(Oxonnii [Oxford]: Typis Joannis Baskerville, E Typographeo Clarendoniano, Sumptibus Academiae, 1763). 240 x 145 mm. (9 1/2 x 5 3/4"). 2 p.l., 676 pp. One of 2,000 Copies of the Royal Octavo Edition.

Period stiff vellum, gilt, covers with chain border, flat spine in panels with central fleuron, titling panel painted (now faded) brown, marbled endpapers and edges. Front pastedown with engraved bookplate of Frankland; front flyleaf with ink inscription: "Wm. Henry Gill / E Dono amicitiae / 1809." Gaskell, Appendix Add. 2 (p. 71); Darlowe & Moule 4756. ◆Vellum a little soiled, two-thirds of titling panel torn away, half-inch crack to head of front joint, but a sound original binding, and exceptionally clean and fresh internally.

Baskerville designed this Greek type especially for Oxford University's Clarendon Press; it was used only for this Bible and the quarto edition published the same year. Although DNB reports that printers and classical scholars of the day found the type a "disappointment," it would be more accurately described as ahead of its time. Typography professor Gerry Leonidas recently offered a reassessment of Baskerville's creation, describing it as "the first Greek typeface that can be described as fully typographic in the context of the technology of the time. It sets a pattern that was to be followed nearly a century and a half later, without acknowledgement, when the classicist Richard Porson's hand was used as a model for a new Greek typeface for Cambridge University Press. . . . Baskerville's Greek hints at a keen eye for pattern and a sensitivity towards the Greek script's personality." It would be good to have the titling panel intact, but our binding still has a certain antique appeal, and the typeface and internal condition here are extremely fine.

Price: $550.00