Title: Calligraphic manuscript Italian and Latin ...
Book Condition: Good+
[Italy, possibly Piedmont, 17th century]. [181 leaves] (96 x 140mm). A pocket-sized copybook written in a uniform italic script in brown ink, recto only, on laid paper. Each page with double ruled border framing Latin verse lines from De rebus gestis Alexandri Magni (The Life and Exploits of Alexander the Great) by Quintus Curtius Rufus, with Italian translation, and proverbial sayings in Italian on miscellaneous subjects, signed intermittently "Il Zangrandi" or "Gioseppe Zangrandi." Oblong contemporary sheep over pasteboard; (some slight worming mostly at beginning and end, some minor chips on spine and back cover, otherwise good). Ownership signature of Moses Baruch Carvaglio on the last leaf in Italian, "Io Moise filgiolo (sic) di Jacob di Josef Baruch Carvaglio" under an anecdotal note in his hand about an incident of extreme cold which froze over the lagoon and parts of the Venetian canal in 1708. An interesting 17th-century calligraphic copybook of excerpts from the great Roman history of Alexander the Great and with popular sayings written in Italian and Latin, once owned by important Venetian Jewish coral merchant Moses Baruch Carvaglio. The regal Alexandrian history "De rebus gestis Alexandri Magni" by Roman historian Quintus Curtius Rufus was much appreciated in Italy during the early modern period. Adaptations for Alexander romances and an incunable tradition was in place from at least the 1470s. The name "Il Zangrandi," seemingly the writer of this collected verse, could be Virgilio Giangrandi (1589-1630), a Piemontese typographer active in Savigliano at the turn of the seventeenth century. References to this printer under the name "Il Zangrandi" and working with works in Latin verse do exist, if only fragmentary. We do know that along with his brother, Giovanni, Virgilio Giangrandi moved from Milan to Asti in 1588 and their printing company remained in operation until at least 1691. The Zangrandi press was also known to produce religious and biographical works. It is possible Virgilio, or an apprentice, was in part responsible for creating this eclectic copybook, which celebrates portions of the Roman Alexandrian epic and intersperses sayings from his native Italian. An interesting layer to the history of this manuscript is the eighteenth century ownership inscription of Moses Baruch Carvaglio, a successful merchant and Jewish man based in Venice. In the 1730s, along with his father and brother, Moses operated a well-known trade business in coral beads. The Carvaglio family would have been tied to profitable Venetian mercantilism for most of the eighteenth century. The scribal beginnings of this copybook remain mysterious, nevertheless two plausible figures from early modern Italy contributed to its creation and care. Bookseller Inventory # SAV153
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