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The Works.

CONGREVE (William).

CONGREVE (William).

The Works. In Three Volumes. Consisting of His Plays and Poems.

Engraved frontispiece portrait by T. Chambars after Kneller and five plates by Grignon after Hayman. Three volumes. 8vo. [252 x 147 x 108 mm]. xxiv, [xvi], 358, [2] pp; [6]ff, 17-514, [2] pp; [6]ff, 17-514, [2] pp. Near contemporary binding of blue goatskin, the covers with a gilt triple fillet border. The spines divided into six panels with gilt tooled bands flanked by a double fillet and a tendril pallet, lettered in the second and fifth and numbered in the third, the others with an urn, the edges of the boards tooled with a gilt dotted fillet, the turn-ins with a gilt "Greek-key" roll, marbled endleaves, gilt edges.
Birmingham: printed by John Baskerville; for J. and R. Tonson, 1761.

Gaskell, Bibliography of John Baskerville, 16.

In vol.1 the second plate faces b1 rather than B1, in vol.2 the first plate faces A2 rather than B1, and in vol.3 the single plate faces A2 rather than A1 (Gaskell notes that "the plates are sometimes placed elsewhere"). A small damp patch at the head of the opening leaves in vol.1 and occasional light browning or spotting (Lowndes notes that "most copies are spotted"). It is a large copy, with some edges untrimmed, and also a fine copy.

The only sign of provenance is an early pencil note at the front of vol.1 "Mr Dent's copy. 1827". Lowndes informs us that Dent's copy of the Baskerville Congreve was indeed bound in morocco, and sold as lot 542 in part 1 of his auction, making the remarkably high price of £7 15s. John Dent (c.1761-1826) was a politician, nicknamed "Dog Dent" after he proposed to impose a tax on dogs. He was a founding member of the Roxburghe Club, and the two sales of 2976 lots in March and April 1827 realized over £15,000.

Stock no. ebc3696

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Price: £2500