OPERA.

(Birminghamiae: Typis Johannis Baskerville, 1772). 180 x 114 mm. (7 1/8 x 4 1/2"). 1 p.l., 276 pp. First Baskerville Edition.

Handsome contemporary hunter green morocco, covers with border of decorative gilt rolls, flat spines gilt in compartments with medallion centerpiece inside a dotted-rule lozenge, volute cornerpieces, gilt titling, turn-ins with decorative gilt roll, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Gaskell 45. Spine evenly sunned to olive green, faint foxing to title page, otherwise an immaculate copy, clean and fresh in an unworn binding.

This is an especially appealing contemporary copy of a small-format edition of one of Baskerville's series of classical works. Although the typeface used here is necessarily small, the pages of this volume reflect Baskerville's clear understanding of what makes a beautiful book and the printer's ability to perform press work of the highest quality. The classical works issued by the Baskerville Press frequently found their way into handsome morocco bindings executed by some of the best English and French binders working at the end of the 18th century, but such attractive copies now are increasingly difficult to find. The present copy is remarkably well preserved, with virtually no signs of use.
(ST12973b)