HOMER — JOHN OGILBY | Homer his Iliads Translated, adorn'd with sculpture, and illustrated with annotations. London: printed by Thomas Roycroft, to be had at the author's house, 1660
Estimate: 4,000 - 6,000 USD
HOMER — JOHN OGILBY
Homer his Iliads Translated, adorn'd with sculpture, and illustrated with annotations. London: printed by Thomas Roycroft, to be had at the author's house, 1660
Folio. Engraved frontispiece, letterpress title in red and black, engraved portraits of Ogilby and Charles II, engraved statue of Homer and 48 (of 49) plates engraved by W. Hollar and others after Cleyn and others; lacks plate illustrating Book 6, verse 340. Contemporary red morocco, marbled endpapers; expertly rebacked to style retaining original spine.
First edition of Ogilby's richly illustrated Iliad — among the most beautiful editions ever printed
John Ogilby began his professional life as an apprentice to a dancing master. Having no formal education, he began learning Latin in his forties with the help of members of the University of Cambridge whom he had befriended. In 1649, having had some success at a young age with creating his own verse, he attempted a translation of Virgil. Meeting with a positive response, he turned his study to Greek so that he could translate Aesop and Homer. Beyond simple translations, his editions of such classics include significant marginal annotations, synthesizing previous scholarship. However, the common thread among his works, and the principal reason for his success in his lifetime and beyond, are the numerous illustrations which adored his works. Ogilby's version of The Iliad first appeared in 1660; five years later, he published his translation of The Odyssey. A second edition of The Iliad followed in 1669 (although with fewer plates than the original).
The provenance of this volume is perhaps also worthy of note. At the Ham House sale (Sotheby's, 24-5 November 1947), a third folio Shakespeare similarly bound in morocco—including the same initials on the spine—was suggested at the time to have been from Samuel Peyps's library. However, Nixon, in his 1984 work on Pepys's bindings, refutes the attribution: "The suggestion made 'tentatively' in the Ham House sale catalogue ... that the fine turkey copy of the Third Folio with the initials 'SP' on the spine might have been Pepys's is wildly improbable. He certainly did not use turkey leather for any of his bindings during the 1660s nor did he add his initials to the spine of any of his books." The owner of this fine copy of The Iliad remains an unidentified collector of the Restoration period.
Wing H-2548; Schuchard 7
S.P. (initials in gilt on spine)
Condition as described in catalogue entry.
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