MAITTAIRE, Michel (1668-1747). Annales typographici ab artis inventae origine ad annum MD [ad annum M.D.XXXVI, ad annum M.D.LVII continuati]. The Hague: Isaac Vaillant [Vaillant brothers and Nicolas Prevost]. 1719-25.
40 (283 x 215 mm), 3 parts in 5 volumes. Titles printed in red and black with engraved vignette, two engraved frontispieces of portraits of early printers. With the errata-leaves. (Some staining.)
CONTEMPORARY HARLEIAN-STYLE BINDINGS: gold-tooled crimson morocco, covers panelled with roll-tooled borders, central ornament composed of small tools, floral tool at the corners, spines tooled in compartments and with green-morocco lettering pieces, gilt-edges, (some wear, last volume rebacked, spines fading). Provenance: Thomas Stack ? Autograph letter signed by Maittaire, dated 7th Sept. 1740 and addressed to Dr Stack, tipped onto front free endpaper of volume 1 (offering the second edition of his Anacreon to Sir Hans [Sloane] through the good offices of his correspondent).
LARGE-PAPER ISSUE OF THE FIRST EDITION of Maittaire's celebrated work, the most complete and advanced bibliography to date of incunabula and post-incunabula. It is arranged in chronological order and discusses printing places, printers, typography, editions, etc., often at considerable length. Volume 5 contains an appendix of books up to 1664. A new edition of vol. 1 appeared in 1733 and a final volume containing the index in 1741. The author examined numerous books himself, mostly in the vast libraries of English noblemen such as the earl of Pembroke (dedicatee of part 1), the duke of Devonshire (dedicatee of part 2), the earl of Oxford (dedicatee of part 3) and Lord Sunderland. Maittaire was the son of Huguenot parents, who had settled in England. His Annales were the main source seventy years later for Panzer's Annales, which began the modern era in the study of early printing. This set was finely bound in England in the style adopted for the collection of Edward Harley, second earl of Oxford (dedicatee of part 3), by his librarian Humfrey Wanley; however, the tools differ somewhat from those employed by his principal binders, Thomas Elliot and Christopher Chapman. Large-paper copies are VERY RARE. P. Needham, "Counting Incunables" in: Huntington Library Quarterly vol. 61, p. 458; Breslauer & Folter 96; BBB Wittockiana 7.