1856 · Parigi
First edition: Italian version of the stunning Firmin Didot–printed rendering of the Dance of Death, inspired by Holbein's work. The textual selections from early Christian saints, given in Latin, are accompanied by quatrains in Italian and prefaced by an Italian introduction written by Luigi Odorici — unlike the English and French editions published by Tross in the same year, which were both introduced by Anatole de Montaiglon, who had made the editorial selections.
Each meditation on death opens with a reproduction of one of Holbein's initials, done by Heinrich Loedel, with => the whole alphabet being represented except, of course, J and U; and each page is framed in an exquisite death-themed, wood-engraved => border done by Léon le Maire after designs from a Book of Hours printed by Simon Vostre. The => original front wrapper is preserved here, and the pages are untrimmed, resulting in some leaves having very wide margins.
Provenance: From the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
Brunet, III, 259 (for French ed. only). 19th-century quarter printed cloth with marbled paper–covered boards, spine with gilt-stamped decorative bands and gilt-stamped black leather title-label; minor rubbing to extremities. Mild age-toning and foxing throughout, more noticeable on bound-in wrapper; wrapper with inner portion repaired some time ago. => Attractive and interesting. (Inventory #: 37927)