BETTI, Giovanni Battista. A' Dilettanti delle Bell'Arti. Contents includes illustrated engraved title and 24 engraved plates. Oblong folio, 220 x 300 mm, bound in contemporary paste-paper wrappers. Florence: 1779.
First Edition of Betti's imaginative illustrated alphabet-book, containing 24 full-page oblong plates of richly ornamented capital letters, each letter standing in a bucolic landscape with a corresponding figure from Greek or Roman mythology. It is a work "rare and distinctive for the range of its subjects" (DBI) and draws heavily on the imagery of pastoral Greece.
According to American Book Prices Current, no other copy of the first edition has sold at auction in at least 35 years; a copy of the 1785 second edition was sold at auction in 1993. 6 copies in America according to OCLC. An unsophisticated copy, with occasional spots and minor stains, but nevertheless an appealing.
Bonacini 200; Berlin Kat. 5300; Guilmard 332: See Garvey, E.M. Introduction to the 1969 Facsimile published by Harvard.
Item nr. 165360