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PIGNA Giovan Battista – Il Duello Di M. Giovan Battista Pigna – 1554


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PIGNA Giovan Battista – Il Duello di M. Giovan Battista Pigna, al S. donno Alphonso da Este Prencipe di Ferrara, diviso in tre libri. Ne quali dell’honore, & dell’ordine della Cavalleria con nuovo modo si tratta – 1554. in Vinegia, nella Bottega d’Erasmo, appresso Vincenzo Valgrisi. Full floppy vellum with handwritten titles on the spine; octavo, 22.6 cm; pp. (8) 270 (44); binding with traces of time and a small lack (about 1 cm in diameter) on the back, slightly loose and with partially detached nerves inside; irrelevant restorations on the upper margin of leaves A and A2, however extremely fresh text; overall very good copy. Ancient fifteenth-century handwritten page with illuminated initials used as a visible reinforcement of the spine under the binding; title page with woodcut letterpress and ancient note of ownership canceled; woodcut speaking drop caps; text on 30 lines; text in italics and on two columns in the Table. First edition, of notable rarity on the market, of the treaty of the Secretary of Duke Alfonso II Este, Giovan Battista Pigna. Contemporary work to perhaps the most famous dedicated to novels, the author already defines these two “disciplines” in the preface as being of “great value” in his time. Pigna, presumably to follow up on numerous conversations on the subject he had with the Duke, feels almost “forced” to compose it and then dedicate it to Alfonso, already considered to be very learned on the subject. The duel is seen and examined here as one of the highest and most deserving manifestations of honor, in the height of chivalry. The ultimate goal of Pigna seems to be to go and embroider the first real all-encompassing treatment on the Duel, unlike what many of his contemporaries did, that is, stopping to address only some aspects of this complex and fascinating subject.