Schuh’s Annotated Bio-Bibliography

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MOSCARDO, Ludovico Luigi.

(1620? – ?)

(Born: Verona, Italy,     ; Died: Verona, Italy,     ) Veronese nobleman & philharmonic academician.

Moscardo was a great collector of natural history objects, and obtained around 1642 part of Francesco Calzolari's collection. Eventually this collection passed to the Miniscalchi family, where the remains may be seen today as part of the Miniscalchi Foundation in Verona.

Biographical references: Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 40 & 184.

Mvseo di Lodovico Moscardo, 1656

1. Italian, 1656 [First edition].
Note | Overo Memorie | Del Mvseo | Di | Lodovico Moscardo | Nobile Veronese' | Academico Filarmonico, dal medesimo descritte, | Et in Tre Libri distinte. | Nel Primo si discorre delle cose Antische, le quali in detto Museo | si trouano. | Nel Secondo delle Pietre, Minerali, e Terre. | Nel Terzo de Corali, Conchiglie, Animali, Frutti, & altre cose | in quello contenute. | Consacrate | All' Altezza Serenissima | Di Francesco Dvca | Di Modena' E Reggio. | [ornament] | In Padoa [sic], MDCLVI. | [rule] | Per Paolo Frambotto. Con Licenza de' Superiori.

2°: π3 §6 A-Z4 Aa-Pp4 Qq2 Rr6; 170l.; [18], [1]-306 (i.e., 307), [12] p. Elaborate engraved title, plus 114 text engravings, mostly half-page to three-quarters-page in size. Woodcut printer's device on title and initials, plus typographic headpieces. Italic shoulder notes. Page size: 288 x 195 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], "Altezza Serenissime."; [2 pgs], "A Chi Legge."; [8 pgs], "Elogium."; [4 pgs], "Indice De Capitoli."; 1-305 (i.e., 306), Text.; 306 (i.e., 307), "Il Fine."; [11 pgs], "Indice | Delle Cose più Nobtabili contenute | in tutta l'Opera."; [1 pg], "Errata."; [1 pg], Blank.

Very scarce. A richly illustrated description of a typical seventeenth century Italian museum which was the hobby of a wealthy collector. Assembled by the Veronese antiquary Moscardo over some 30 years in the tradition of the humanist's "studiolo," it contained a wide variety of objects described in an introductory verse by a visitor to the house as forming "a world in themselves." The Moscardo collection incorporated the collection of Francesco Calzolari of Verona, which was one of the earliest private museums in Italy.

The first section describes and illustrates his antiquities: Roman statues, portrait busts, coins, urns, stelle, perfume bottles, votive objects, seals, oil lamps, lapidary inscriptions and jewelry. The section also includes Egyptian scarcophagi, fragments of a giant's bones, and some Rennaissance medals.

The second section lists over 100 minerals as well as petrified objects and fossils. The final section comprises corals, shells and preserved aquatic creatures (such as crocodiles, a sting ray, a swordfish, a seahorse, a shark, and even the mythical basilisk), fruits, seds, pods, beans, gums and ointments, a harpy, the bones of giants of whom the poets tell us, a small collection of phallic amulets, musical instruments, paintings and drawings, American Indian shoes, and at the end a large assault catapult. There are many interesting discussions as well, such as a section on magnets and others on the properties of various metals and minerals. Among the items illustrated and discused are a Greek "fibula gimnastica," which is a chastity ring for men that will "conserve the voice and the health." This is the first illustrated sexual device. The collection was seen by Ray in 1663 and by Gilbert Burnet in 1685 but disappears from history thereafter. The many striking engravings are all by the Veronese artist Alberto Pasi and have a naieve kind of charm in the expressions of faces and animals and are attractively shaded.

Bibliographical references: BL [435.g.21.]. Dance, Shell Collecting, 1966: 39. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 404. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 279. LKG: XVII 120*. Murray, Museums, 1904: 1, 84 & 3, 34. Nissen (ZBI): no. 2898. NUC: 396, 674 [NM 0806826]. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 4611. Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 218.

2. Italian, 1672 [2nd edition].
[In red:] Note | [in black:] Overo Memorie | [in red:] Del Mvseo | [in black:] Del | Conte Lodovico Moscardo | Nobile Veronese | Uno Del Padre Nell'Accademia Filaromonica, | Dal medesimo descritte in Trè Libri | Nel primo si discorre delle cose anitche; che in detto Museo | si ritrovano. | Nel secondo delle Peitre, Minerali, e Terre. | Nel terzo de Corali, Conchiglie, Animali, Frutti, de altre | cose in quello contenute. | Furono consacrate, nella prima editione alla Gloriossimo | memoria | Dell'Altezza Serenissima | [in red:] Di Francesco Fv Duca | [in black:] Di Modena E Reggio | Con l'aggiunta in questa Seconda Impressione della Seconda | parte dello Hesso Autori, | accresciuta di cose spettanti particolarmente all'antichita, | Con l'Indice d'uno | gran parte delle sue Medagli, & Pittore, come arco della | ritratti de | Principi, & altri Illustri huamini, cose in are, com | in lettore. | [ornament] | In Verona. M DC L XXII. | [rule] | [in red:] Per Andrea Rosi. Con Licenza de'Superiori.

2 parts in one volume, paged continuously. 2°: [*]6 A-Z4 Aa-Pp4 Qq2 Rr-Zz4 AAa-KKk4 LLl-SSs2 VVv-YYy2; 250l.; [12], 488 p. Title pages in red and black. Added engraved title page. Nearly 100 large engravings in text, and numerous woodcuts. The second part has its own title page.

Very scarce. This expanded edition is divided into three books. The first describes the antiquities contained in the collection, including coins, medals, sculptures, mosaics, lamps, etc. The second discusses at length the stones, minerals, earths and other items that came from the earth. Included are descriptions of carnelians, topaz, sapphire, ruby, jasper, amber, agate, amethyst, beryl, onyx, opal, cat's eye, nephrite, turquoise, malachite, Bloodstone, Beozar, magnets, mica, rock crystal, obsidian, asbestos, gold, silver, copper, tin, lead, quicksilver, iron, minum, antimony, various earths from Elba, Silesia, Strigonia, and Japan, sulfur, nitre, alum, salt, all thing petrified, etc. The third section provides descriptions of corals, animals, and fruits. A final part describes various Gods, coats-of-arms, dwarfs, chameleons, mathematical instruments, Turkish knifes and swords, a skeleton, old coins of Rome, paintings, drawings, portraits of princes and famous men, soldiers and writers. At the end comes an index of items described in the text.

Bibliographical references: Balsiger, Kunst und Wunderkammern, 1970: 331-42. BL [432.l.22.]. Dance, Shell Collecting, 1966: 39. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 409. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 279. LKG: XVII 120*. Murray, Museums, 1904: 3, 34. NUC: 396, 674 [NM 0806827].