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First edition of an emblem book on the theme of the heart

PONA, Francesco.
Cardiomorphoseos sive ex corde desumpta emblemata sacra.
Verona, superiorum permissu, 1645. 4to. With engraved allegorical title-page (signed ''G.G.'' below right) showing King David and Saint Paul holding a heart, with the arms of the dedicatee, Cardinal Jules Mazarin, at the foot, 101 engraved emblems in text, each on the theme of the heart, with a letterpress title in any of about 7 different woodcut panels, and a letterpress explanation below, continuing onto the verso. Each is printed from an oval plate (10.5 x 8 cm). Contemporary sheepskin parchment.
€ 8,950
First edition of a religious emblem book in Latin, built around the theme of the heart, written by the Marinist poet, writer, doctor and philosopher Francisco Pona (1594-1654). The illustrations, largely etched and unsigned, are slightly primitive in execution, but have the heart-felt charm of folk art. Pona's works ranged from scientific treatises and history to poetry and plays. In 1651 he was appointed the official historian to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III.
With the early owner's inscription of a painter ("pictoris"), Dominicus Dentonus, at the foot of the title-page. In good condition, with only some small worm holes in the foot margin of the last two leaves and some minor marginal soiling. Binding wrinkled and soiled.
ICCU (9 copies); Landwehr, Romanic emblem books 610; Praz, pp. 151-152.
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Art & architecture  >  Art & Art History
Literature & linguistics  >  Emblem, Fable & Songbooks