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Lot 0137
Tedaldi (Giovanni Battista) Discorso sull' Agricoltura, manuscript on paper, i + 94+ i leaves (fols. 60v-94v blank), text written in brown ink in a neat cursive, the same hand throughout, foxed, contemporary limp vellum, spine with inked title in a contemporary hand, lacking ties, 4to (210 x 159mm.), Italy (?Florence), [second half of 16th century].

⁂ This manuscript preserves the complete text of the Discorso sull'Agricoltura by the Florentine senator Giovanni Battista Tedaldi (1495-1575), who was also active as an administrator in Arezzo, Pistoia, and Pisa.

Tedaldi's work is divided into 69 chapters and reflects the vogue for the practice of agriculture, horticulture, and gardening in Medicean Florence, a tradition developed from the time of Lorenzo the Magnificent. The Discorso is replete with Tedaldi's personal experiences and observations made in his villa in the Tuscan hills, but its exact date of composition is unknown, as are the reasons why the work remained unplished for two centuries. The Discorso was in fact only first published in 1776 by the renowned Italian botanist Marco Lastri, who based his edition on manuscripts housed in Florentine libraries. The 18th-century publication also contains Tedaldi's dedicatory letter to Duke Cosimo I de' Medici, dated 2 February 1571, possibly an attempt to gain patronage. This letter is not included in this manuscript, which is more an individual compilation of agricultural writings containing, besides Tedaldi's Discorso, "più cose alla spezzata cauate di più luoghi intorno all'Agricoltura", i.e. a selection of pieces of advice taken from various sources, relating to peaches, broad beans, and Damascus rose plantations (fols. 57v-60r).

Provenance: Rothamsted acquisition date 1922

Literature: G.B. Tedaldi, Discorso sull'Agricoltura, ed. Marco Lastri, Firenze 1776; Gamba 1690 (for the 1776 edition); EDIT 16 CNCE

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Tedaldi (Giovanni Battista) Discorso sull' Agricoltura,

Estimate £600 - £800
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London, UK
Auction Curated By:
Rupert Powell
International Head of Books and Works on Paper
Justin Phillips
Early and Continental Printing