Item Details




First Edition, 2 volumes, large folio, Knapton London 1755. Titles in red and black, portrait of Johnson after Sir Joshua Reynolds added (not called for) dated 1787, first title repaired with approximately 20% paper loss, replaced in manuscript facsimile, first 30 leaves of vol 1 with small wormtrack to margin, occasionally touching a few letters, second title with repaired marginal closed tear, occasional faint spotting. In general this is a very good, clean and fresh copy, without the heavy foxing that often accompanies the First Edition. Bound in full contemporary calf, rebacked with the original spines, some general age wear, but bindings completely firm and solid. Original volume labels to spines, worn, the boards a little bumped to corners with some light overall age wear. Overall a very handsome set. Provenance :the copy of Robert John Verney (1809-1862), 17th Baron Willoughby de Broke, with his bookplates, the first edition of Johnson's dictionary was limited to just 2,000 copies, which immediately sold out. Unsurprisingly, good copies of the first edition, such as this, are increasingly difficult to find, the first printing of "The most amazing, enduring and endearing one-man feat in the field of lexicography" [Ref: Printing and the Mind of Man] Many more images on request. Please email