the printing of all government acts, including grida and bandi’; he also printed the first Modenese newspaper, ‘Avvisi’, first published in 1648 (Pugno, ‘Trattato’, 90).

No recorded copies in major institutional catalogues or bibliographies.

Saggio di una bibliografia di Modena, p.269. Not in EDIT16, USTC, Simon, Oberlé, Bitting or Vicaire. G.M. Pugno, Trattato di cultura generale nel campo della stampa (1968).

L3515

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