Compendio istorico dell’arte de comporre i musaici, con la descrizione de’ musaici antichi, che trovansi nelle basiliche di Ravenna, e con due brevi ragionamenti, l’uno su la Ravennate Pigneta, l’altro su la repubblica delle api.
Ravenna, Roveri e Casali 1804.
4to. (6) (ex 8, no half title leaf ?) + vii + (1) + 244pp (the pagination includes an integral blank leaf accounting for pp 183-4). Later nineteenth century quarter vellum, marbled boards (traces left by old label on spine, now absent). Engraved bookplate of William Long. A light stain in the outer blank margin of pp 113-4, otherwise a clean, fresh copy internally.
The author, Marchese Camillo Spreti (1748-1830), a Knight of Malta and a member of the local nobility in Ravenna, was keenly interested in the history and antiquities of his native city, and the main part of his book is devoted to a description of the mosaics of the early Christian period still to be seen in no fewer than twelve churches and chapels in Ravenna. He also provides a summary of the origins and early history of mosaic manufacture in Italy. The book concludes with two separate essays by him, one on a topographical subject, and the other, more surprisingly, on literary references to the social organisation of bees. Cicognara 214.