Dante Alighieri

Le terze rime di Dante.

Venice, Aldus Manutius, August 1502.

8° (168x97 mm). Collation: a-z8, A-G8, H4. [244] leaves. Complete with fol. l2 blank. Italic and roman type. Aldine anchor on fol. H4v.Blank spaces for capitals, with printer guide letters, at the beginning of each cantica. Fine contemporary Venetian binding, brown morocco on thin wooden boards. Covers framed within a double gilt rectangular frame with semicircles in the centre of each side, an ivyleaf at the outer corners. Spine with three small raised bands, on the foot edge the author's name ‘Dante', inked by a contemporary hand. Gilt edges. Joints and spine slightly rubbed. A very fine copy, a few spotting and browning, a small wormhole in the lower blank margin of the last two leaves, without any loss.

Provenance: Benedetto Benzoni (seventeenth-century ownership 'Benedicti Benzoni', on the recto of the first leaf).

An outstanding copy - in its original Venetian binding - of the second issue of the Aldine Commedia, with the first apperance in print, on the verso of the last leaf, of Aldus' mark with anchor and dolphin on verso, probably the most famous of all printer's device. Aldines in original bindings have always been sought after.