MEERMAN, Gerard (1722-71). Origines Typographicae. The Hague: Jacob van Karnebeek for Nicolaus van Daalen, Guillaume-François de Bure (Paris) and Thomas Wilcox (London), August 1762-April 1765.
Large 4o (297 x 227 mm), 2 volumes. With 2 engraved portraits (the author by Daullé after Perronneau, Coster by Houbraken after Schouman), double-page letterpress genealogical table of the Coster family, engraved coat-of-arms of Johann Schott, 10 engraved facsimile plates (the first double-page) of early printing and xylography. Contemporary French citron morocco gilt, triple fillet on sides, floral tooling in compartments of spine, gilt edges, marbled endpapers. Cloth fall-down-back box. Provenance: Joseph Renard (1822-82), Lyon, bookplate -- Maurice Escoffier (bookplate) -- Lucien Goldschmidt (bookseller's slip, 1982).
LARGE-PAPER ISSUE OF THE FIRST EDITION, ruled in red throughout, of the most famous 18th-century monograph on the history of printing, written by an industrious and well-travelled jurist, Holland's greatest and most learned early bibliophile. The fact that he was a Costerian should not obscure his many useful bibliographical observations. Apart from chapters on putative early printing at Haarlem, there are extensive discussions, descriptions and--occasionally--reproductions of xylography, early Chinese printing, prototypography, early documents relating to typography, what is now known as the Gutenberg Bible, the 36-line Bible, the Mentelin Bible, etc. (Meerman indexes them by number of lines), as well as early Italian printing. The work went through several translations and editions. VERY FINE COPY. Bigmore and Wyman II, 32.