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    First Edition of the "Jarvis Translation" into
    English of
    Don Quixote-"An elegant edition"

    Miguel Cervantes de Saavedra. The Life and Exploits of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha. Translated from the Original Spanish of Miguel Cervantes de Saavedra. By Charles Jarvis, Esq; In Two Volumes. London: Printed for J. and R. Tonson in the Strand, and R. Dodsley in Pall-Mall, 1742. First edition of the English translation of Don Quixote by Charles Jervas (1675-1739), published posthumously in 1742 and, due to a printer's error, known as the "Jarvis translation." Two large quarto volumes (10.75 x 8.4375 inches; 273 x 214 mm.). xxiii, [1, blank], [8], [xxv]-xxxii, vi, [2], 90, [12], 355, [1, blank]; xii, 388 pages. Engraved portrait of Cervantes by George Vertue after William Kent (signed: G. Kent), and sixty-six (of sixty-eight) numbered copper-engraved plates, including allegorical frontispiece in Volume I, drawn by John Vanderbank and (one by) William Hogarth (Plate 3, unsigned), and engraved by Gerard Vandergucht, George Vertue (Plate 2), Bernard Baron (Plate 15), and Claude du Bosc (Plates 39, 43, and 49). (These illustrations were first used in the 1738 four-volume Spanish edition published by J. and R. Tonson, and the plate locations were re-engraved to correspond with the English text.) Lacking Plate 18 (to face page 170) in Volume I, and Plate 39 (to face page 154) in Volume II. Ten engraved head-pieces and ten engraved decorative initials; wood-engraved tail-pieces.
    This copy with the rare "A Supplement to the Translator's Preface," more commonly known as "A Dissertation on the Origin of Books of Chivalry," by William Warburton ([8] pages, signed *b) bound after "The Translator's Preface" in Volume I.
    Contemporary diced calf, neatly rebacked. Covers decoratively bordered in blind. Bindings lightly rubbed; one front cover with small areas of surface loss due to insect damage. Original dark blue silk ribbon bookmark between pages 52 and 53 in Volume I, and page 248 and Plate 49 (verso) in Volume II, with slight offsetting, mostly in the gutter margin. Top edge of Volume I appears to have been exposed to dampness. Occasional foxing and browning; considerable offsetting from the plates to the adjacent text leaves; a few marginal smudges and stains. A few plates closely trimmed at the bottom, affecting plate number and plate location; small triangular piece cut from lower blank margin of the portrait of Don Quixote. A few upper corners with faint creases. A very good copy, with good impressions of the plates. This copy was once extra-illustrated, with stubs for the excised plates visible in several places. From the library of Margaret Maskelyne, Lady Clive (1735-1817, widow of Robert, Lord Clive, 1725-1774), with her book label (with monogram "M. Ly. C.") on front pastedown of each volume, and ink signature at head of each title ("M. Ly. Clive" in Volume I and "M. Ly. C." in Volume II). Additional ink signature of W. S. Smith on recto of frontispiece in Volume I.
    Ashbee, An Iconography of Don Quixote, 39 ("undoubtedly one of the noblest sets of engravings ever executed for Don Quixote"). ESTC T59882 and T98502 (The Life of Michael de Cervantes Saavedra). Lowndes II, page 401 ("An elegant edition"). Palau 52479. Rius 626.
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    More Information:

    In 1738, J. and R. Tonson published in London, at the behest of John Lord Carteret, the first deluxe edition of Cervantes's Don Quixote, and the first edition in Spanish published in England, Vida y hechos del ingenioso hildalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha. The result of an ambitious project that aimed to publish a splendid four-volume edition of the novel in large quarto, it was abundantly illustrated with sixty-nine engravings. The artist John Vanderbank designed sixty-seven of these images, William Hogarth contributed one, and William Kent provided this edition with the first portrait of Cervantes (based upon Cervantes's detailed self-description included in the preface to his Novelas Exemplares). The Lord Carteret edition, as it came to be known, also included the first biography of Cervantes, written by Gregorio Mayáns y Siscár. In addition, the book contained an "Advertisement concerning the Prints," written by Dr. John Oldfield, supervisor of the illustrations (see Ernesto Oyarbide Magaña, "Canonising Cervantes: Lord Carteret's 'Don Quixote' and Eighteenth Century English Quixotism," University of Oxford, Master of Studies in Literature and Arts, at


    Portrait painter and translator Charles Jervas (1675-1739) "had literary ambitions and with his friend Alexander Pope (whose painting instructor he had been for about six months in 1713) he edited (1716) a version of Charles-Alphonse Du Fresnoy's De arte grafica. This was followed about 1719 by the publication of his own translation of Machiavelli's Novella di Belfagor. However, his major literary undertaking was an English translation of Cervantes' Don Quixote. Published posthumously in 1742 and frequently reprinted, it is generally acknowledged as being close in spirit to the original" (Edward Bottoms in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online).


    John Vanderbank (1694-1739) "worked chiefly as a portraitist (also painting some allegorical subjects) and illustrator...In 1723 Vanderbank was commissioned by the publishers J. and R. Tonson to illustrate Don Quixote, in the original Spanish; this eventually appeared as a lavish four-volume quarto edition in 1738, with sixty-eight [i.e., sixty-seven] engraved plates after Vanderbank. This project, for which Vanderbank's initial designs were preferred over Hogarth's, appears to have preoccupied Vanderbank, perhaps almost empathetically, for the remainder of his life, resulting in three sets of drawings: first sketched...then finished for the engraver's use...then drawn afresh, elaborated, and fully well as a series of some thirty-five small freely painted oil panels" (Judy Egerton in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online).


    Contents of Volume I:

    "The Translator's Preface" (pages [iii]-xxiii, [1, blank]); "A Supplement to the Translator's Preface" ([8] pages); "Advertisement concerning the Prints. By John Oldfield, M.D." (pages [xxv]-xxxii); "The Life of Michael de Cervantes Saavedra. Written by Don Gregorio Mayáns & Siscár: His Catholick Majestie's Library-Keeper. Translated, from the Spanish manuscript, by Mr. Ozell" (vi, [2], 90 pages, with frontispiece portrait of Cervantes and special title-page dated 1738); "The Life and Exploits of the ingenious gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha" ([6, "The Author's Preface"], [6, "Table of the Contents"], 355, [1, blank] pages).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
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