A complete set of Baskerville's classics, in matching Kalthoeber bindings. John BASKERVILLE.
A complete set of Baskerville's classics, in matching Kalthoeber bindings.
A complete set of Baskerville's classics, in matching Kalthoeber bindings.
A complete set of Baskerville's classics, in matching Kalthoeber bindings.
A complete set of Baskerville's classics, in matching Kalthoeber bindings.
A complete set of Baskerville's classics, in matching Kalthoeber bindings.
A complete set of Baskerville's classics, in matching Kalthoeber bindings.

A complete set of Baskerville's classics, in matching Kalthoeber bindings.

Birmingham: Baskerville, 1757-, 1773.

Seven volumes, quarto, in matching full contemporary red straight-grain morocco bindings, almost certainly by Kalthoeber, elaborate gilt borders on covers, gilt-decorated spines in seven compartments, gilt-lettered in three, all edges gilt and gauffred, blue-grey paper endpapers; a remarkably fine and handsome set, the first volume extra-illustrated by the insertion of an engraved title page by J. Goeree after G. Valk from an unidentified edition of Virgil.

'Astonishing all the librarians of Europe'

A glorious set of this great series of printed classics, a late eighteenth-century high point in printing and publishing and generally seen as Baskerville's greatest achievement alongside his famous Bible. The set consists of the first editions of each of Baskerville's classical authors (Virgil, Juvenal & Persius, Horace, Catullus, Terence, Sallust & Florus, and Lucretius). The superb bindings are unsigned, but the tools, materials, and style clearly indicate the work of Christian Kalthoeber, the famous German craftsman producing some of the finest bindings of the period in London during the 1780s and 1790s. The beauty of Baskerville's books lies not only in his celebrated and unmistakeable types, still honoured today in computer-produced fonts, but also in paper and ink, both manufactured under his supervision. This magnificent set is the result of the addition of these to Kalthoeber's distinctive and beautiful style of binding.

A glorious set of this great series of printed classics, a late eighteenth-century high point in printing and publishing and generally seen as Baskerville's greatest achievement alongside his famous Bible. The set consists of the first editions of each of Baskerville's classical authors (Virgil, Juvenal & Persius, Horace, Catullus, Terence, Sallust & Florus, and Lucretius). The superb bindings are unsigned, but the tools, materials, and style clearly indicate the work of Christian Kalthoeber, the famous German craftsman producing some of the finest bindings of the period in London during the 1780s and 1790s. The beauty of Baskerville's books lies not only in his celebrated and unmistakeable types, still honoured today in computer-produced fonts, but also in paper and ink, both manufactured under his supervision. This magnificent set is the result of the addition of these to Kalthoeber's distinctive and beautiful style of binding.
'The famous quarto 'Virgil,' the first of those 'magnificent editions' which, in the words of Macaulay, 'went forth to astonish all the librarians of Europe' (History, ch. iii.), appeared in 1757, and is not too highly praised by Dibdin as 'one of the most finished specimens of typography' (Introduction to the Classics, ii. 554). A beautiful quarto 'Horace' appeared in 1770, and seems to have sold fairly well. He was thus tempted in 1772 to bring out a series of quarto editions of Latin authors Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius, Lucretius, Terence and next year Sallust and Florus. These noble quartos are said to be incorrect texts; for their magnificence of type, paper, ink, and presswork there can only be unqualified praise. Nothing finer had yet been attempted in England.
''The typography of Baskerville,' says Dibdin, 'is eminently beautiful... He united in a singularly happy manner the elegance of Plantin with the clearness of the Elzevirs... He seems to have been extremely curious in the choice of his paper and ink: the former being in general the fruit of Dutch manufacture, and the latter partaking of a peculiarly soft lustre, bordering on purple. In his italic letter, whether capital or small, I think he stands unrivalled; such elegance, freedom, and perfect symmetry being in vain to be looked for among the specimens of Aldus and Colinseus' (Introduction to the Classics, ii. 556).' (DNB).

The modern study of Baskerville's printing is Philip Gaskell's Bibliography in which these appear as numbers 1 (first printing on wove paper, and his "first and perhaps finest book", with 20 additional names in the subscribers' list, a number unrecorded by Gaskell); 15; 39 (with engraved vignette title page, frontispiece, and 4 engraved plates by Gravelot, the latter appearing in only half of the edition, and on the higher of 2 qualities of paper); 43; 44; 46; 50; and 51.

Price (AUD): $16,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #4302351

Condition Report