Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Samuel Johnson. A Dictionary of the English Language... London: W. Strahan [and 24 others], 1778. Sixth edition, corrected.

    More Information:

    Samuel Johnson. A Dictionary of the English Language. In Which The Words are deduced from their Originals, Explained in their Different Meanings, and Authorized by the Names of the Writers in whose Works they are found. Abstracted from the Folio Edition, by the Author Samuel Johnson, A.M. To which is prefixed, A Grammar of the English Language. London: Printed for W. Strahan [and 24 others], 1778. Sixth edition, corrected. Two octavo volumes (8.125 x 5.125 inches; 206 x 130 mm). Contemporary full speckled calf rebacked to style, spines with volume numbers stamped in gilt in compartments, six raised bands, edges with remnants of gilt. Occasional light foxing. Overall a very good copy.

    Widely regarded as one of the most important and influential books ever produced, it took Dr. Johnson nine years to finish the project, which when completed comprised 42,773 words and was unsurpassed as the definitive dictionary of the English language until the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary (i.e., the OED), in 1928. In addition to the Dictionary's meticulousness and comprehensiveness, the use of illustrative literary quotations is probably the most well-known and important of Johnson's innovations. On the other hand, his often humorous, sometimes prejudicial editorializing in the definitions of certain words is perhaps the work's most well-loved idiosyncrasies. Of these examples, Johnson's definition of his own occupation is the most famous -- "Lexicographer: a writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge that busies himself in tracing the original and detailing the signification of words," a somewhat deprecatory and diminished description of the man that the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography calls "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history." ESTC T83960.



    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    2nd Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 528

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item
    Coming soon:

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 10/23/2020

    Nature & Science
    Opens about 10/20/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/21/2020

    Manuscripts
    Opens about 10/23/2020

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 10/22/2020

    Fine & Rare Wine
    Opens about 10/23/2020

    Entertainment
    Opens about 10/26/2020

    Silver
    Opens about 10/27/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/28/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/29/2020

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/30/2020

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/30/2020

    Ethnographic Art
    Opens about 10/30/2020

    Space
    Opens about 11/02/2020

    Movie Posters
    Opens about 10/30/2020

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/22/2020

    Photography
    Opens about 11/06/2020

    World & Ancient Coins
    Opens about 10/25/2020

    Currency
    Opens about 11/02/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 11/10/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 11/11/2020

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 11/04/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 11/12/2020

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 11/13/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 11/13/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 11/13/2020

    Luxury Accessories
    Opens about 11/16/2020

    Arms & Armor
    Opens about 11/17/2020

    Entertainment
    Opens about 11/17/2020

    World & Ancient Coins
    Opens about 11/08/2020

    US Coins
    Opens about 11/07/2020

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 11/13/2020

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 11/09/2020

    Photography
    Opens about 11/26/2020

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 11/12/2020

    Sports Collectibles
    Opens about 11/19/2020

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 11/20/2020

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 11/23/2020

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 11/25/2020

    US Coins
    Opens about 11/16/2020

    Rare Books
    Opens about 11/25/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 11/25/2020

    Currency
    Opens about 11/24/2020

    World & Ancient Coins
    Opens about 11/24/2020

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 May 2 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search