Venice: Gaspare Storti, 1782. Fine Binding. 8vo. 195 x 120 mm. (7 ½ x 5 inches). (2), 144, (2) pp. This copy is bound in full contemporary decorated leather, with remnants of gold or silver painting on the upper board. Both boards are embossed with an outer panel in a leaf and vine motif, enclosing two vertical panels with an urn at the base at its base and leafy vines blooming into a flower at the top. There is a shadow on the leaves and flowers where the gold or silver was applied but now almost completely lost. Each board has two slits where ties or ribbons once were used to secure the boards. The binding is slightly rubbed, and the endpapers are split showing the cords of the text block, but otherwise in very good condition. Item #33
Giovanni Battista Gherado d’Arco (1739-1791), was born and educated in the north of Italy in the territory known as the Southern Tyrol, near the city of Trento. He moved to Mantua following his cousin Carlo Firmian, a minister of state for the city. D’Arco continued to study economics there and became an important member of the civil service and contributor to the literary life of his adopted home. He was a member of the enlightened class, writing plays and satires in addition to his scholarly work on the economy and government.
In Della influenza del ghetto nello stato, D’Arco studies the impact of the Jewish community on the economy of the city, especially as it relates to lending to support agricultural production. He outlines the limits of the Ghetto participation in general economy and following the theories of colleagues Giovanni Battista Vasco and Pietro Verri, suggest that the expanded participation in the general economy would open trade and finance opportunities for both Jewish community and the burgeoning commercial classes in Italy. He also investigates the prevailing opinions and prejudices toward the Ghetto and suggests that greater integration of the of Jews and Italians would help better manage both the economy and the social cohesion of the ducal states of Northern Italy.
According to Federico Macchi, an expert in Italian bindings and author of a book on Piedmontesi and Tirolian bindings, this is a wonderful example of an 18th century binding from the territory encompassing Southern Germany, Tirol, and Trentino Alto Adige. Referring to this copy Macchi writes, “the kind of decoration, of the post fanfare style, showing central leafy vertical bands within head and foot borders, usually appearing in eighteenth-century binding produced in the southern German area or the Tirol.”
Pasted to the front pastedown is an award citation for achievement in grammar dated 1798. It includes a four-line poem offering words of congratulations and the best of luck in the future. Given the content of the essay, this is an unusual gift book and one only wonders to whom it was awarded. A phase in the citation suggest someone from the family Benuzzi.
Not in Kress, Einaudi or the Biblioteca Mattioli. DBI II (1961) pp. 798-793. Laterza I, p. 170. OCLC cites two copies, BL and Harvard; ICCU cites one copy in Milan.