1753 FOLIO EDITION OF CAESAR’S COMMENTARIES, “BEAUTIFULLY PRINTED AND RICHLY ADORNED,” WITH FAMOUS BULL PLATE
(CAESAR, Julius). DUNCAN, William. The Commentaries of Caesar, Translated into English. To Which is Prefixed a Discourse Concerning The Roman Art of War. London: Printed for J. and R. Tonson, et al., 1753. Tall, thick folio (11 by 17 inches), period-style full red morocco, elaborately gilt decorated spine and boards, black morocco spine label, raised bands, marbled endpapers and edges. $18,500.
First edition of Duncan’s famous translation of Caesar’s Commentaries, sumptuously illustrated with frontispiece portrait of Caesar, six double-page maps, and 78 splendid plans and plates (most double-page). This copy with the famed double-page bull plate, often not present. An excellent, wide-margined copy, beautifully bound.
"Beautifully printed, and richly adorned with a variety of fine cuts… the greatest part of them being plans of battles, sieges, and incampments, or representations of the situation and face of the countries in which the most material transactions passed… The translator has in a great measure caught the spirit of his author, and… has preserved Caesar's turn of phrase and expression" (Brueggemann, 520-21). Includes both Caesar's commentaries on the Gallic wars and the civil wars. Additionally includes A. Hirtius Pansa's commentaries on the Alexandrian, African, and Spanish wars. The fine folio plates include double-page maps of Italy, Egypt, Spain, Britain, and Rome from the time of Caesar's campaigns, and illustrations depicting Roman encampments, battles, German and British barbarians, a Wicker Man, and sumptuous victory processions. With indices of place and personal names. Brueggemann, 520-21. Moss, 241-42. ESTC T136453. Early owner ink signature to title page.
Repaired closed tear to leaf 4U in Index; a few signatures at rear with faint dampstain affecting lower margin only, no plates affected. Title page and frontis expertly cleaned, frontis with expert repair to closed tear. Double-page plates have been mounted onto new tabs, and many have been expertly remargined, not affecting images. Oversized bull plate and "Battle with the Elephants" plate both folded along edges and trimmed close to title lettering, each with one short closed split and a few reinforcements to verso. An attractive copy, beautifully bound.