Rodger Friedman Rare Book Studio Archives - Rare Book Insider
last 7 days
last 30 days
older than 30 days

Rodger Friedman Rare Book Studio


Ragionamento sopra il fatto avvenuto in Bergemoletto, in cui tre donne, sepolte fra le rovine della stalla per la caduta d’una gran mole di neve, sono state trovate vive dopo tretasette giorni.

Somis, Ignazio. Quarto (26 cm); [4] leaves, 166 pages, and two engraved folding plates. Engraved vignette on title pages (illustrating the event narrated in the text), engraved portrait of Carlo Emmanuele, two engraved initials with figures of cherubs. In contemporary vellum over boards, red leather label on spine. Pages lightly toned, with some rather negligible stains. Good margins. Bima, Catalogo ragionato, in "La Stampa Reale di Torino" (2003), p. 91; Wellcome V, 148; Blake NLM 426. This work, which describes the experiences of two sisters, their brother's wife, and her five-year-old child trapped in a ruined stable by an avalanche for 37 days, is now considered a pioneering study in post-traumatic stress disorder. It is the first scientific study of the effects of survival through a period of privation. Somis (1718-93), professor of medicine at the University of Torino, descibes the tragic avalanche that destroyed the village of Bergemoletto in the high Alps west of Turin, and the survival of the child and three women for five weeks in a structure that we might call a lean-to buried under forty feet of snow. The husband and older son died in a desperate rescue attempt. Somis narrates the events passionately, replete with citations from Dante, but the medical analysis that follows is distinctly scientific. In a 2009 article on PTSD published in "Psychological Medicine," Brenda Parry-Jones wrote "no other publication has been located, to date, approaching the depth and detail of Somis."

La nobiltà dell’asino di Attabalippa dal Perù, rifformata da Griffagno delli Impacci, et accresciuta di molte cose non solo piacevoli curiose, e di diletto: ma notabili, e degne d’ogni asinina lode.

Attabalipa del Perù [i.e., Adriano Banchieri, 1567-1634]. Octavo (15 cm); 95 pages. Woodcut device on title page, woodcut ornaments, and 7 woodcut illustrations in text. In 18th-century polychrome woodblock decorated paper wraps. Thin portions of wrapper reinforced with Japan paper backing. Outer margins of several leaves that fell short of the fore-edge were extended early on, probably contemporaneously with the paper covers. Brief note in manuscript in lower margin of page 71, referring to text. Lower panel of wrapper ruptured, with some old signs of repair on inside page. One bifolium sprung. Printed on cheap paper for popular consumption, the book was not intended to survive. Overall condition quite good. Ref. Michel I, p.369, #32; Vinciana 3334 (1666 edition); Melzi II, 235; In the guise of Inca royalty, the prolific composer of sacred music, Adriano Banchieri, Benedictine monk, brings all the erudition that classical scholarship can provide to sing the praises of the donkey. The task is so great, he says, it would require Homer's trumpet or Orpheus's lyre. "If I had a hundred tongues and as many mouths, and a voice of iron or bronze, it wouldn't be enough to convey the thousanth part of the praise merited by this stupendous animal." The two-part essay in praise of the donkey is preceded by five short sketches in praise of dogs, horses, lions, elephants, and monkeys. Each has its virtues, but all pale before the mighty ass. Part two catalogues appearances of the ass in literature, in history, in place-names, in proverbs, and in popular speech. First published in 1592 in somewhat reduced form, the text was destined for popular consumption and sold by the printer, Camillo Bortoli, in reams that were then cut and sold by the booksellers, often from carts. Like comic books, these "libri da risma" were not expected to survive, yet this copy, in spite of being cut badly, was treated with care, repaired by an early owner, and pssed along.