Dante, possibly because it is the most difficult to get" (Franklin, p. 57). Douglas Cockerell managed the W. H. Smith & Son bindery from 1905 to 1914. He later stated that all of the bindings signed with the "WHS" stamp during those years were specially designed by him (cf. Hobson, English Bindings of J. R. Abbey, p. 170): these included most of the Ashendene imprints of that period. Provenance: Sir Sydney Cockerell (sale, Sotheby's, 10 December 1956, lot 130, 150 to F. Edwards). " /> ASHENDENE PRESS. DANTE ALIGHIERI. Tutte le Opere de Dante Alighieri Fiorentino. Chelsea 1909. <I>Folio, original russet morocco-backed oak boards, the side leather blind-tooled to an interlocking strapwork design punctuated by gilt dots, spine lettered in gilt, braided leather and metal clasps, edges uncut, by W. H. Smith and Son, with their WHS stamp on lower turn-in, the binding after a design by Douglas Cockerell; rubbing to joints and head and tail of spine, upper corner of lower cover chipped, endleaves and first two flyleaves with the usual offset discoloration from the oak boards, fore-edges slightly darkened, light spotting to upper margins of 3 or 4 leaves</I>. LIMITED EDITION, one of 105 copies on paper from an edition of 111, printed in Subiaco type, double column, headings and shoulder notes in red, large initials in red designed by Graily Hewitt, full-page woodcut frontispiece and 8 text woodcuts by W. H. Hooper after Charles M. Gere. Franklin, pp. 57, 195; Tomkinson, p. 6; Hornby XXIV. PRESENTATION COPY FROM ST. JOHN HORNBY TO SYDNEY COCKERELL, inscribed in ink on front free endpaper: "To S. C. Cockerell from the Printer, C. H. StJ. Hornby May, 1909." "This volume was by far the most ambitious effort of the Press to date and took three years to complete. It was the first book for which a professional compositor was employed for setting up the type" (Hornby). The Ashendene folio Dante "was said to stand beside the Doves Bible and Kelmscott Chaucer as one of the monuments of private presses." In a letter to a friend, Hornby spoke of the difficulty in choosing a "'chef d'oeuvre' of the Press. Public opinion seems to have fixed on the folio <I>Dante</I>, possibly because it is the most difficult to get" (Franklin, p. 57). Douglas Cockerell managed the W. H. Smith & Son bindery from 1905 to 1914. He later stated that all of the bindings signed with the "WHS" stamp during those years were specially designed by him (cf. Hobson, <I>English Bindings of J. R. Abbey</I>, p. 170): these included most of the Ashendene imprints of that period. <I>Provenance</I>: Sir Sydney Cockerell (sale, Sotheby's, 10 December 1956, lot 130, 150 to F. Edwards). | Christie's