Large 8vo. 2 volumes in one. (4), (16), 502 pp. (4), 504, (2) pp.; followed by 40 pp. of sheet music. With two allegorical engraved title vignettes on both title-pages (printed in red and black), an engraved frontispiece by Jeremias Jakob Sedelmayr after Francesco Solimena, an engraved author's portrait by Antonio Baldi, and 11 engraved plates by both Sedelmayr and Baldi after Solimena, accompanying the 10 tragedies and the dedication. Also with some engraved initials and some woodcut tailpieces and 40 pages of engraved sheet music to the choruses. Contemporary brown morocco, gold tooled spine, gold-tooled frames on both boards with gold-tooled cornerpieces, black morocco spine label with title in gold, decorative gilt roll to edges and inner dentelles, marbled endpapers and gilt and goffered edges with an intricate fore-edge painting, incorporating both a closed and fanned design for the outer edge. The edges at the head and foot of the text block are painted with floral and botanical designs. The fore-edge is painted with a central cartouche with scrolling leafs in a rococco-style, which reveals, when fanned, a painting a of tree with a scroll with "Prospiciente Deo" painted above. The cartouche is surrounded by flowers and a crown is painted above. The fanned designs also reveals another cartouche in the same style, reading "Si faveat coelum, bene surculus, arbore crescet: Si mihi TU, faveas, sic EGO MAGNUS ero" and the monogram signature of an unknown artist below. The painting of the tree and the scroll and the subscription below are taken from Camerarius, being his third emblem in the first part of his "Symbolorum et Emblematum" (first edition Nuremberg, 1593).
First and only edition of this collection of ten Italian Christian tragedies, written by the Neapolitan poet Annibale Marchese (1687-1753). It is illustrated with beautiful engravings after the important Italian baroque painter Francesco Solimena (1657-1747) and complemented with the sheet music for the choruses of the five tragedies in the second volume, composed by some of the foremost Italian and German 17th and 18th century composers, including Tommaso Carapella (1655-1736), Domenico Sarro (1679-1744), Leonardo Vinci (1690-1730), Francesco Durante (1684-1755), Johann Adolf Hasse (1699-1783), and Nicola Fago (1677-1745).
Binding only slightly worn around the edges and corners; a few wormholes to spine. Some browning and foxing, some marginal waterstaining in the lower margin of the first few leaves (preliminaries only, not affecting the plates). Provenance: armorial bookplate of James Whittle and another bookplate of the California collector and philanthropist Dorothy Jayne Pedrini Shea, both on the front pastedown. Also with the loosely inserted bookplate of Randall J. Moskovitz, M.D., whose collection comprised many books with fore-edge paintings.
Overall a good copy in intriguing binding with a bright and detailed fore-edge painting, both closed and fanned.
For the emblem of the tree of the fore-edge painting see Emblemata: Handbuch zur Sinnbildkunst des XVI. und XVII. Jahrhunderts, col. 165.