Birmingham: Da' Torchj di G. Baskerville, Per P. Molini Librajo dell' Accademia Reale, e G. Molini, 1773. Four volumes. lviii,362; ,450; ,446; ,446,pp. plus engraved frontis and forty-six plates. Octavo. Full contemporary straight grain crimson morocco, spines ruled in gilt, a.e.g., gilt inner dentelles, marbled endsheets. Spines a bit darkened, with rubbing and a bit of shelfwear to extremities, scattered medium to light foxing and tanning characteristic of the medium quality paper utilized for the octavo edition, but a very good set. With the bookplate of William G. Roelker in each volume, and at the base of the title and the end of text on the terminal leaf in each volume appears a small stamped crowned signet in blue ink; in the case of the title of the first volume, a second stamp appears, a crown above the initials 'L.O.'. Item #WRCLIT80156
First Baskerville edition, this being the printing in octavo. Sets were also issued on better paper in quarto format. In this set, only A8 and D2 are cancels in the fourth volume, and the errata and the extensive subscribers list appear at the end of that volume. The frontis is a portrait of Ariosto, and the forty-six other plates each appear before the opening of the canto to which it relates. The plates are after works by Cipriani, Moreau le jeune, Eisen, Cochin fils, Monnet, J.B. Greuze and engraved by Bartolazzi, Launay, Longueil, de Ghendt, Prevost, Henriquez, Massard, Simonet, Ponce, Duclos, Martini, Moreau le jeune, Choffard, and Helmon. The earliest sections of Ariosto's epic poem appeared in 1516, and the first complete edition appeared in 1532. Through following generations it exerted a significant influence on the literatures of several languages, as well as on art, music and popular media. GASKELL 48. COHEN-DE-RICCI 95. ESTC T133621. Ray, ART OF THE FRENCH ILLUSTRATED BOOK 64.