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Maittaire, Michael. Stephanorum historia, vitas ipsorum ac libros complectens. Londini: typis Benj. Motte, impensis Christoph. Bateman, 1709. 8vo (19.8 cm, 7.75"). 2 vols. in 1. I: ix, , 4, , 5–564 pp.; illus. II: 5, , 133, , 7 pp. $1,750.00
First edition of an early bio-bibliography of the Estienne printing family, from perspectives both of Classical scholarship and typographic appreciation. In addition to writing about them, Maittaire (1668–1747) also collected early printed books, and upon his death an auction of them by Cock and Langford took over => 40 evenings to sell. This is Maittaire's first book, which Bigmore describes as a "very complete work." Biographies of "Henry I" and his sons and nephews are here folliowed by a lengthy list of their known publications complete with cross-references to other reference works, and this offering also includes the Appendix librorum sub Stephanorum nominibus impressorum, which is often lacking.
Vol. I contains => a frontispiece of Robert Estienne signed by the great English engraver John Sturt, best known for having engraved the entire Book of Common Prayer on silver plates and for illustrating Pilgrim's Progress. Additionally, the volume features 16 facsimile images on three pages, printed from woodcut blocks, showing => the evolution of the iconic Estienne printer's device. This copy appears to have the first sectional title-page bound after the first two pages of text instead of proceeding them.
Provenance: Delightfully artistic inked initials "E.L." on front pastedown, with the note "collated & perfect" in the same hand at the end. Most recently in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
ESTC T99611; Schreiber, Estiennes, 294; Bigmore & Wyman, Bibliography of Printing, II, pp. 14–6. On Maittaire, see: DNB (online). 18th-century speckled calf, rebacked with very similar calf stamped, ruled, and lettered in gilt with red leather label; covers double-ruled in gilt with flower stamps at corners, board edges with floral gilt rolls, all edges speckled red. Pencilled and inked notes on endpapers, evidence of a bookplate removed long ago. Light age-toning with a small stain or two, provenance evidence as above, one leaf with short later inked notes. => Impressive piece of early Estienne scholarship in a very good copy. (37887) Please RESHELVE This.
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