WITH ARMORIAL COAT OF ARMS OF FREDERICK LOUIS, PRINCE OF WALES, SON OF GEORGE II, FATHER OF GEORGE III AND GREAT-GRANDFATHER OF QUEEN VICTORIA, DEDICATEE OF THIS 1736 EDITION CONTAINING THE FIRST TWO BOOKS OF HOMER’S ILIAD, PRINTED AND BOUND BY BRINDLEY, OFFICIAL ROYAL BOOKBINDER
(FREDERICK LOUIS, PRINCE OF WALES) HOMER. Il Primo Canto dell' Iliade d'Omero. Tradotto in Versi Italiani. London: Giovanni [John] Brindley, 1736. Slim octavo, contemporary full crushed red morocco rebacked with original elaborately-gilt decorated spine laid down, gilt arms of Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, on covers, raised bands, black morocco spine label, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt; pp. (iii), iv-xvi, 1-40. $9500.
1736 copy of the first two books of Homer's Iliad in Italian, from the library of the book's dedicatee, Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales—son of George II and father of George III—with the Prince's gilt-embossed armorial coat of arms on both covers, and dedication to "Federico… principe di Wales," issued and bound by Brindley, official bookbinder to the Prince and Queen Caroline.
This rare 1736 edition of the first two books of Homer's Iliad, apparently produced as a text for the study of the classics, is most probably from the library of Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, son and heir to King George II, father to King George III and great-grandfather to Queen Victoria. Containing the majestic gilt-embossed armorial coat of arms of the Prince of Wales on both ornately gilt morocco boards, this is also notable for its a printed dedication to "Federico… principe di Wales, e Principe Elettorale d'Hanover." The Prince of Wales, who was born in Hanover, Germany and brought to live in England at age 21 in 1728, lived most of his life amidst a highly public feud with his father, who seems to have "hated him from the moment of his birth… For years the only time when the Prince of Wales met his father was at the christenings of his children"— among them the future George III. George II seemed especially threatened by the Prince of Wales' popularity in political circles and a fashionable social world that found the "Prince's company far more agreeable than that of his parents." In one of the more legendary feuds between father and son, the Prince carried his wife Augusta away from the palace while she was in labor to prevent their first child, Princess Augusta, from being born near his hated parents, and George III, Frederick and Augusta's son and heir to the throne, was born "in lodgings in St. James' Square because George II had evicted them from their apartments in the nearby palace" (Fraser, Lives, 274-80). William Pitt and others often opposed to George II would be devastated by the sudden death of the Frederick in 1751— predeceasing his father by nine years. With the death of George II in 1760, George III, son of the Prince of Wales and grandfather of Queen Victoria, became King. With imprint of Giovanni (i.e. John) Brindley, who established a bindery in London in 1723 and five years later opened a bookshop in New Bond Street, where his elegantly bound volumes often bore his own imprint. Brindley was appointed bookbinder to Frederick and to Frederick's mother, Queen Caroline, and also numbered among his clients Sir Isaac Newton. With woodcut-engraved title-page vignette, woodcut-engraved ornamental initials, head-and tailpieces. Text in Italian with sidenotes in Greek. Armorial bookplate.
Text generally fresh with light scattered foxing, mild edge-wear, small bit of expert archival restoration to spine ends of bright gilt morocco. A very rare extremely good copy.