Ashendene Press - Boccaccio (Giovanni) [Decamerone

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Il Libro di Messer Giovanni Boccaccio Cittadino Fiorentino Chiamato Il Decamaron Cognominato Prencipe Galeotto nel quale si contengono cent novelle in diece do sette donne e da tre Giovani Uomini. Folio, 41cm, pp.xii + 360, Nella Stamperia Ashendeniana, Shelley House, Chelsea, 1920,

Set in 'Subiaco' type and printed on Batchelor hand-made paper with the Bugle watermark of the same size and quality as used for the folio Dante. One of 105 copies printed on paper (plus 6 on vellum). With the exception of the 'Tavola' the book is printed in double column. The headings of each 'Gionata' are printed in blue capitals, those of each 'Novella' in red. They were specially designed for this book by Graily Hewitt. A beautiful long-tailed 'Q' begins the 'Introduzione''. Bound in blue boards, linen back, printed spine label. There is a small waterstain to the head of the upper board. Morocco book label of Richard Montgomery Gilchrist Potter. A very good copy indeed.

As will be seen from the colophon, the printing of this book was begun in 1913, Before it was half way through the work was interrupted by the World War, which necessitated the closing down of the Press until January, 1920. 'A curiously neglected volume, excelling simply in design and colour and therefore characteristic of the best post-war Ashendene folios.' (Franklin)

Others are more fulsome, Yates Thompson writes: 'It shall be placed on a choice shelf between Jenson's Plutarch and the Florence Homer of 1488.' Dyson Perrins says: 'It is perfect in all respects - press-work & format - there could be no better example of Printing.' Bella da Costa Greene from the Morgan Library: 'It is the finest piece of modern bookmaking and printing I have ever seen.'

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