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Original price £450.00 - Original price £450.00
Original price
£450.00 - £450.00
Current price £450.00

Del Papa, Giuseppe: Della natura del caldo e del freddo, lettera all’illustriss. sig. Francesco Redi gentiluomo Aretino scritta nel 1674. Firenze: Per Piero Matini all’ Insegna del Lion d’Oro, 1690. [Bound with] Del Papa: Lettera nella quale si discorre: se il fuoco, e la luce sieno una cosa medisima scritta nel 1675. Firenze: Per Piero Matini all’Insegna del Lion d’Oro, 1690.

Second editions of two scientific treatises by Giuseppe del Papa (1648–1735), an Italian physician with connections to the Medici family.

Giuseppe del Papa was a natural philosopher who belonged to the Atomist school of thought. According to this viewpoint, the physical world is made up of small units called atoms (Lavin 1993, p. 105).

Della natura del caldo e del freddo, which was originally printed in 1674, concerns the nature of heat and coldness. In this work, Del Papa argues that ‘coldness was not a quality in itself, but merely a lack of movement in the atoms which composed all bodies’ (Lavin 1993, p. 107). Del Papa examines this topic further in Lettera, which was originally printed in 1675. 

Both treatises are addressed to Francesco Redi (1626–1697), the personal physician to the Grand Duke of Tuscany—a role that Giuseppe del Papa would take on after Redi’s death (Baldini 1990; Lavin 1993, p. 107). The second treatise is noticeably shorter than the first, and only the first has an index.

Although each text has its own title page and pagination, the two publications were evidently issued as a set by Piero Matini (cf. Wellcome Collection page below). They typically survive bound together, as here.


Printed. One volume, 26.4 x 19.2 cms in binding, quarto, pp. [2] 152 [2] 30. Two title pages (woodcut vignette to both). Two decorative initials; miscellaneous woodcut ornaments.

Condition: some browning and foxing to pages, staining to some upper margins. First title page loosening.

Bound in half vellum and yellow marbled paper over pasteboards. Gold-tooled brown leather spine label (DEL PAPA NATURA DEL CALDO E FREDDO); gold-tooled black leather spine label with damaged four-digit shelfmark (<…0>). Occasional gold decoration to spine. Orange and blue endbands. Pastedowns; one free endpaper at rear. Untrimmed edges. Light wear to vellum; some wear, tearing, staining, and cockling to paper. Staining to free endpaper at rear. 


  1. Early paper bookmark inserted between pages 46 and 47 of work 1 (15.2 x 4.6 cms; chainlines visible), annotated with ‘Cai:[?] 107’.
  2. Various early(?) ink stains, especially in early portions of work 1.
  3. Brown ink lines in outer margin of p. 1 of work 1.
  4. Remnants of a four-digit shelfmark on spine label, possibly ‘4300’ or ‘4700’ but only the final 0 is completely legible.
  5. Very faded rectangular purple(?) library stamp appears in two places (work 1, p. 5 and work 2, page 30)
  6. Very faint pencil lines on verso of rear endpaper.
  7. Owned by Giancarlo Beltrame (d.2011).
  8. Chiswick auctions, ‘Books from the Library of Giancarlo Beltrame Part II’, 29 March 2018, lot 17.



Baldini, Ugo, ‘Del Papa, Giuseppe’, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani 38 (1990), last accessed 16 September 2021 via

Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Italian Books in the British Library, 3 vols (London: British Library, 1986), vol II, p. 656.

Del Papa, Giuseppe, ‘Della natura del caldo e del freddo…’, Wellcome Collection website, last accessed 16 September 2021 via 

‘Franceso Redi’, Encyclopaedia Britannica, last accessed 16 September 2021 via

Lavin, Michael, ‘Medievalism and Science in the Tuscany of the Last Medici’, in Leslie J. Workman (ed.), Medievalism in Europe, Studies in Medievalism V (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1993), pp. 101–14. Last accessed on 16 September 2021 via Google Books.

‘Piero Matini (fl. 1686–1692?)’, Royal Academy Website, last accessed 16 September 2021 via

‘Rèdi, Francesco’, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, last accessed 16 September 2021 via