Milan: Presso il Tip. Editore P. Ripamonti Carpano; Presso Virginio Bontà, 1859 and 1868. Two cartonnage volumes. Strenna Italiana (1859) measuring 9.5 x 6.5 inches: , 182, . Original ivory paper-covered boards with hand-colored pictorial lithographic inlay, boards and spine elaborately stamped in gilt with hand-colored decorations, pale pink endpapers, all edges gilt. Pictorial title page, engraved frontispiece and five full-page tissue-guarded engraved plates, all pages with ornamental borders. Two bookplates to front endpapers. Light shelfwear, small tidemark to bottom gutter of first few signatures, tissue guards foxed. Le Belle Strenne (1868) measuring 8.5 x 6 inches: 206, . Original ivory paper-covered boards with hand-colored pictorial lithographic inlay, boards and spine elaborately stamped in gilt and blue, pale green endpapers, all edges gilt. Title page printed in colors and gilt; engraved frontispiece and two full-page tissue-guarded engraved plates; ornamental headpieces, tailpieces, and initials. Light dampstain to lower board, a few stray marks to endpapers, tissue guards foxed.
Two nineteenth-century Italian gift annuals, in hand-heightened cartonnage bindings featuring portraits of idealized young women. These illustrated collections of sentimental prose and poetry were popular New Year’s gifts, easy to read and designed for display. Published in Milan at the height of the Risorgimento era, these highly decorative literary anthologies represent the sort of book in which the ambitious, romantic Angelica Sedàra, the heroine of Lampedusa’s The Leopard, would be likely to seek her reflection. Text in Italian. Near-fine examples.