[FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN, printer. 1706-1790.]
M.T. Cicero's Cato Major, or his Discourse of Old-Age: With Explanatory Notes. Philadelphia: Printed and Sold by B. Franklin, 1744.
viii, 159 pp. Title printed in red and black. Typographic ornaments. 8vo (220 x 136 mm). Red straight-grained morocco, spine gilt in compartments with green morocco lettering pieces, by T. Aitken. Even toning, scattered few spots, penciled call number to p iii, f.f.e. starting to detach.
FIRST EDITION, THE BRINLEY-HOGAN LARGE-PAPER COPY OF FRANKLIN'S TYPOGRAPHIC MASTERPIECE, SECOND STATE, with "only" on p 27. Translated and with notes by James Logan [1674-1751]. This can be considered the first American fine press book and is Franklin's most famous Philadelphia imprint after the Poor Richard almanacs. Franklin had spoken of printing the work of his friend, James Logan, for some years before Logan deemed it ready for public appearance. Franklin's keen enthusiasm at finally possessing and printing the manuscript is clearly evident when he suggests that this publication will encourage Philadelphia to "become the Seat of the American muses" (preface). Brinley 3284; Church 949; Evans 5361; Miller 347; Sabin 13040.
Provenance: label of George Brinley, no 3284, sold in 1880 ("a matchless copy"), morocco bookplate of Frank J. Hogan, sold in January 1945, Parke-Bernet.
Acquisition: Swann, Nov 3, 1994, lot 127, $3,200.