Dante (1265–1321) Commedia (counterfeit) device

[Lyons : Barthélemi Trot ?, 1502-1503?]

The counterfeit edition of the 1502 Aldine edition of Dante was printed probably at Lyons, possibly by or for Barthélemi Trot. Aldus was seemingly unaware of it when he published his broadside warning against similar counterfeits, entitled Monitum in Ludgunenses typographos, on 16 March 1503, so the forgery might have been published later that year.

As was the case for the counterfeits of Aldus’s Latin enchiridia of 1501, the pirate edition copied the Aldine Dante in every aspect, with the exception only of the dated colophon and warning. The forgers also attempted to copy Aldus’s dolphin-and-anchor device. The woodcut mark on the last verso of their edition, though, is of very poor quality and much too heavily inked. It might have fooled the occasional buyer, but probably not the sharp eye of Aldus’s sophisticated clientele.

Rel.d.50.1, fol. G10 verso

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