Two scarce Dante titles – one with Kelmscott-style decorations by Christopher Dean, the other with uncredited illustrations almost certainly by Willy Pogany.
1) ‘The Vita Nuova or New Life of Dante Alighieri translated from the Italian by Frances de Meÿ’.
First De Meÿ edition, 1902.
Published by George Bell and Sons, London.
Printed at the Chiswick Press.
Publisher’s Japanese vellum-paper spine over cream paper-covered boards, gilt lettering plus green decorations to upper board and spine, top edges gilt, other edges untrimmed, secondary title page plus first page of text with decorative background and border, numerous decorative initials, printed in red and black throughout on laid paper, 131 pages, 16.5 x 13 cm.
Frances de Meÿ’s translation of Dante’s ‘La Vita Nuova’ – originally intended only ‘for [her] immediate circle’ – was printed by the Chiswick Press, who also published William Morris’s early work".. She lived in Italy for a time and died in 1914, bequeathing all her Dante-related books to the London Dante Society, and the manuscript of her translation and its rights to her nephew.
The decorations – including cover design plus Kelmscott-style title spread – are by the Glasgow-born artist Christopher Dean (fl. 1895-1924).
The New Life of Dante Alighieri; Notes; Table of Contents; Canzoniere; Index of First Lines of Sonnets, etc.
2) ‘The Vision of Dante Alighieri, translated by Rev. Henry Francis Cary. Inferno, Part: 1’.
First edition thus, 1910 (undated).
Date according to WorldCat.
Published by Collins’ Clear-Type Press, London & Glasgow.
In the Cameo Poets series.
Publisher’s limp green suede leather with yap edges, gilt lettering and decorations to upper board and spine, all edges gilt, blue silk ribbon page marker, pictorial endpapers (generic angel design), colour frontispiece plate plus pictorial title page, text pages in red and black throughout, 256 pages plus prelims, 14.5 x 9.5 cm.
The frontispiece and title-page designs in this pocket-sized edition of Dante’s ‘Inferno’ are uncredited by the publisher, but appear to be an unrecorded work by the famed Golden Age artist Willy Pogany (1882-1955), stylistically identical to his other illustrations of the period. (Note particularly the intricate title lettering, very reminiscent of the calligraphy in his celebrated ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, published the same year.)
WorldCat gives the book a publication date of 1910, neatly coinciding with Pogany’s other Collins’ Clear-Type Press commissions – including ‘Confessions of an English Opium-Eater’ (1908) and ‘Norse Wonder Tales’ (1909), as described by Greer.
Note that, although the title page states ‘Inferno, Part: 1’, no subsequent parts were ever printed in this series, and the ‘Inferno’ is complete with all cantos.
1) ‘Vita Nuova’
Contents very clean. No owner inscriptions. Usual age-toning to paper, first and last few leaves with light foxing, a few foxing spots elsewhere, slight bumping to upper corners, untrimmed edges with usual bumping, browning, nicks and wear. Endpapers with usual foxing/offsetting, remains of small original bookseller’s label. Gilt top edges a little dulled, other edges with foxing (intruding slightly into some margins). Binding tight. Boards and spine with scratching, discoloration and marks as shown, bumping, rubbing and wear to extremities; paper worn through to corners, plus partially along edges (with a few small glue repairs).
Contents very clean overall. Foxing to first and last few text pages, a few foxing spots elsewhere, slight bumping to first few corners, half-title page with original owner’s name plus date 1913. Front endpapers with short closed tear to lower gutter, plus small corner crease. Gilt page edges bright. Boards and spine with scuffing, scratching, discoloration, marks and wear as shown, a few small tears; suede with loss to lower corners plus head and foot of spine; green colour rubbing away.
- Aantal boeken
- Geïllustreerd, Literatuur, Poëzie
- Auteur/ Illustrator
- Dante Alighieri / Christopher Dean, Willy Pogany
- 2 first editions: Vita Nuova + Inferno
- Gemengd / Meerdere
- Publicatiejaar oudste item
- Publicatie jaar jongst item
- Eerste druk in dit formaat
- Oorspronkelijke taal
- George Bell / Collins' Clear-Type Press, London
- Mix / Meerdere
- Aantal pagina‘s.
- 16,5×13 cm