[FLORENCE]

THE ART OF GOLD

[FLORENCE]. Bando per conto de tiralori, battilori, tessitori d’oro, e altri Artieri sottoposti all’Arte di Por Santa Maria.

Florence, nella Stamperia di Giorgio Marescotti, 1578

£2,250.00

FIRST EDITION. 4to. ff. 2, unnumbered, A2. Italic letter, little Roman. Woodcut Medici arms to t-p, decorated initial. Slight foxing, small tear from lower outer blank corner of t-p. A very good, well-margined copy in modern boards, stamp ‘Assay Office Library Birmingham’ to ffep, ‘n09’ and ‘n10’, ‘inked to upper outer blank corners.

A remarkably scarce ephemeral survival of the first edition of this ‘Bando’ preventing all Florentine artisans working with gold from emigrating, and thus reduce the number and quality of skilled workers in Florence. Updating a similar bando printed c.1575, it addressed a wide variety of artisans working with gold within and without the Duchy. These were goldsmiths, gold leaf makers, cutters, dyers, painters, weavers and washers of silk or linen woven with gold thread, and makers of instruments and scissors to use on gold leaf. They were ordered to report in person, within 3 (if in Italy) or 4 (if abroad) months, to the major guild of the Arte della Seta at Por Santa Maria. In case of no-show, they should immediately have their goods seized and permission would be granted to anyone to kill them without punishment. If the murderer was a bandit, he could be pardoned; if he wasn’t, he could request pardon for a bandit. Those who showed up would not be asked to repay public or private debts for a year, or be prosecuted for their debts, but could not leave Florence again without a licence.

Giorgio Marescotti received an official ten-year privilege to print bandi in 1585, though he was never ‘stampatore ducale’ (Biagiarelli, 318). For printers, the production of and trade in administrative ‘ordini’ and ‘bandi’ was ‘safe and abundant due to the high number of magistrates issuing ordnances, regulations, provisions, etc.—which quickly expired and were quickly renewed’ (Biagiarelli, 317-18).

Only Penn and BYU copies recorded in the US. EDIT16 CNCE 59774; USTC 840874; Cantini IX, p.9. Not in BM STC It. or Salimbeni, Leggi, ordini […] della Toscana dei Medici. B. Maracchi Biagiarelli, ‘Il privilegio di stampatore ducale nella Firenze Medicea’, Archivio Storico Italiano 123 (1965), 304-70; F. Pignatti, ‘G. Marescotti’, Diz. Biog. degli Italiani (2008).

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