MARELLI (ANDREA) 'Alfabeto a groppi' [extracted from Il perfetto scrittore by G.F. Creci], [Rome, Francesco Aureri in casa del proprio autore, 1570-1571, or later]
Lot 157
MARELLI (ANDREA)
'Alfabeto a groppi' [extracted from Il perfetto scrittore by G.F. Creci], [Rome, Francesco Aureri in casa del proprio autore, 1570-1571, or later]
Sold for £ 1,000 (US$ 1,405) inc. premium

Lot Details
MARELLI (ANDREA) 'Alfabeto a groppi' [extracted from Il perfetto scrittore by G.F. Creci], [Rome, Francesco Aureri in casa del proprio autore, 1570-1571, or later] MARELLI (ANDREA) 'Alfabeto a groppi' [extracted from Il perfetto scrittore by G.F. Creci], [Rome, Francesco Aureri in casa del proprio autore, 1570-1571, or later]
[MARELLI (ANDREA)]
'Alfabeto a groppi' [extracted from Il perfetto scrittore by G.F. Creci], 'knot alphabet' on 23 engraved sheets pasted back to back, each letter (A-I/J, K-U/V, X-Z) within a different ornamental scrollwork border incorporating putti, classical and mythological figures, fruit, animals etc., one or two signed or initialled in the plate, some light offsetting and soiling, the last 3 sheets frayed at edges just touching one border, old limp vellum, upper cover with large pen and ink armorial device (faded), soiled with a few small holes [cf. Berlin Kat. 5187], oblong 4to (194 x 255mm.), [Rome, Francesco Aureri in casa del proprio autore, 1570-1571, or later]

Footnotes

  • "Andrea Marelli's most significant contribution to mannerist book decoration is the alfabeto a groppi, the knot alphabet in G.F. Cresci's Il perfetto scrittore" (Eva Frojmovic, 'The Perfect Scribe and an Early Engraved Esther Scroll', in British Library Journal, 23, 1997, pp.68-80).

    The publication history of Il perfetto scrittore is still uncertain, and some of the constituent parts are missing in many copies, but the first edition was printed in Rome in 1570-71. In addition to Marelli's engraved alphabet (missing in one of the two Bodleian copies), the second part contained two woodcut alphabets by Francesco Aureri da Crema, but Marelli's series of Roman capitals did not find its way into the second edition, printed in Venice in 1575. An alphabet of 22 letters (without the 'Q') was included in Sempronio Lancione's Idea universale delle cancellereschi corsive et bastarde (Naples, 1613), and there are suggestions that it may have been issued separately at some point. A full discussion of the use of the same scrollwork borders in a Hebrew scroll can be found in the article cited above.

    "In Andrea Marelli [Cresci] found an artist who, using the novel engraving technique, could rival Francesco Aureri. Marelli's extraordinary engraved alphabet was added... [with] a unique border for every single letter. The first few follow Aureri's models, but soon become more elaborate and fantastical" (op. cit.).
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