ALBERTI, Giuseppe Antonio. La Pirotechnia o sia trattato dei Fuochi d'artificio. VIII, 128,  pp. Illustrated with 21 engraved folding plates. 4to., 227 x 165 mm, bound in contemporary Italian vellum over boards, author and title in early ink on spine, and (faded) ink writing on front cover. Venice: Appresso Gio. Battista Recurti, 1749.
First and Only Edition of "the first work in Italian to deal exclusively with the subject of fireworks for pleasure. The book claims to have modernised and improved the inventions of Frézier, Hanzelet, Henrion, Ozanam and Simienowicz" (Philip, Bibliography of Firework Books, p. 3).
The text is based upon Biringuccio's Pirotechnica but Biringuccio's emphasis was on metallurgy and smelting rather than fireworks. Alberti's La Pirotechnia is the first Italian book to describe the technical aspects of recreational fireworks, with sections on the materials; how to construct combustibles; uses, not only for festivals but also for street lamps resistant to wind and water, and for illuminating and decorating theater productions; spectacular aquatic fireworks; and special effects, including how to form sun, moon, and star shapes.
The excellent engraved plates illustrate firework apparati, including launching devices, air rockets, spinwheels, bombs, etc., numbered to the corresponding descriptions in the text, "uno dei trattati di pirotecnica più comprensibili e la sua lettura stimola la curiosità e l'interesse nel lettore amante della materia ... denso di curiosità scientifiche" (Di Lorenzo, Il teatro di fuoco, p. 106). Light foxing on endpapers and a few leaves, light marginal waterstaining.
Lotz, Das Feuerwerk, p. 131. Berlin Katalog 3304. Mazzuchelli, Scrittori d'Italia, I, 306. Fantuzzi, Scrittori bolognesi, I, 144. Morrazzoni, Il Libro Illustrato Veneziano del Settecento, p. 211 (with 20 plates only).
Item nr. 166920