Origine della Greca architettura della Signora Petralba N.N. Milanese.
Milano, Fratelli Ubicini 1818.
8vo. 109+(1)pp, 3 folding plates. Publisher’s printed wrappers, the back wrapper repaired at lower outer corner for loss of surface, including some loss of some printed text from publisher’s statement printed on the back cover. Last six leaves of text and the three folding plates have also suffered some loss of blank surface at their lower outer corners, but this time not affecting either the printed text or the engraved area of the plates. Henry Blackmer’s copy, with his printed book label.
First and only edition of this volume issued under the pseudonymous authorship of a ‘Signora Petralba N.N.’ from Milan, identified in works of bibliographical reference as Giuseppina Carcano. Its main theme, surprisingly, is not the architecture of ancient Greece but the architecture of Solomon’s palace and temple at Jerusalem. which the authoress saw as the basis from which Greek architecture evolved. As such, the book is an interesting addition to the canon of literature on the topic, whether its theories were really evolved by the authoress herself, or by her friend and technical advisor, an architect called Pier Giovanni Piacenza. She also uses the book as propaganda on behalf of the fine neo-classical design recently produced by the architect Pietro Bianchi from Lugano for the new church of S.Francesco at Naples.It should be noted that although the present copy is complete and clean internally (and derives from the library of the late Henry Blackmer, the well-known collector of books on Greek art, architecture and topography), the lower outer corner of its last six leaves of text and of its three folding plates has suffered some loss of blank surface, probably caused long ago by a rodent (similar damage to the volume’s printed back wrapper has caused some minor loss of its printed surface).