Adapted from Francesco Colonna, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (Venice: Aldus Manutius ..., Dec. 1499). Courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, Olin Library, Wesleyan University.

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About this image

This image is an incunabular prototype of the famous dolphin and anchor device that appears in the colophons of the publications of Aldus Manutius (1450-1515), the great Venetian scholar printer, beginning in 1502. Aldus is generally credited with the invention of the printer's device, a nearly ubiquitous means for identifying the work of a given printer or publisher in the sixteenth century that is still quite common in our own day. Among Aldus's other innovations are italic type and books small enough to hold easily in one hand.

An electronic edition of the The Hypnerotomachia Poliphilo of Francesco COLONNA, along with extensive bibliography and commentary can be found at http://www.xs4all.nl/~knops/hypnerotomachia.html.

-- Suzy Taraba, University Archivist and Head of Special Collections, Wesleyan University

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