(Paris: Didot le jeune, 1796). 345 x 258 mm. (13 1/2 x 10 1/8"). Two volumes. Translated and annotated by J. Dusaulx. Third Edition. Large Paper Copy.

STATELY CONTEMPORARY RED MOROCCO, GILT AND INLAID IN THE NEOCLASSICAL STYLE, BY GEORG FRIEDRICH KRAUSS FOR DUKE ALBRECHT OF SAXE-TASCHEN, covers framed by bead, Greek key, and flower-and-ribbon rolls, sunbursts at corners, double raised bands separated by green morocco inlaid strip with metope-and-pentaglyph gilt roll, spines gilt in compartments with starburst centerpiece containing the initial of Duke Albrecht, green morocco labels, gilt-rolled turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Each volume with an engraving after Moreau le jeune, in first state before letters. Text of satires in Latin (verse) and French (prose) on facing pages. Front pastedowns with shelf labels from the ducal library. Cohen-de Ricci 524-5. Tiny abrasion to gilt border on one board, scattered small dark spots to boards, extremities lightly rubbed, isolated faint marginal foxing or small smudges, but A VERY FINE COPY, quite clean fresh, and bright internally, in sound and well-preserved bindings.

This handsome edition of the 16 satires mocking Roman vices and corruption by the great Roman poet Juvenal (ca. 60 - ca. 130) was designed as a large quarto, so our folio printing--which Cohen-de Ricci notes brought a much higher price in the early 19th century--is notable for the enormous margins that set off Didot's lovely type to great advantage. Moss, quoting "Cours de Litterature," calls this "beautiful edition" the best prose translation to date, with extensive annotation by Jean Dusaulx (1728-99), who contrasts the work of Juvenal (quite favorably) with the satires of Horace. Dusaulx was a French politician for whom translation was an avocation; this rendition first appeared in 1770, and the annotations were first printed in 1782. The animated and intricately detailed engravings here are the work of Jean-Michel Moreau, known as Moreau le jeune (1741-1814), deemed by Gordon Ray to be "the greatest name among French illustrators of the 18th century." Adding to the desirability of this copy is the splendid binding. Francesco Piranesi is generally given credit for inventing the Neoclassical style when he designed volumes presented to Gustavus III of Sweden during this monarch's visit to Rome in 1783-84. Quickly popular, the Neoclassical style was imitated and developed by Staggemeier & Welcher in London, by F. W. Standlander in Stockholm, and by Georg Friedrich Krauss in Vienna. Krauss was the most prominent Continental binder working in this style of the day, and Saxe-Teschen was perhaps his most important client. Products of the Krauss bindery have passed through some of the most distinguished collections over the years, particularly those of Fürstenberg and Schäfer; and his bindings have consistently brought remarkable sums of money at auction. The collector for whom these bindings were originally executed, Duke Albrecht of Saxe-Teschen (1738-1822), was the son of Friedrich August II of Saxony and the son-in-law of the empress Maria Theresa. After providing important military and civil service to the Habsburg empire, he retired to Vienna in 1795 and afterward devoted himself to the fine arts. He founded the Albertina, which now houses the greatest collection of prints in the world, and he put together a great library distinguished by the highest taste and most exacting standards.