FIRST EVER POSTAL GUIDE ITALY & EUROPE – 1562
Condition: FIRST POSTAL GUIDE EVER 1562
Item Id #: 1229
12 in stock
LE POSTE NECESSARIE A CORRIERI… (Brescia 1562) modern reprint on lignin free and acid free special paper. 72 pages in Italian with very useful PREFACE in ENGLISH. Listing the POSTS and FAIRS of Italy, France, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium etc.
Limited HARD BOUND Edition.
The first ever postal guide published in 1562 has been reprinted in the British Virgin Islands by stamp expert Dr. Giorgio Migliavacca. â€œThis modern reprint of the 1562 postal guide makes this important book in the history of travel and communications easily available to 21st century readers and scholars,â€ he said. The limited edition reprint is expected to become a sought after collectible for bibliophiles.
The 444 year-old Renaissance book is the oldest travelerâ€™s guide reprinted in its original format in the entire Americas.
Dr. Migliavacca explained that many of the early traveler’s guides published in Italy between the 1500s and 1800s were almost invariably written by authors who had close ties with the postal service.
The first postal guide (Le poste necessarie a’ corrieri) was published in Venice and saw three editions between 1560 and 1563 in conjunction with the Catholic Church Council of Trento (Tridentine Council).
The well-known postal historian went on to say that during the late 1400s, throughout the 1500s, and beyond, the word “post” did not have the same meaning we give to it nowadays. A post was a place at some junction, in town or in the countryside, where it was possible to hire or change a horse, and in most cases get a meal and some rest.
â€œThe distance between one post and the next was also called “post.” In some cases this distance could be longer than normal and therefore the measurement between two posts could sometimes be one and a half posts, or two posts. This measurement was important because it affected the cost and fees for hiring horses, postilions and coaches. It must be noted that the posts, or postal inns, also handled mail. In fact, in the course of time, the postal network had facilitated the service of post horses, post chaises and coaches, which was the equivalent of modern public transport,â€ he said.
The earliest surviving edition is that published by Ioanne Battista Bozola and printed in Brescia in 1562 by Damiano Turlino. As the title indicates – “The Posts needed by the Couriers in Italy, France, Spain & Germany…” – this precious, pocket-size, booklet was initially meant for couriers, be they postal couriers, private couriers, merchant couriers, diplomatic couriers, couriers of the municipalities, couriers of the Princes and Kings, and couriers of the Church. The first edition was out of print in a short time because many couriers lived in and/or converged upon Venice from all over Europe. The city also drew huge numbers of businessmen, tourists, and other visitors. It is no surprise that a second and a third edition were published in a rather short time.
A lucrative industry of postal guides was born from this little acorn. In due course these booklets (librettos) helped the traveler plan his journey and see which posts were on his route. That the book in its second edition was already targeting travelers and businessmen becomes apparent from the subtitle – “And Also with the Addition of the names of all the Fairs held all over the world”. It also had a â€œTavola novamente Stampataâ€ – a new Table of Contents â€œto make it easier to find the route of the journey the man will like to makeâ€.
Dr. Migliavacca said that â€œthese postal guides had a utilitarian role – they were meant to disseminate timely information and as such were destined to perish. In fact, of the 1560 edition there does not seem to have survived a single copy, while of the 1562 edition only the Marciana Library in Venice and the Ambrosiana Library in Milan are privileged to have a copy.â€
â€œThe number of people traveling and writing letters during the Renaissance had increased exponentially and so had their need for detailed and up-to-date information. The many editions of the postal guides suggest that these publications were readily available at retail outlets that have not yet been identified but must have included booksellers, inns, and postal stations.â€
Dr. Migliavacca is not new to publishing reprints of important books. In fact, in 1980 he published the reprint of another famous postal guide written in the early 1600s by the Deputy Postmaster General of Milan, Ottavio Codogno. The 1620 Venice edition of his 460-pages â€œItinerarioâ€ was reprinted in limited edition by Dr. Migliavacca and copies of it can now be found in some of the most important libraries worldwide. It is also a highly desirable collectible for bibliophiles and specialists.