12 June 2013
DANTE, Alighieri (1265-1321). De la volagare eloquenzia. Vicenza: Tolomeo Janiculo, January 1529.
Royal 4° (269 x 172mm). Woodcut Golden Fleece device on title, printed in Arrighi's italic type. (Residual dampstain to a3-a5, some spotting to a8, light stain to margin of b1-b2, 20mm closed tear to margin of b3.) Later vellum, speckled edges (some light soiling to boards, these slightly bowed, small library label on spine). Provenance: a8 with underlying and neat note to margin in an early hand.
FIRST EDITION. The first book printed by Janiculo, of particular importance in the history of typography. The original Latin text of Dante's great philological treatise justifying the adoption of the Tuscan dialect as the national language of Italy was not printed until 1577 in Paris. This translation by Giovanni Giorgio Trissino is sometimes found bound with a group of his own philological works, also printed by Janiculo in 1529, in the beautiful 'cancelleresca' type of the great calligrapher-printer Lodovico della Arrighi, whose matrices Trissino had brought with him from Rome. 'For the purpose of printing Trissino's texts, Arrighi added to his italic the new characters proposed by Trissino for the Italian alphabet. Nothing is known of Arrighi after the sack of Rome in 1527... and for new editions of his works, Trissino was forced to find another printer' (Mortimer). Adams, D-121; cf. Mortimer Italian, 507.
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