The Iliad [with: The Odyssey] of Homer engraved from the Compositions of John Flaxman R.A. Sculptor, London. London, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, 1805.
First London Editions. Two volumes, oblong folio (280 x 435 mm), Iliad: engraved title page and 39 engraved plates, water stain on front board and through most of the work, consequent dampstaining to title-page and the first dozen plates, thereafter the damstaining receding and mainly marginal, scattered foxing throughout the work, fairly heavy on a few of the plates; Odyssey: engraved title page and 34 engraved plates, scattered foxing throughout affecting all the plates, a few plates more heavily foxed, in the original drab boards with printed paper labels, additional shelf mark labels, bumped and worn at extremities, the Iliad volume with a large water stain (140 x 250) on the front cover and across the label.
An unsophisticated set in the original boards of these magnificent illustrations to Homer, first published in Rome in 1793. The original edition of the Iliad contained 34 plates engraved by Thomas Piroli after designs by John Flaxman. This edition contains an additional two plates by James Parker and three plates commissioned especially from William Blake. Commissioned by Georgiana Hare-Naylor, Flaxman’s designs for Homer were amongst the first of the book illustrations that catapulted him to fame throughout Europe, Goethe describing him as ‘the idol of all dilettanti’.