London: Printed by Thomas Roycroft, 1665. First edition. Folio (pages 40 cm x 26 cm), collating: , 342, 351-366; complete with frontis illustration, portrait of Ogilby, and portrait of the dedicatee, the Duke of Ormonde, (often lacking), along with 24 other plates, one at the beginning of each "book." Lacking the final blank. Most institutional copies apparently lacking the second portrait, and only one copy with it in the recent auction record (last 40 years), Swann 2016, although the condition of that copy was really beat up: plates trimmed and mounted, covers detached, etc. Bound in full contemporary calf with a Cambridge panel. Rebacked, likely around the turn of the last century. Minor insect damage to the leather at the lower edge of the rear board. Otherwise a fairly handsome copy. Internal contents are generally in excellent condition with the stray ink smudge and a few of the plates just a trifle browned. Frontis illustration bound in a bit tight on the inner margin and the portrait of the Duke of Oromonde is trimmed tight, touching the plate. We have found precious few of these offered in commerce over the last several years, with major collections often settling for the 1669 second edition.
A Scotsman, Ogilby himself had a strange career – he was, amongst other things, a teacher, an impresario, an apprentice to a dancing master – before the tribulations of the English Civil War led him to Cambridge, where he began to study Latin. After he released a successful translation of Virgil, Ogilby learned Greek as well and put out a well known edition of Aesop’s fables as well as translations of the Iliad and Odyssey. Besides their proficiency, his works were well known for their handsome production values. After the great fire of London, Ogilby would eventually rebuild his printing press and release a series of road atlases for which he is now famous. (Item #1686)
Out of stock