Tesoro de las tres lenguas, española, françesa y italiana.

Geneva, J. Crespin, 1644.


4to. 3 parts in 1, pp. 570 [i.e., 568] (ii), 420, 504, second and third half-title are cancels. Roman letter, with Italic, double column. Printer’s woodcut device to t-p, decorated initials and ornaments. Slight toning, first t-p a bit dust-soiled, small flaws (poor quality paper) to a handful of blank margins, old repair to lower outer corner of first T1 (affecting couple of words, small marginal stain before and after), scattered spotting to t-p, little worming at upper gutter of last three gatherings of third. A good copy in contemporary vellum over boards, yapp edges, title inked to spine, minor loss at head and lower edge, dedication ‘Contre maleur bon ceur [sic] (?) Hettlich(?) Copenhagen von 13 Julij 1682’ on rear pastedown.

A good copy of this major polyglot dictionary of Spanish, French and Italian—exceedingly scarce, like most early Spanish dictionaries. Girolamo Vittori (fl. early C17) was an Italian lexicographer of whom nothing is known, renowned among Hispanists for the critical diatribes his successful ‘Tesoro’ generated. The first two editions of 1609 and 1616—much debated by bibliographers—included two parts: Spanish into French and Italian, and French into Spanish and Italian, which frequently provided synonyms and sometimes longer glosses if necessary. For instance, the exotic noun ‘pintadillo’ was explained as a ‘kind of small bird in New Spain which nests on the seashore or the topmost tree branches to defend their new-born from hungry animals’. For these two parts, Vittori drew heavily on another famous contemporary polyglot dictionary: Charles Oudin’s ‘Tesoro de las dos lenguas Española y francesa’, first published in 1607. In the second edition of 1616, Oudin accused the author and Geneva printers of Vittori’s ‘Tesoro’ of copying hundreds of his own Spanish and French definitions, often verbatim, and just adding their Italian counterparts (Cooper, ‘Girolamo Vittori’, 1-20). The third part of Vittori’s ‘Tesoro’, with Italian into Spanish and French, was added in 1637; the present is a reprint of the three parts as they appeared in that edition. The second and third t-ps in this copy are cancels of what were probably variant t-ps with a full imprint; the second is here conjugate with the final blank of the first, and the third was printed on slightly different paper and inserted untrimmed. Indeed, as a handful of extant individual copies and the separate collation suggests, the three parts were probably also sold separately (Gallina, ‘Il “Tesoro”, 239-40). A very scarce edition of this renowned Romance polyglot dictionary.

Only Newberry and HRC copies recorded in the US.

Palau 371199. Not in BL STC Ger. C17, Graesse, Brunet or Adams. A. Gallina, ‘Il Tesoro de las tres lenguas di Gerolamo Vittori’, in Contributi alla storia della lessicografia italo-spagnola dei secoli XVI e XVII (Firenze, 1959), 227-46; L. Cooper, ‘Girolamo Vittori y César Oudin: un caso de plagio mutuo’, Nueva Revista de Filología Hispánica 67 (2019), 1-20.


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