UGHELLUS, Abbas Ferdinandus

Columnensis Familiae Nobilissimae S.R.E. Cardinalium

Rome: Typis Hæredum Corbelletti. 1650.

First edition. 4to. 237x180mm. ff. [40]. Engraved title page and nineteen engraved portraits. Contemporary limp vellum, small hole to bottom edge of upper cover and a very small hole to foot of spine and some slight soiling but otherwise in very good condition. Front pastedown has the bookplate of Sloley Hall in Norfolk. Internally, there is some staining, quite heavy in places but overall a very attractive copy of a rare book: a nice example of an attractively printed Italian seventeenth century book with particularly good and striking illustrations. The engravings are unattributed and we have been unable to discover the artist. The British Museum, which has copies of these engravings from a later edition, simply state that the artist is anonymous. A pity as they are fine portraits. USTC records only thirteen copies of which ten are in Italy. Rare in commerce, we have been unable to trace any copies appearing at auction records.
Ferdinando Ughelli (1595-1670) was a Cistercian monk and historian whose most important work, the nine volume Sacra Italia was, despite its errors, a ground-breaking book. Columnensis familiae is a slighter work, charming and attractive, telling the story of members of the Colonna family who became Cardinals.

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