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Sandby's Illustrated Virgil

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Sandby's Illustrated Virgil

Date of publication:

  • 1750
  • Place of publication:


  • contemporary morocco
  • Author:

  • Virgil
  • Bucolica, Georgica, et Aeneis, illustrata, ornata, et accuratissime impressa

    William Sandby used the version of Virgil’s text prepared by 17th century Vatican librarian, scholar and theologian Emmanuel Schelstrate, which he then illustrated with plates showing ancient gems and other antiquities, described in the‘tabularum explicatio’. They were copied from a number of sources, such as Antonio Gori’s two volume ‘Gemmae antiquae’ or ‘Museo Fiorentino’ published in 1731-32. Read more

    Dibdin praises this as ‘a very beautiful edition, forming a companion to the Horace, Juvenal and Terence, published by the same bookseller. The numerous plates... are very elegantly executed and the type and paper are worthy of the engravings’.

    Johann Sebastian Müller, also known as John Miller, settled in London in 1744 and became a noted engraver of botanical plates. Grignion was both accomplished and prolific: ‘over a long period he was a key figure in the production of English books’. 

    Condition & Materials

    2 vols. 8vo. pp. [xxxiv], 239, [i]; [ii], 288, 288, [xviii] + 58 b/w plates, mostly engraved by Johann Sebastian Müller and Charles Grignion (one by J. Bonneau), occasional light spotting, title-pages printed in red and black, t.p. vignettes and tail piece concluding Ruaeus’ ‘Historia’ also by Müller, ‘tabularum explicatio’ is bound at the end of vol. 2; text edited by Emmanuel Schelstrate. Plate II (numbered) is Sandby’s dedication to Frederick, Prince of Wales, who died in 1751. Contemporary gilt-ruled red morocco, discreetly re-backed preserving original spines, all edges gilt. End-paper ownership inscriptions of Edward Daniel Stone (1832-1916), classical scholar and Eton schoolmaster. 


    Dibdin, Introduction to rare and valuable editions, II, 553

    ESTC T139415

    Hammelmann, Book illustrators Read less