London, South Kensington
1 June 2009
VERGILIUS MARO, Publius (70-19 B.C.). The nyne fyrst bookes of the Eneidos, translated into English by Thomas Phaer, edited by W. Wightman. London: Rouland Hall for Nicholas Englande, 1562. 4° (212 x 152mm). Woodcut printer's device on title, ornamental initials opening each book. (First quire extended at upper margin and printed on different paperstock, occasional faint stain or light spotting, small rusthole in one leaf.) 19th-century brown morocco, gilt edges (a few light scuffs). Provenance: John Morgan, Rubishaw House, Aberdeen (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION OF PHAER'S FULLEST TRANSLATION OF THE AENEID, containing the first publication of books 8 and 9 in English. The first 7 books had appeared in 1558 (five years after Gavin Douglas's translation of all 13 books into Scots), and Phaer continued translating further books up to his premature death in 1560. Phaer's friend William Wightman edited the manuscript, with books 8, 9 and part of 10 completed, and dedicated the edition to Nathaniel Bacon. Phaer's was the most popular of the Tudor translations of Virgil. RARE ON THE MARKET; only one copy (imperfect) has sold at auction in over 30 years. The volume previously graced the library of John Morgan. A Master Mason, Morgan had the elegant gothic mansion, Rubishaw House (1887), built by his protegé and influential Scottish architect, J.B. Pirie; its facade features in Morgan's bookplate. STC 24800; cf. Pforzheimer 1028 (1573 ed.).
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