ARIOSTO (LUDOVICO) Orlando Furioso in English. Heroicall Verse, by John Harringto[n], [colophon: Richard Field, 1591]
Lot 2
ARIOSTO (LUDOVICO)
Orlando Furioso in English. Heroicall Verse, by John Harringto[n], [colophon: Richard Field, 1591]
Sold for £9,375 (US$ 12,038) inc. premium

Lot Details
ARIOSTO (LUDOVICO) Orlando Furioso in English. Heroicall Verse, by John Harringto[n], [colophon: Richard Field, 1591]
ARIOSTO (LUDOVICO)
Orlando Furioso in English. Heroicall Verse, by John Harringto[n], hand-coloured title within architectural border engraved and signed by Thomas Cockson, incorporating a portrait medallion of the translator (printed label "Esquire" pasted beneath the translator's name, with early ink note "Verbum Sapienti" in lower margin), printed in 2 columns, ruled in red with good wide margins, 45 full-page engraved illustrations hand-coloured and heightened with gold (of 46, lacking leaf A1), printer's device on colophon, decorative head- and tailpieces, and decorative initials throughout (all hand-coloured), title neatly repaired at gutter margin, leaf A2 with long neat vertical tear (touching several letters of side-note) repaired with old paper tabs, 9 leaves with lower margin strengthened with old paper labels, early reversed calf, rebacked preserving most of the original spine, gilt morocco lettering label on spine [ESTC S106637; Pforzheimer 447], folio (295 x 210mm.), [colophon: Richard Field, 1591]

Footnotes

  • FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH, WITH FINE CONTEMPORARY HAND-COLOURING. The illustrations were copied, some with minor variations, from those in Girolamo Porro's edition of 1584 printed in Venice. Sidney Colvin describes the title as "the earliest instance signed by an Englishman of the combination of literary portrait with architectural and emblematic decoration". Harington's translation of Orlando Furioso "was a triumph of book design, lavishly illustrated and indexed, each canto furnished with highly individual, gossipy notes" (ODNB), and is "an acknowledged classic of Elizabethan translation ... the rich linguistic texture and melange of registers seem at times to match Ariosto's own..." (Encyclopedia of Literary Translation in English). Only 8 hand-coloured copies are recorded, 5 of which are printed on thick paper (see Bonhams New York, 16 June 2016, lot 44).

    Provenance: Samuel Taylor, pencil inscription dated 1677; Elizabeth Herricke, ink inscription "her book giveen [sic] by my father 1703", both on blank verso of colophon; "This Book was left as a legacy to Ann Unett, by her Godfather and Relation Mr. Tho. Reynolds of Willenhall in the County of Stafford, An: Dom: 1792", inscription on front paste-down; George Unett (1858), ownership inscription in upper margin of title.
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