THE FIRST FULLY-ILLUSTRATED POST-INCUNABLE EDITION OF THE DIVINE COMEDY, AND THE FIRST POST-INCUNABLE EDITION IN FOLIO.
USING THE CELEBRATED TEXT OF PIETRO BEMBO (first printed in the 1502 Aldine edition). An example of this 1507 edition sold at Christie's in 2016 for GBP 30,000.
Superbly illustrated with a splendid full-page woodcut within an historiated border at opening of Inferno, and 99 smaller in-text woodcuts attributed to the Master of the Pico Pliny. Further adorned by numerous black and white woodcut initials of various sizes.
THE VOLUME IS COMPLETE. It is foliated as follows: (10), CCCXCVIII ff.
The text, in Italian thoughout, was edited by Pietro da Figino and augmented by the commentary of Cristoforo Landino. It was printed in folio at Venice by by Bartolomeo de Zanni in 1507 (finished 17 June 1507).
This edition also includes three small pieces: the Italian translations of the prayers 'Ave Maria,' 'Credo,' and 'Pater Noster,' attributed (most likely spuriously) to Dante. It may be referenced as Adams D-86; Batines I, p.68-9; Essling 435; Mambelli 22; Sander 2319; Olschki, Choix 4389; Panzer VIII, p. 384-5.
Despite using the traditional incunable layout and including the 1481 Landino commentary, the text of La Commedia in this curious edition is already that of the celebrated 1502 Aldine recension superintended by Pietro Bembo. Most of the woodcuts are from the Benalius-Capcasa edition printed 3 March 1491 (except the one illustrating Paradiso I, which is from the de Plasiis edition of 18 November 1491), and are attributed to the Master of the Pico Pliny, a prolific miniaturist whose illuminations appear in a large number of manuscripts and incunables dating from 1464 to 1494.
The first quire (aa10) contains the introductory essays by Landino and Ficino from the celebrated 1481 Florentine edition, including Landino’s 'Sito, forma et misura dello’nferno et statura de giganti et di Lucifero,' the 'Life of Dante,' and several pieces celebrating the cultural superiority of Florence. The colophon is found at foot of leaf L7v, and the register upon L8r, which also displays a woodcut white-on-black printer’s device with the initials B.Z.
This volume is very finely bound in modern dark-brown morocco, with the boards elaborately paneled in blind. The spine is divided by raised bands into six compartments and gives the author's name and year of publication in gilt. The volume is further enclosed in a slipcase with matching morocco trim. The endpapers have evidently been retained from an earlier binding.
THIS 1507 DANTE IS IN FINE CONDITION EXTERNALLY AND VERY GOOD CONDITION INTERNALLY. This is quite an attractive example, with wide margins, clear print and generally clean and bright pages throughout. The woodcuts are excellent impressions.
There is moderate (and gradually diminishing) damp-stain at the blank margin of the top outer corner. There is also occasional light soiling (mostly to the opening and final leaves). One of the smaller woodcuts displays partial and unobtrusive early “coloring” in brown ink. The 8 leaves of the final quire show the lower margin skillfully and inconspicuously repaired at bottom edge (well away from text); the final leaf L8 also shows repairs to the inner margin (text unaffected). There is a harmless paper flaw to margin of aa8 (no loss), and a little soiling and staining of the endpapers.
- Number of Books
- Illustrated, Incunabula & early printing, Literature, Poetry, Politics, Post-incunabula, Religion
- Author/ Illustrator
- Dante Alighieri
- Book Title
- Danthe Alighieri Fiorentino Historiado [La Divina Commedia] [The Divine Comedy]
- Publication year oldest item
- 1st Edition Thus
- Original language
- Venice: Bartolomeo de Zanni
- Binding/ Material
- 100 WOODCUTS; THE FIRST ILLUSTRATED POST-INCUNABLE EDITION; , other extra - see description