One of the foremost poets of the early 20th century, Guillaume Apollinaire, once described Giorgio Baffo (1694-1768) as 'the greatest poet who ever lived' - and works by the latter consolidated Baffo's legacy by selling for seven-times their estimate, earlier this month.
Presented across four volumes (each 312 pages) within green and gold lace-gilded covers bound in Morocco, these rare first editions of poems by Baffo, an Italian poet and senator of the Venetian Republic, brought €14,000 at Era Auctions' February 19 sale.
Aside from Apollinaire's respect, Baffo's poems are also famous for their often licentious content. Many of the poet's 'obscene' works are included here among the 600 works contained with the volumes. The rare first editions were published posthumously in 1789.
Although bearing some minor cosmetic imperfections - marginal growth rings on the first two pages, first volume, and a very small scratch on the back of the volume - the lot's historical importance and overall quality saw it far exceed its €2,000 estimate at Era's sale.
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