One of the Most Important 18th Century Private Libraries


Catalogue raisonné de la collection de livres de M. Pierre Antoine Crevenna, négociant à Amsterdam.

No place (Amsterdam, Privately Printed), 1775 (volumes I-V) - 1776 (volume VI).

Six volumes 4to bound in three, contemporary quarter vellum (slightly soiled) over paper boards, title in black ink on spines, red edges. XII pp. (including title), 150 pp., 1 blank leaf, title, 244 pp., 1 unnumbered leaf Corrections; 322 pp. (including title), 1 unnumbered leaf Corrections, 327 pp. (including title); 346 pp. (including title), 1 unnumbered leaf Corrections,  title, 1 unnumbered leaf Ordre du contenu, 336 pp., 2 unnumbered leaves Errata for the six volumes. Large engraved vignette by Schley dated 1774 on each title page, engraved head-and-tail pieces. Complete.

First edition. One of only 150 copies of the first issue (dated 1775) of a total edition of 300 copies.

The sought-after Catalogue of one of the most important 18th-century private libraries.

Pietro Antonio Crevenna (1736? -1792), an Italian tobacco merchant and bibliophile long resident in Amsterdam, spent considerable sums on his library that included several hundred incunables, rare bibles, and Judaica, books printed by the Aldine, and other presses (Giunti, Plantin, Baskerville, etc.), and Italian and French literature. Assisted by his librarian, the Milanese author Carl’Andrea Oltolina, Crevenna compiled this catalogue to document his collection. It is regarded as one of the most important bibliographical tools in the modern sense of the word. He had only 150 copies of the first volumes printed with the date 1775 but printed another 150 copies, dated 1776, after he decided to increase the edition to 300. The last volume includes extensive indices, including incunabula arranged according to date, a list of the Greek and Latin authors, and chronological lists of books printed by Aldus and others (Breslauer).

A few marginalia and a leaf of manuscript additions by an old hand inserted between pp. 188-189 of volume VI.

Very occasional faint foxing, a very good copy.

Ref. Brunet, II, 424 / Graesse, II, p. 301/ Taylor, p. 238 / Not in Blogie