DANTE ALIGHIERI (1265-1321). La Divina Commedia. Milan: Luigi Mussi, 1809.
3 volumes, 2° (552 x 366mm). Printed on light-blue paper. (Some light offsetting, variable dampstaining and -spotting.)
BINDING: Viennese contemporary red, straight-grained roan [by Georg Friedrich Krauss], boards with borders of gilt greek-key bands between onlaid bands of green morocco gilt with floral, star and other tools enclosed within outer bands of gilt tools, gilt board-edges and turn-ins, spines gilt in compartments with gilt morocco lettering-pieces in 2 compartments and at foot, the other compartments with central green morocco onlays gilt with the monogram 'AS' enclosed within radiant gilt lines, gilt cornerpieces and borders, blue watered-silk doublures with gilt borders, gilt edges, blue silk registers (extremities a little rubbed and bumped, occasional scuffs or scratches on boards).
PROVENANCE: Herzog Albrecht Kasimir August von Sachsen-Teschen (limitation leaf, binding, shelfmark labels on front free endpapers; sale, Lucerne, Gilhofer and Ranschburg, 14-15 June 1932, lot 410) -- Bernard Breslauer, London.
LIMITED TO 72 COPIES, THIS NO. V OF 8 COPIES ON LIGHT-BLUE PAPER, HERZOG ALBRECHT VON SACHSEN-TESCHEN'S EXEMPLAIRE NOMINATIF, with the publisher's signature and wax seal on the justification leaf. Although unsigned, the present binding can be confidently attributed to Georg Friedrich Krauss (fl. 1791-1824), who was one of Herzog Albrecht von Sachsen-Teschen's principal binders; comparison with the binding on his copy of Longus' Les Amours pastorales de Daphnis et de Chloé (Paris: 1800), signed by Krauss, demonstrates tools in common to both works. Herzog Albrecht von Sachsen-Teschen (1738-1822), the founder of the eponymous Vienna Albertina, was a noted bibliophile who possessed a fine library of illustrated and finely-printed editions from the presses of Bodoni, Didot, and other leading European printers. His collection included, in addition to the present set -- apostrophised by Brunet as 'Belle édition' -- Mussi's editions of Machiavelli's Opera (Milan: 1810-11) and Ovid's Opera (Parma and Milan: 1806-08). Brunet II, 506-507 (calling for a portrait, not part of the work); Graesse II, p. 331; Mambelli 97. (3)