Friday, February 11, 2011

De Partibus Aedium

Fales recently acquired the 4th Parma edition of Francisci Marii Grapaldi's "De Partibus Aedium". This edition is the first with the vocabulary, and an important edition of this famous work on domestic economy. Containing a glossary of terms used in buidling, gardening and various domestic crafts, it also relates to architecture and gastronomy, describing how to furnish and run a country house and includes descriptions of plants that may be found in the garden, fish in the fishpond and wines in the cellar.

The above woodcut portrait of the author, holding a pen and knife, appears on the recto of the first leaf.

Printed the year after Grapaldi's death, this edition is the last from the original publisher. The colophon indicates the printers as Saldo & Ugoleto, for Quintiani, 1516.

Woodcut crible initials appear throughout the text, indicating either new headings or, for the smaller initials, subheadings within descriptions.

The index to the main work contains 3000 entries, arranged in alphabetical order, although the foliation is in some cases confusing due to misprinting of leaf numbers.

One of the most interesting things about our copy is the marginalia that appears within it, in two differing hands. The one shown above seems to be a contemporary hand, and indicates the type of use that this book was put to by previous owners.