Splendidly illustrated large-paper edition, coloured

Caesar, Gaius Julius / [Baldelli, Francesco (transl.)]. Quae extant omnia. Italica versione, e ms. codice ad hodiernum stylum accommodata; tabulis aeneis quamplurimis, vel historiam, vel geographiam exhibentibus [...].

[Venice], Societa Albriziana, (1737).

Folio (245 x 328 mm). (2), XXIV, 25-76, 686, (2), XL pp. With an engr. frontispiece and engraved title vignettes, both in contemporary hand colour and raised in gilt, 4 (instead of 6) engraved plates (portrait of Caesar; fortifications; 2 double-page plates showing Germanic tribes and a triumphal procession), 54 engravings and maps in the text, and 38 engraved vignettes and initials. Printed within engraved borders throughout (the Lion of St Mark and the three pillars of St Mark's Square in Venice). Letterpress printed in two columns, with Latin and Italian in parallel text. Later half vellum over marbled boards with giltstamped spine title.


Splendidly illustrated large-paper edition, in Latin and Italian parallel text, of Caesar's war commentaries. The Civil War and the Alexandrine War led him to Egypt and the Near East (parts of Palestine, Arabia Petraea and Arabix Felix are shown in one of the maps). The coloured frontispiece shows the triumphant commander at work writing while surveying the conquered provinces. The beautiful illustrations are taken from those in Samuel Clarke's 1712 edition, "engraved by the greatest English artists at the expense of several wealthy Englishmen" (cf. Schweiger). Translated by Fr. Baldinelli with improvements by Palladio. A second part, announced on the title page, was to contain variant readings from a manuscript of Cardinal Bessarion, but was never published.

This is very likely a test print for the dedication copy on vellum that was produced for the Venetian government library, which differs noticeably from the paper version in being larger and more elaborately decorated. Two such vellum copies are known, one in the Bibliotheca Smithiana (cf. Brunet and Bib. Smithiana II, 83), the other in the Marciana: "Esemplare di dedica, in pergamena densa [...] dell'alt. di mill. 328 su 231 di largh., proporzioni superiori, per ampiezza di margine, a quelle del cartaceo. Ma non è questo il solo termine di differenza, dacché nel membranaceo sono miniate l'incisione dell'antiporta rappresentante Cesare [...]; la medaglia incisa nella vignetta del frontispizio ad onore del conte Enrico Collalto [...]; e sono pure adornati due margini del frontispizio col leone alato, con un ruscello, coi tre pili della piazza su cui vedonsi inalberate le tre bandiere col ritratto del doge Pisani. Manca pure agli esemplari cartacei fra le pagine XVI-XVII l'incisione in rame del busto di Cesare [...]. Il fregio a tempera dei margini del frontispizio [...] si ripete inciso in rame su tutte le pagine dell'esemplare membranaceo" (Libri Membranacei a Stampa Della Biblioteca Marciana, p. 129-131). The present copy very much agrees with the Marciania's description, save for the fact that the pagination is not precisely identical: the present copy on paper has an longer Latin index and an additional Italian index at the end. Lacks two plates; pages 41*-44* are not repeated as they are in some copies (though not in that in the Marciana). Rebacked edge flaws to frontispiece and title page; some rather pronounced waterstaining near the beginning, but overall a beautiful, unusually wide-margined copy with charmingly coloured title and frontispiece.


Ebert 3298. Brunet I, 1461. Krieg, MNE I, 123. Schweiger II, 47. OCLC 4537995. ICCU UBOE\002198.