4 June 2008
DANTE ALIGHIERI (1265-1321). [Divina Commedia:] Dante col sito, et forma dell'Inferno tratta dalla istessa descrittione del poeta. Edited by Pietro Bembo (1470-1547). Venice: heirs of Aldus Manutius, the elder, August 1515.
Aldine 8° (157 x 95mm). Woodcut double-page map, double- and single-page charts, Aldine devices A2 (first title and final verso) and A5 (second title). Italic type 1:80. 3-line initial space with guide-letter opening each part. Issue with 3rd line of title ending "DE-". (Minor marginal repairs at end, last quire rehinged with map and charts on guard, without penultimate blank leaf.) 19th-century English light olive morocco gilt, Aldine device on sides, spine ruled and lettered, red-brown endpapers, gilt edges (slightest rubbing at spine). Provenance: title inscription (neatly washed) -- George Matthew Fortescue (1700-1877; by descent; sale Christie's, 24 March 1971, lot 55).
Second - first illustrated - Aldine edition. The 1502 Aldine edition was the first edited by Bembo, and established the text of the Divine Comedy until the late 19th century. The present second edition was dedicated to Vittoria Colonna by Andrea Torresano and was the first Aldine Dante to contain the woodcut maps and charts. Ahmanson-Murphy 136; Renouard 73:8; Adams D-88.
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