30 April 2008
VERGILIUS MARO, Publius (70-19 BC). Bucolica, Georgica et Aeneis. Birmingham: John Baskerville, 1757.
4° (290 x 224mm). Contemporary red morocco gilt, covers with central lozenge made up of circles, stars, florets within wheels, and flower heads, double roll-tool dentelle borders, spine gilt in compartments with raised bands and green morocco lettering-piece, comb-marbled endpapers, gilt edges (joints a little rubbed, lettering-piece slightly chipped, small scuff marks to covers, some minor discolouration).
FIRST EDITION OF BASKERVILLE'S 'FIRST AND PERHAPS FINEST BOOK' (Gaskell), here in a fine English morocco binding. Work on the book was already in hand in 1754. Both Brunet and Renouard regarded it as the best and most sought after of the Baskerville quarto classics, marred only by the appearance of an inferior reimpression on cheaper paper, printed two or three years later but with unaltered date. Brunet V 1292: 'chef d'oeuvre de Baskerville'; Renouard, Bibliothèque d'un Amateur II 244; Gaskell I.
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