A guide to Rome from 1627, copy from the Graham baronets of Netherby

Pompilio TOTTI: RITRATTO DI ROMA ANTICA. With copper engraved illustrated title, 2nd title with printer's woodcut emblem, 129 full-paged copper engravings and 149. Rome: Andrea Fei 1627.

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Pompilio TOTTI: RITRATTO DI ROMA ANTICA, nel quale sono figurati I principali Tempij, Teatri, Anfiteatri, Cerchi, Naumachie, Archi trionfali, Curie, Basiliche, Colonne, Ordine del Trionfo, Dignità Militari, e Civili, Riti, Ceremonie & altre cose notabili. With copper engraved illustrated title, 2nd title with printer's woodcut emblem, 129 full-paged copper engravings, whereof 101 numbered in the plates, and 149, whereof 3 full-paged woodcut vignettes (24 of them on 3 attached plates). Rome: Andrea Fei 1627. Demy 16mo. [18 (2 title leaves, 2 dedication leaves, 1 imprimatur leaf, 4 leafs with index of illustr.)], 362 pp., [3 plates]. Full contemporary polished leather binding on 5 false raised bands, with gilt title printing on renewed spine and blind tooling with dentelles on boards.

First edition of this very rare travel guide to Rome, illustrated with detailed copper engravings of sites, buildings and statues of Ancient Rome, sometimes also depicting scenes, e.g. gladiator fights, the vignettes showing coins and medals. Totti's popular educational work was repeatedly reprinted or copyedited by various publishers and compilers in the first half of the 17th century (for example, 1633, 1638, 1645, 1652). "Those travellers, who wanted to see Rome not only through the eyes of the pilgrim, demanded a comprehensive guide. For three decades Felini's book [i.e. »Trattato nuovo delle maravigliose dell’alma città di Roma«, 1610] sufficed, but in 1627 Pompilio Totti brings his „Ritratto di Roma antica" to the public.“ (Trenkler, p. 40).

Present first edition of Totti’s guidebook is of great rarity, according to Jahrbuch der Bücherpreise (1906-38), Jahrbuch der Auktionspreise (1950ff.) und Auktionspreise online (ca. 1988ff.) only 4 copies were auctioned in history, none of them with a comparable big number of woodcut vignettes.

Provenance: Front end paper and leaf 4r with the stamp of “Netherby Library", which identifies this copy as the former property of the Graham family, baronets based in Netherby Hall near Carlisle, Cumbria.

Spine solidly renewed, probably in the 19th century. Book block with tight cut, therefore a total of 8 pages with little loos of image or text (the engravings however complete and in excellent condition); p. 207f. with small tear, inside with some dirt and foxy spots, in general solidly bound, clean copy of this authoritative 17th century guide.

Schudt, Le Guide di Roma, no. 138; Ernst Trenkler: "Le Guide di Roma" in the Austrian National Library. In: Biblos, Jg. 25, H. 1 (1976), p. 40ff.

Additional information

Weight 1 kg