(London: John Pine, 1733-37). 228 x 146 mm. (9 x 5 3/4"). Two volumes. Edited by John Pine. Second Issue (with "potest" error on p. 108 of volume II).
FINE CONTEMPORARY FRENCH CRIMSON CRUSHED MOROCCO, GILT, covers with triple-fillet border, smooth spines in compartments with central floral sprig surrounded by small tools, volute cornerpieces, two dark green morocco labels, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. ENGRAVED THROUGHOUT, THE TEXT EMBELLISHED WITH LAVISH ROCOCO DECORATION including headpieces and tailpieces, initials, and numerous vignettes and large illustrations, 10 of them full-page. A Large Paper Copy. With the subscriber list. Cohen-de Ricci 497; Rothschild 1548; Schweiger II, 408; Dibdin II, 108; Brueggemann, p. 585; Graesse III, 354; Brunet III, 320. Faint soiling and spotting to covers, otherwise A SUPERB SET, clean, bright, and fresh internally, and in virtually unworn bindings.
This is an engraved book of celebrated beauty, offered here in most attractive decorative morocco and in a state of preservation that far exceeds even the most sanguine expectations. Ray says that the book "marks a high point of Augustan taste" and adds that "Pine's complete command of his craft makes this the most elegant" of 18th century English books in which text and illustrations are entirely engraved. Brunet says that the book is remarkable for the elegance of its decoration and insists that it is more textually correct than generally recognized. The elegant binding is unsigned, but is clearly the work of a first-rate French workshop, executed with finesse using beautiful materials and considerable taste. The condition of our two volumes can only be described as exceptional, with gilt nearly as bright as the day it was applied. Pine's Horace is not especially rare, but copies like the present one, with its wide margins and wonderful contemporary binding, are more and more difficult to obtain. (ST13815)