Baskerville’s quarto Virgil was his first published work, but the quarto Horace marked the beginning of a series of quarto classics, to be followed by Lucretius, Terence, Catullus and Sallust. Pardoe cites sources which describe the Horace as the rarest of the quarto classics, if not the rarest of all Baskerville’s editions, ‘and it certainly did not appear in the list of book stock Sarah [Baskerville] was trying to sell in 1775’.
Condition & Materials
First Baskerville quarto edition, 4to. pp. [iv], 344 + engraved frontispiece by Benoît Louis Henriquez, and with title-page vignette by Paul Le Grand. According to Gaskell, about half the copies he examined had four additional plates, but these are not present here. 2A1 (divisional title-page) is a cancel, as per Gaskell, and the ‘D’ in the last line of title page is not damaged; the state does not confer any precedence, and Gaskell suggests that the title-page was set up in duplicate and printed simultaneously. Contemporary calf, gult ruled covers and fully gilt spine, dulled, headcaps and joints partially renewed, corners worn, round Curzon family bookplate on front pastedown. A clipping from a Sotheby’s catalogue with a 1964 dated Sotheby’s invoice are loosely inserted (our copy was lot 347 in a sale of 9/6/64, where it sold for £13).
Gaskell, Baskerville, 39; Pardoe, John Baskerville of Birmingham, p.118