Philadelphia: Gebbie & Company [through 1884], 1883. First Edition. Decorative Cloth. Complete set, in five volumes, in exceptionally fine matching publisher's bindings. Royal 8vo (243 x 165mm): vi,,342; ,342; ,344; ,344; ,344pp, with 50 tissue-guarded steel-engraved plates and numerous woodcuts, "forming a full portrait gallery of the Roman emperors." Original royal blue fine woven cloth, spine and covers blocked in blind with floral friezes and rules, upper cover stamped in gilt with central laurel wreath enclosing gilt lettered title, spine lettered in gilt with fasces and laurel wreath; beveled edges; robin's egg blue end papers, all edges gilt. Virtually pristine (excepting nick to cloth on back board edge of v. II), down to gilt edges, which still sparkle. Gebbie and Co. was justly regarded for publishing handsome illustrated works, with fine bindings and high production values, and proof of that reputation is this set. Fine. Item #BB1878
From the Preface: "In comprehensiveness of scope the present work exceeds all similar undertakings, while in point of illustration it is unique. The portraits, wood and steel, are from carefully authenticated antique busts and statues, being reproductions of the plates made for Iconographie Romaine . . . by the Chevalier Ennio Quirinus Visconti . . . and after his death, completed by the eminent archaeologist, the Chevalier A Mongez. . . . The text has been drawn from many sources. For the lives of the first twelve emperors we could not do better for the reader, than to avail ourselves of the justly-famed 'Lives' of Suetonius, whose gallery of breathing portraits, and treasury of personal anecdote, seems rather to acquire fresh interest with the lapse of time. The illustrious Tacitus has also served us with one of his most admired productions. For the lives of several of the emperors and their families, we are indebted to the Chevalier Mongez (translated expressly for this work); while the spirited and graphic biographies of the French historian, Jean Baptiste Louis Crevier, are a fund upon which we have freely drawn. . . . The biographies have been supplemented by several eloquent and vivid dissertations which elucidate important epochs of Roman history, and thus afford an effective setting from which the personal histories shine forth with a clearer and stronger radiance." N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).