Dante Alighieri - Divine Comedy, 1487

Dante Alighieri (Florence, 1265 - 1321, Ravenna)

Comedy of the Divine Florentine poet Danthe Aleghieri [Comedia del Divino poeta fiorentino Danthe Aleghieri], 1487

Printed ink on paper, 37.2 x 26 x 5.2 cm (14 5/8 x 10 1/4 x 2 1/16 in.) binding


Object details

Accession number



  • Dante Alighieri (Florence, 1265 - 1321, Ravenna) - author
  • Marsilio Ficino (Figline Valdarno, Florence, 1433 - 1499, Careggi, Florence) - editor
  • Cristoforo Landino (Florence, 1425 - 1498, Borgo alla Collina) - editor
  • Bonino Bonini (Lastovo, Dubrovnik Republic, about 1454 - 1528, Treviso) - printer
  • Robert Riviere (London, 1808 - 1882, London) - binder

Object Case

Dante Case



Publication Place


Binding Description

Full brown crushed morocco; fillets on sides; pierced escutcheon design on back; fillets inside; gilt edges


I Vol. (310 leaves, 620 pages) : paper : ill. ; 35 cm. (folio)


Possibly in the collection of a member of the Zenner family, Nuremberg.
Collection of the English art and social critic John Ruskin (1819-1900), by 3 April 1880.
Offered for sale at an unidentified English sale, lot 8208.
Collection of the art collector and watercolor painter Edward Cheney (1803–1884), about 1882.
Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from the Cheney sale at Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, London for £80 on 22 July 1886 through the scholar and critic Charles Eliot Norton (1827-1908) and the bookseller Bernard Quaritch (1819-1899), London, lot 542.


<SPAN>Stamped (beneath front pastedown): "Bound by Riviere."<BR/>Affixed (front pastedown): bookplate of Isabella Stewart Gardner<BR/>Affixed (front pastedown): Edward Cheney's bookplate <BR/>Inscribed in pen (recto of front flyleaf): "J. Ruskin. Parted with for want of room Brantwood 3rd April 1880."<BR/>Inscribed in pencil (recto of front flyleaf): "E. C. L. 1882" [or "£1682"; probably hand of Edward Cheney]<BR/>Affixed (recto of front flyleaf): Excerpt from unidentified sale catalogue, lot 8208 <BR/>Affixed (recto of front flyleaf): Excerpt from the Cheney sale catalogue, lot 542<BR/>Marked (f. a2 recto, opening of Inferno): Unidentified coat of arms [with gules, a bend sable/argent fimbriated azur (?)]<BR/>Marked (f. a2 recto, opening of Purgatory): Unidentified coat of arms <BR/>Watermarks (on leaves c5 and aa1): Unidentified<BR/>Enclosed: typed bibliographic description<BR/>Enclosed: photocopy of typed bibliographic description<BR/>Enclosed: note, inscribed in pencil "2.C.1.7 Brescia / Dante", with list of enclosures<BR/>Enclosed: four pages from a dealer catalogue (pp. 3-6; 9-12), Edizione Della Divina Commedia<SPAN STYLE="font-style:italic"><BR/></SPAN>Enclosed: (recto) page 25 from a Fogg Museum catalogue, entry titled "Dante and Petrach in A Painting by Giovanni Dal Ponte"; (verso) iIllustration of painting <BR/>Enclosed: dealer catalogue lot description and illustration of "La zucca del Doni" by Anton Francesco</SPAN>


Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge. Catalogue of the Choice Library of the late Edward Cheney, Esq. (London, 25-29 June 1886), lot 542.
Dietrich Reichling. Appendices ad Hainii-Copingeri Repertorium Bibliographicum...Emendationes (Monachii, 1905-11), no. 5948.
Isabella Stewart Gardner. A Choice of Books from the Library of Isabella Stewart Gardner, Fenway Court (Boston, 1906), p. 21. (as bound by Rivière [sic])
Isabella Stewart Gardner. A Choice of Manuscripts and Bookbindings from the Library of Isabella Stewart Gardner, Fenway Court (Boston, 1922), pp. 86-87.
Morris Carter. Isabella Stewart Gardner and Fenway Court (Boston, 1925), pp. 97-99.
Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 251.
Maureen Cunningham. "The Dante Quest." Fenway Court (1972), pp. 21-24.
Frederick Richmond Goff. Incunabula in American libraries; a third census of fifteenth-century books recorded in North American collections (New York, 1964), no. D.31.
Rebecca Karo. Short-Title Catalogue of Highlights from the Book Collection in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Unpublished manuscript. (Boston, 1970s), no. 6.
Rollin van N. Hadley. Museums Discovered: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1981), p. 148.
Hilliard Goldfarb. Italian Renaissance Drawings, Medals, and Books. Exploring Treasures in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum I. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1991), pp. 15-16.
Hilliard Goldfarb and Susan Sinclair. Isabella Stewart Gardner: Woman and the Myth. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1994), pp. 12, 37, no. 20.
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke, no. 07968, accessed 21 September 2016. http://www.gesamtkatalogderwiegendrucke.de/docs/GW07968.htm
British Library. Incunabula Short Title Catalogue, no. id00031000, accessed 21 September 2016. http://istc.bl.uk/search/search.html?operation=record&rsid=556000&q=0#
Anne-Marie Eze in Jeffrey F. Hamburger et al. Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Newton: McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College; Cambridge: Houghton Library, Harvard University, 2016), pp. 17, 233, 297, 308-309, 310-11, 311-12, no. 248, ill.

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Isabella Stewart Gardner kept meticulous records of many of her acquisitions. In keeping with this legacy, object information is continually being reviewed, updated, and enriched in order to give greater access to the collection.


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