Baskerville 1761 Imprint of Juvenal & Perseus' Satyrae

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Juvenal & Perseus. [Baskerville imprint]. D. Junii Juvenalis Ey Aulii Persii Flacci Satyrae.  Birminghamiae: Typis Johannis Baskerville MDCCLXI [Birmingham: John Baskerville. 1761].

English Short Title Catalog T92123; Gaskell 15

First (Only) Edition. Binding: Hardcover (Full Leather). Book Condition: Good Condition. Item Type: Book.

Pagination: 1 title, [2 blank – missing], 3 sub-title to Juvenal, [4 blank – missing], 5-199 Juvenalis Satyrae I-XVI [half-title and pp. 5-6 loose]; (pp. 14, 38, 56, 88, 114, 140, 158 and 196 blank), 200 blank, 201 sub-title to Persius, 202 blank, 203-40 Persii Satyrae I-VI (pp. 212, 226 and 236 blank). Size: Between 11"-13" - Quatro (4to).

A relatively early book by Baskerville, having been printed within his first four years of work. According to F. E. Pardoe’s 1975 census of works printed by Baskerville (John Baskerville of Birmingham, pp. 169-70), there were 53 books printed from 1757-1774, of which this was his 13th book.

The sheets were printed in May 1761 (Pardoe, p. 73). Baskerville did not bind his books and this work was originally sold for “Twelve Shillings in Sheets” (Advertisement in The London Chronicle, 1762, quoted at p. 78).

Today Baskerville is best known for his type design, but that is only one of several elements that distinguish a Baskerville printing. In addition to his beautiful type face are the facts that “he never used worn type” (Pardoe, p. 48), that his ink was a special ink “with a superior kind of black” that dried with a sheen (pp. 29-30) and that his damp printed pages went through a special method of hot-pressing to set the ink (p. 40). Pardoe says the look of his printing is a combination of his innovations in type, which “has a regularity no other type had ever possessed” (p. 165), combined with “his superb presswork, superior ink, and smooth paper” (p. 163).

Here are some further details on this copy compared with Gaskell’s notes:

Formula: Collates with Gaskell, John Baskerville: A Bibliography, p. 34. Printing Royal 4º: A4 B-2G4 (with cancels at E2, K4, U4, Z3). Pp. 1-240.


  • E2: Cancellans, p. 35 l. 14 “. . . cafus improvidus...”
  • K4: Cancellans, p. 79 l. 12 “. . . quare cincinnus?. . .” 
  • U4: Cancellans, p. 160 l. 18 [present; begins] “Quos habeat...”
  • Z3: Cancellans, No textual difference, but cheaper quality paper.

 Errors (Matches Gaskell): Headlines: p. 48, “IV.” for “V.”, the “I” scraped out; p. 67, “IV.” for “VI.”; pp. 84, 85, “VII.” for “VI.”, the second “I” and the point scraped out and a new point stamped in.

 Paper (Matches Gaskell): Two lots. A-2D: good quality Printing Royal laid, no marks, size of sheet 24 1/2 x 19 in. 2E-2G and cancellantia: medium quality Printing Royal laid, no marks, same size, now stained badly in purplish patches (the poorer paper found only in 2F and cancellantia in some copies). The “purplish patches” show up on the cancellans in this copy (though on Z3 the spotting is browner and mainly around the margins). The poorer paper is also showing up on Signatures 2E-2G, per Gaskell's note on the paper quality.

 ETSC shows a host of holdings in libraries in Great Britain, the U.S. and Australia.

 Rebound in polished red goatskin with gilt decoration matched on the front and rear covers and around the edges. Spine in six compartments with titles, decoration and “Baskerville: | 1761.” stamped in gilt. The leather is heavily worn around the edges and the corners are rounded with the board showing.

 The text block is slightly tanned. The pages of the higher quality paper are still bright, but the cancelled leaves and Signatures 2E-2G have issues as noted in the Paper description. The title page is almost completely torn off (there is only about an inch untorn at the bottom of the page). The front hinge is broken at p. 6. The rear hinge is broken at the final page (p. 240). The remaining blank leaf at the rear is attached to the rear free end paper. The half-title and first page of text are completely detached and the sheet for the two blank leaves in between is missing. Slight foxing front/rear pages, but body of book mostly clean and unfoxed. All edges gilt in bright, rich condition for the side and bottom page edges, but darkened at the top page edges.

Previous owner's bookplate on the inside front cover. There are some notes by a previous bookseller at the top of the front free end paper. 

Shipped Weight: 3 lbs 0 oz.

Inventory No: 1248.