11 - 13 July 2000
MORE, Thomas, Sir. (1478-1535). A most pleasant, fruitful and witty work, of the best state of a public weal, and of the new isle called Utopia. Translated into English by Ralph Robinson, and edited by Thomas Frognall Dibdin (1771-1841). London: William Bulmer at the Shakespeare Head Press for William Miller, 1808.
4° (237 x 182mm). Woodcut title border [McKerrow and Ferguson 81 in reverse]. Engraved frontispiece portrait, and one plate after Holbein of the family of Thomas More. Woodcut illustrations. With errata leaf bound in after z2. EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED with 20 engraved portraits of Thomas More, three in two states, including the portrait by F.V. Wex after Holbein, also with the engraved title and 16 plates from the French translation of Utopia published at Leyden by van der Aa in 1715, and a portrait of Gertrude More. (Occasional spotting and browning.) Contemporary gilt-panelled green morocco by C. Smith, smooth spine lettered and dated in gilt, gilt turn-ins, gilt edges (extremities a little rubbed, corners bumped). Provenance: 19th-century bibliographical note (on front blank); Hon. R. Fitzgibbon (morocco label); John Burns (signature dated 24 July 1937); Charles J. Sawyer Ltd. (loosely-inserted catalogue description).
LARGE PAPER COPY, EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED AND FINELY-BOUND. Ralph Robinson's translation first appeared in 1551. The 21 portraits of More compliment Dibdin's Catalogue Raisonné of 41 portraits on pp. cxiii-cxxxix, and a number of the large paper copies are known to have had portraits added in this way. The rarity of the portraits, particularly that by Valdor, is the subject of the bibliographical note mentioned above. Jackson 12; Windle & Pippin 9a (variant collation); Brunet III, 1894; Lowndes p. 1607.
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