Publisher: Napolo: Per Francesco Ricciardi, 1721.
Edition: First and only edition.
Condition: Title a little spotted and foxed at the edges; very good copy. Rare.
Book ID: 27363
DescriptionSingle bifolium, modern marbled wrappers, four pages. Woodcut vignette title and woodcut illustration in the text.
CommentsA learned bookman from Berkeley, California generously interpreted the text for us: "A popular account of a female Great White Shark captured and killed by an armada of Neapolitan fishermen in a “vendetta” undertaken after one of their number was eaten while diving for shellfish. Inside the shark were found a great many fish and a few human bones, including the scalp of the poor fisherman, with hair still intact. Since the days of Pliny, the Bay of Naples has been notable for the variety and abundance of its seafood. It was the inevitable location for the world’s leading marine research station, the Stazione zoologica Anton Dohrn, founded in 1872, staffed by scientists, with specimens supplied by local fishermen. The characteristic Neapolitan mixture of science and superstition may be seen in this pamphlet, which gives the scientific name of the “mostruoso pesce”, Canis Charcharias, while noting that it is the habit of the locals to set its teeth in silver as an amulet to hang round the necks of children, to ward off fear and the pains of teething." Francesco Ricciardi was a Neapolitan printer and publisher in the first half of the 18th century.