Dante Alighieri

Dante con nuoue, et utili ispositioni. Aggiuntoui di più una tavola di tutti i vocaboli più degni d’osseruatione, che a i luoghi loro sono dichiarati.

Lyon, Guillaume Rouillé, 1551.

12° (121 x 69 mm). Collation: a-z8, A-S8 (the last six leaves of quire S signed *). 644, [12] pages. talic and roman type. On the title-page woodcut printer's device. Woodcut medallion portrait of Dante on fol. a4v. Three full-page woodcuts, designed by Pierre Vase (fols. a6v, p4v, E5v). Woodcut decorated and animated initials, mostly on black ground; headpieces. The title of each cantica within woodcut frame. Handsome contemporary Lyonese brown morocco, gilt-tooled. Covers decorated with beautiful interlacing pattern. Smooth spine, richly decorated with leaf sprays in gilt; gilt board edges. Edges gilt. A very good copy, ruled in red. Two thin wormholes in the quires a-h, occasionally affecting a few letters; pale waterstain at the lower blank margin of some quires. Some small stains. Cloth box, with title lettered in gilt on red morocco label.

Provenance: Robert W. Webb (engraved ex-libris on the front pastedown); Livio Ambrogio collection.

The first edition of the Commedia published by the famous printer Guillaume Roullié, and here presented in its contemporary Lyonese binding. The edition, in small format, was apparently produced for the large Italian community living in the French city. The Roullié Dante is decorated with three full-page woodcuts by Pierre Vase (also known as Pierre Eskrich or Cruche), a book illustrator and embroiderer active in Lyon and later in Geneva.