3 June 2009,
London, King Street
Price realised GBP 7,500
Estimate GBP 3,500 - GBP 5,500
ASHENDENE PRESS -- DANTE ALIGHIERI (1265-1321). [La Divina Commedia.] Lo Inferno; Lo Purgatorio; Lo Paradiso. Chelsea: Ashendene Press, 1902-04-1905.
3 volumes, 4° (198 x 138mm). Opening paragraph to each volume and part of colophon printed in red. Manuscript rubrication in gold, red, blue and green by Graily Hewitt. One hundred woodcuts by Charles Keates and William Hooper after Robert Catterson Smith, based on the 1497 edition. Erratum slip in volume II. (Occasional light creasemarks to corners, light marginal soiling to opening page of vol. III.) Uniform fawn morocco by W.H. Smith bindery, spines lettered and dated in gilt, sides with foliate decoration in blind and gilt extending from bands, turn-ins with multiple gilt fillets, top edges gilt, others uncut. Provenance: presentation copy to William Frederick Danvers Smith, second Viscount Hambleden (1868-1928), and his wife, Lady Esther Carolina Georgiana Smith, née Gore (1870-1955, inscribed: 'To Esther G. Smith from the Printers July 1903' in vol. I; 'W.F.D. & Esther Smith from C.H. St J. Hornby April, 1905' in vol. II; 'To W.F.D. & Esther Smith from C.H. St. J. Hornby April, 1906' in vol. III).
PRESENTATION COPIES of this uncommon set, finely bound in morocco by W.H. Smith. Volume I limited to 149 copies, this one of 135 on paper. Volumes II and III limited to 170 copies, both one of 150 on paper. Although the woodcuts are said to be based on the 1491 edition in two of the colophons, this is corrected to the 1497 edition in the bibliography. Hornby XIII; XX; XXI. (3)
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