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Milton Paradise Lost 1688 Tonson 13 Plates Medina Cleyn LARGE PAPER FOLIO NO RES For Sale


Milton Paradise Lost 1688 Tonson 13 Plates Medina Cleyn LARGE PAPER FOLIO NO RES

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Milton Paradise Lost 1688 Tonson 13 Plates Medina Cleyn LARGE PAPER FOLIO NO RES:
$4,409

OFFERED WITH NO RESERVE is a BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLE OF THE VERY RARE LARGE-PAPER COPY OF THE 1688 FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION OF JOHN MILTON’S ‘PARADISE LOST,’ THE GREATEST LONG POEM IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, printed in large folio at London by Jacob Tonson in 1688, bound in late 17th century English calf (expertly and attractively rebacked in the 19th century), and ADORNED WITH THE FAMOUS FULL-PAGE PORTRAIT OF MILTON AND THE FAMOUS SUITE OF 12 FULL-PAGE ENGRAVED ILLUSTRATIONS AFTER MEDINA (engraved by Burghers and Barlow). The volume may be referenced as Wing M2148 and Pforzheimer 721. This is the issue with the names of Flesher and Tonson only in the imprint.

 

THIS IS THE FIRST FOLIO EDITION AND FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION OF “PARADISE LOST,” AS WELL AS THE “EARLIEST SERIOUS EFFORT TO ILLUSTRATE AN IMPORTANT WORK OF ENGLISH POETRY.”

 

THE VOLUME MAY BE IDENTIFIED AS A LARGE-PAPER COPY BY BECAUSE THE LEAVES MEASURE 365 MM BY 225 MM (RATHER THAN ORDINARY-PAPER COPIES, WHICH MEASURE ABOUT 315 MM BY 200 MM). IT ALSO HAS THE ‘BUNCH-OF-GRAPES’ WATERMARK PRESENT UPON THE LEAVES, ALTHOUGH THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS WATERMARK HAS BEEN DISPUTED.

 

THE IMPRESSIONS OF THE PLATES IN THIS VOLUME ARE AMONGST THE FINEST AND FRESHEST, WITH THE MOST DISTINCT LINES, THAT I HAVE SEEN, AND ARE CERTAINLY AMONGST THE EARLIEST IMPRESSIONS.

 

SAMUEL JOHNSON SAYS OF ‘PARADISE LOST,’ “[IT] IS NOT THE GREATEST OF HEROICK POEMS, ONLY BECAUSE IT IS NOT THE FIRST.”

 

The full title of “Paradise Lost” reads as follows:

 

“Paradise Lost. / A Poem In Twelve Books. / The Author John Milton. / The Fourth Edition, Adorn’d with Sculptures. / London, / Printed by Miles Flesher, for Jacob Tonson at the Judge’s-Head in Chancery-lane near Fleet-street. / M DC LXXXVIII [1688].”

 

There has been disagreement amongst bibliographers about the status of the large-paper copies of the 1688 Milton. Pforzheimer, for example, disputes the appellation, since he has seen only copies with the ‘bunch-of-grapes’ watermark, regardless of their size. First, then, it is important to distinguish between large-paper and fine-paper copies, which are not the same thing. The ordinary-paper copies are fully five centimetres shorter than the large-paper copies – a difference too significant to be accidental. Further, it is entirely conceivable that the small-paper and large-paper copies could have been printed on paper using the same watermark. Finally, on 5 December 2008 Christie’s sold a copy measuring 315 mm by 192 mm with what they called a ‘foolscap’ watermark.

 

THIS EDITION OF “PARADISE LOST” IS ONE OF THE MOST STORIED PRODUCTIONS IN THE ANNALS OF ENGLISH BOOK PUBLISHING. The first three editions of “Paradise Lost” were originally published in 1667/68, 1674 and 1678. Following the 1678 edition, Milton’s widow sold her rights to the poem to a printer named Simmons for 8 Pounds. Simmons then sold his rights in 1681 to Brabazon Aylmer for 25 Pounds. Aylmer in his turn sold half shares to Tonson and Bently, who together produced the great 1688 folio edition, one of the finest achievements of book publishing in England.

 

In “Five Centuries of Book Illustration,” at p. 63, Edward Hodnett describes this as “the earliest serious effort to illustrate an important work of English poetry.” In his work on Francis Barlow, he says that the 1688 “Paradise Lost” is “the only major English literary work with important engraved illustrations in the 17th century.”

 

In “Jacob Tonson, Kit-Kat Publisher,” at p. 128, Kathleen M. Lynn praises Tonson’s ability to rescue “from obscurity or oblivion the masterpieces of English authors. His first and best triumph in this neglected field was the fourth edition of Milton’s Paradise Lost, which Tonson published with Bentley in 1688.The 1688 edition, in the style of all of Tonson’s more elaborate books, was distinguished by excellent paper, large, clear type and ample margins.” 

 

John Harthan, in "The Illustrated Book," says that the plate facing the opening of the first book of the 1688 “Paradise Lost” is "one of the most forceful of English 17th century illustrations.”

 

Further, “Wither to Prior” states that Tonson “seems to have considered this publication his crowning effort, for in his portrait, painted by Kneller, he holds the book conspicuously in his hand.”

 

The illustrator, John Baptist Medina (1659-1710), was a native of Spain whose career flourished in England and Scotland; he is a major figure of late 17th century art and was knighted for his work. Deeply influenced by the works of Rubens, Medina composed portraits, landscapes, historical scenes, as well as the present illustrations to “Paradise Lost” All but two of the 13 plates in this volume were engraved by Michael Burghers (a subscriber to the edition); Burghers was born in Holland and worked primarily in Oxford.

 

Finally, this edition of “Paradise Lost” is one of the first publications to have been financed through subscription; subscribers included Dryden and Rycault.

 

The volume is complete in all respects, with clean pages, clear print and beautifully wide margins throughout. The plates are unusually attractive impressions throughout. This is amongst the tallest examples on record; its leaves are about 50 mm taller than small-paper copies. A few leaves show mild to moderate toning (pages 126-127 are a good example of moderate toning in this volume – pictured below), and there is a little light spotting at the margins of some of the plates and leaves (this is closer to moderate upon the title and frontispiece). Generally, though, this is a very attractive example of one of the finest of English printed books.

 

The volume collates is paginated as follows: [4], 343, [7], plus the frontispiece portrait and the 12 full-page plates. The list of subscribers is included following the poem. The volume measures about 39 cm by 25 cm by 3 cm; each leaf measures about 380 mm by 240 mm.

 

The volume is attractively bound in full 17th century English calf, rebacked attractively, expertly and to style in the 19th century. The spine is divided by raised bands into 6 compartments, with a gilt lozenge in 5 of the compartments, and with a red morocco label in the second compartment from the head. The book-block and hinges are strong, although the binding shows minor to moderate wear upon the edges and corners.

 

In all, this is an extremely desirable and very rare large-paper example of the monumental 1688 “Paradise Lost,” printed by Tonson at London in folio, the first illustrated edition and first folio edition of Milton’s great epic poem, with the famous engraved frontispiece portrait of Milton and the 12 full-page engravings illustrating “Paradise Lost,” complete in all respects, bound in 20th century half-calf, one of the finest and most important editions of a work of English literature, offered at a reasonable reserve.

 

 

Please take the time necessary to review the photos below in order to gain a better understanding of the content and condition of the volume. Please also take a moment to view my other sales of rare and desirable English and Continental printed books dating from the 15th through the 19th century.

 

Shipment is free for customers in the United States and Canada. For U.S. clients we ship either FedEx Ground for large shipments or USPS Priority for single books or smaller amounts. We ship using Canada Post for Canadian customers.

 

Canadian buyers please note that we list on .com which automatically charges for international shipment. Your invoice will be amended to reflect free shipping.

 

We charge for shipment of international orders.  We try to ship using USPS flat rate priority-mail boxes and we charge for shipment at cost or slightly below. Small 12mo books are shipped for USD 20.00. The cost of shipment for any book in Octavo, Quarto or small folio format is USD 45.00. The cost of shipment for large folios or quartos of equivalent size is USD 58.00. Multiple folio volumes and sets are, of course, generally more expensive and the cost of their shipment will always be quoted in the listing. With all of our sales if an individual client wins multiple books we charge only charge for the shipment of one book and cover the cost of shipment of the rest. Please note that mobile devices do not yet display correctly the shipment costs for international customers. Please enquire or consult the non-mobile site in order to obtain complete information concerning the cost of shipment.

 

All purchases save those by Canadian clients are shipped from New York State once per week, weather permitting. If you require faster service or special handling please let us know and we will do our best to accomodate.

         


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