Sale 19BP02 | Lot 107

[VELLUM PRINTING] HOMER. [Title in Greek: He tou Homerou Iliados]. Homeri Ilias.

Catalogue: Rare Books, Autographs & Maps

Lot Details

Lot 107
[VELLUM PRINTING] HOMER. [Title in Greek: He tou Homerou Iliados]. Homeri Ilias.
Glasgow: [In aedibus academicis excudebant Robertus et Andreas Foulis academiae typographi] i.e. Robert and Andrew Foulis, 1747. One of a very small number of copies printed on vellum. Two volumes, dull red Russia (likely by Baumgarten), each volume bearing the supralibros of the 18th century classicist Michael Wodhull, all edges yellow, protected in later marble-covered slipcases. 6 x 3 1/2 inches (15 x 8 1/2 cm); [iv], 251, [1] pp.; [2], 281, [1], pp.; printed in Greek. Neatly rejointed, the joints of the first volume showing some renewed weakness, occasional very minor toning or wrinkling to the vellum, but generally a very fresh example. Michael Wodhull's copy, with his March 6, 1784 accession note and bibliographical observations on the verso of the front endpaper, additionally noting his binding cost.
This copy was lot 1315 in the January 1886 Messrs. Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge sale of the great Wodhull library, where the binding was attributed to Baumgarten (who did much work for Wodhull), and the lot realized 15 guineas. As noted, Wodhull's notations are present in the first volume, together with some accession notes by a later owner (untraced). Quaritch collated this copy on March 31 of 1905 (pencilled notations on rear endpaper). The Foulis brothers are renowned for the great accuracy of their editions and for the beauty of their typography; they had a particular excellence in Greek. Wodhull (1740-1816) was a poet and translator from Greek, whose translation of all the known works of Euripides was published in 1782. One of the greatest English book collectors of the 18th century, he sold portions of his library during his lifetime (in 1801 and 1803), but much of it (some 4,000 books) remained at Thenford House in Northamptonshire until its sale by John Edmund Severne of Thenford at Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge in 1886, which raised some £12,000. He was Dibdin's "Orlando" in the former's Bibliographical Decameron. We trace only one other copy of this edition on vellum at auction, sold by Christie's New York in 1981, in a binding by Morrell. Lowndes IV, p. 1097: "One or more copies were printed on vellum" and "more beautiful and correct than that in 4to"; Brunet III, p. 279.


C Estate of Florence and Judge David Edelstein

Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Sold for $11,250 (includes buyer's premium)

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Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Sold for $11,250 (includes buyer's premium)

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Rare Books, Autographs & Maps

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