Cellini's only work published during his lifetime

Cellini, Benvenuto. Due trattati, uno intorno alle otto principali arti dell'oreficeria. L'altro in materia dell'arte della scultura.

Florence, Valente Panizza & Marco Peri, 1568.

4to. (5) ff., 1 blank, 61, (7) ff. With armorial title woodcut (Medici arms), printer's device at the end, and 35 large woodcut initials, showing views of cities. Contemp. vellum. All edges sprinkled in red.


First edition of the only work of Cellini's published during the author's lifetime, and indeed in the entire 16th century. This treatise on the art of goldsmiths and sculptors offers a wealth of technical instructions drawn from immediate practical experience (on enamelling, gilding, embossing, moulding, bronze casting, etc.), providing insight not only into Cellini’s own methods, but also in those of Michelangelo and other Renaissance artists.

The misnumbered final leaf no. "47" has been corrected to "61" by a contemporary owner. Some occasional browning; slight waterstain near end. Binding somewhat rubbed and bumped at extremeties, with minor worming to upper cover. Letterpress bookplate of the musician and bibliophile Louis Thompson Rowe (1855-1927) and steel-engraved bookplate of John Addington Symonds (1840-93), a poet, literary critic and Renaissance scholar best known as an early advocate of male homosexuality. In 1887 he published an English translation of Cellini's autobiography.

Uncommon; ABPC lists the last copy at an international auction in 2003.

Edit 16, CNCE 10737. BM-STC 164. Adams C 1240. IA 135.063. Cicognara 273. Gamba 335. Parenti 151. Steinmann/W. (Michelangelo) 439.