[Sir Anthony Panizzi [Antonio Genesio Maria Panizzi], Principal Librarian at the British Museum, London.] Autograph Signature to ornate printed copperplate receipt, completed to acknowledge a ‘Present’ by Bernard Piffard of Nova Scotia specimens.

Sir Anthony Panizzi [born Antonio Genesio Maria Panizzi in Italy] (1797-1879), Principal Librarian at the British Museum, London [Bernard Piffard (1833-1916), entomologist; Nova Scotia]
Publication details: 
17 November 1858. On letterhead with royal crest of the British Museum, London.
SKU: 25490

Now viewed in a favourable light, Panizzi was a controversial figure in his own time, being dubbed a ‘fat pedant’ by Thomas Carlyle, who was moved to press for the creation of the London Library as a result of the Italian’s high-handed behaviour. From the Piffard papers. 1p, 4o. On recto of the first leaf of a bifolium. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn, with short closed tears to both leaves on fold. Folded four times. The document is a printed form, in copperplate, headed with the royal crest, signed by ‘A Panizzi’, and completed in a secretarial hand, who addresses the document to ‘B. Piffard, Esq.’ Reads: ‘[Sir,] / I am directed by the Trustees of the British Museum to inform you that they have received the Present mentioned on the other side which you have been pleased to make to them, and I have to return you their best thanks for the same / I have the honor to be / [Sir] / Your most obedient Servant / [A Panizzi] / Principal Librarian’. The ‘Present’ is described by the secretary on the recto of the second leaf: ‘Specimens of Neuroptera and Diptera from Nova Scotia’. The Natural History Department was only formally separated from the British Museum in 1963.