Philadelphia: Robert Bell, 1777. First American edition. 2 volumes, Octavo (200 x 121 mm). Half-titles. Engraved portrait frontispiece by Norman. (Some pale browning and spotting.) Near uniform contemporary calf, spines blind ruled and lettered "M" in one compartment and with volume number below (some slight edgewear, upper third of front free endpaper in vol. I cut away); quarter morocco slipcase.
Provenance: George Thomas (signature on title in vol. I); Isaac Osgood (contemporary gift inscription from S.L. Pickman? on half-title in vol. II); Elizabeth Pickman? (signature on front free endpaper in vol. II.)
Extremely scarce copy of the first American printing of Milton's Paradise Lost. The handful of copies seen in the auction record are usually just the first volume, which only goes up to book eleven. The final book of Paradise Lost and the lengthy Index is found in the second volume, making a complete set essential for the first American printing of Paradise Lost. This copy brought $6600 at Christies in 2005, before that there wasn't a complete copy since Goodspeed in the 20s and Scribners in the 40s. (Item #1845)