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Rare Books

dryden3Virgilius Maro Publius; John Dryden, trans. The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis: adorn’d with a hundred sculptures. London: Jacob Tonson, 1697. First Illustrated Edition. A very good, complete, ordinary paper copy of the First Illustrated edition.

Full older red leather with bright gold tooling on cover and bright gold titling on spine. Five raised bands. Rebacked full leather binding is tight and square. Starting mild red rot at joints. Shelfwear to covers. Complete and untrimmed. Frontis backed onto art paper plus 101 plates. Some waved pages beginning at pg. 45. Moderate to heavy toning and foxing throughout. Multiple pages with loss not affecting text or plates. One long closed tear to page 61. Three short strike through corrections inked by hand to page 35 and page 133, otherwise clean.Three misprinted page numbers, but text is complete (224 for 220, 448 for 484, and 503 for 493) page 638 bound in last (out of order). 640 pp. plus errata, unpaginated dedications, [102] plates, and reviews. Folio, 8 & 3/4 x 14 & 1/2 inches tall (text block). This is very large and heavy and will require extra shipping charges, billed at cost.
To the Lord Clifford
The Life of Virgil
Preface to the Pastorals
To Mr. Dryden [Five reviews]
The Names of the First Subscribers
The Names of the Second Subscribers
Pt. I: Pastorals (1-10)
To the Right Honorable Phillip
An Essay on the Georgics
Pt. II: The Georgics (1-4)
To the Most Honorable John of Normandy
Pt. III: Virgil’s Æneis (1-12)
Post Script
Notes and Observations
Very good. Full leather.
Same edition as copy held by the British Library [Wing V-616] &
Barnard, John. “The Large- and Small-Paper Copies of Dryden’s “The Works of Virgil” (1697): Jacob Tonson’s Investment and Profits and the Example of “Paradise Lost” (1688).” The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 92, no. 3 (1998): 259-71.
“This magnificently illustrated book is the first edition of John Dryden’s translation of Virgil, the ancient Roman poet. The collection includes the Pastorals or Eclogues, a source for the Renaissance Arcadian ideal; Georgics, an agricultural poem in four parts; and Virgil’s masterpiece the Aeneid, an epic poem chronicling the adventures of Aeneas, legendary ancestor of the Romans. The Works of Virgil (1694–97) was conceived, created and circulated by Dryden and the publisher Jacob Tonson. Their successful partnership established publishing methods and an aesthetic movement that shaped and defined
literary production in the 18th century. Dryden did not translate Virgil’s work directly or literally into English. Instead, he revised, added to and reworked the classical Latin to make the poetry vivid and relevant to late 17th-century readers.” — British Library


903Ovid’s Metamorphoses. In fifteen books. A new translation. By several hands. Adorn’d with cuts / Ovid’s Metamorphoses made English. By several hands [15 books in two seperate volumes, complete]
by Ovid; George Sewell; J. Philips; John Hughes; Mr. Chute; Mr. Dart; Mr. [Alexander] Pope; Mr. Theobald; Capt. Morrice
Condition: Very good
London: A. Bettesworth and W. Taylor in Pater-Noster-Row, E. Curll in Fleet-Street, and J. Browne without Temple-Bar, 1717. First Edition. Full leather. Very good. Scarce. A very good first edition of this version —- there were competing editors in 1717 — complete and collated in two volumes. This work released after Dryden’s Ovid translations. Sewell’s translations went on to sell in three editions total. Title page on Volume I is loose and reads, “Ovid’s Metamorphoses. In fifteen books. A new translation. By several hands. Adorn’d with cuts.” Consistent with the worldcat entry for this set, the titlepage to vol. II reads: “Ovid’s Metamorphoses made English. By several hands. .,” and J. Browne’s name is spelled “Brown.” Blind and gilt tooled leather boards. Four raised bands. Original paper labels on spines. Joints shallowly cracked on volume I and starting on volume II. Minor loss to spine on volume II. With woodcut bookplate of Glanville Wynkoop Smith on front pastedown of both volumes. One signature on volume II has pulled away from endband and is a bit proud. Text in English is crisp and clear. Marginalia present, including a beautiful short [original??] melody neatly pencilled on rear pastedown. Toning to pastedowns and free endpapers. Marvelous woodcuts throughout. Unpaginated. 3 3/4 x 6 inches tall, 32mo. From the personal library of artist, architect, musician, author, journalist, poet, naturalist and historian Glanville Wynkoop Smith, author of Many a Green Isle (1941) and The adventures of Sir Ignatius Tippitolio, better known to the world as Tippy, proprietor of Tippitolio’s grand imperial hotel Oriella (1945)


867_2.jpgThe Mourning Bride, a Tragedy. as it is acted at the theatre in Lincoln’s Inn-Fields, by His Majesty’s Servants
by Congreve, William
Condition: Very good
London: J. Tonson, 1697. Second Edition. Boards. Very good. A very good second edition of Mr. Congreve’s famous work.Blue three quarter cloth over maroon and blue marbled boards. Appears to be missing the first free endpaper, otherwise complete and collated. Pencilled marginalia and previous owner’s bookplate on front pastedown. Soft paper. Toning to pages and pastedowns. Scarce. 6 /2 x 8 3/4 inches tall, octavo. The Mourning Bride is a tragedy written by British playwright William Congreve. It premiered in 1697 at Betterton’s Co., Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The play centres on Zara, a queen held captive by Manuel, King of Granada, and a web of love and deception which results in the mistaken murder of Manuel who is in disguise, and Zara’s also mistaken suicide in response.There are two very widely known quotations in the play; from the opening to the play:Music has charms to soothe a savage breast,The word “breast” is often misquoted as “beast” and “has” sometimes appears as “hath”.Also often repeated is a quotation of Zara in Act III, Scene VIII:Heav’n has no rage, like love to hatred turn’d, Nor hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d. This is usually paraphrased as “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” — Wikipedia


History of a Fishing Trip. Written to Order by the Keeper of the Records.
by [Lowery, F.W.]


[np]: [Privately Printed], 1933. Limited Edition, First Edition. 1/4 cloth. Very good +. A very good plus first edition limited to 100 copies, as stated. 1/4 brown cloth over brown paper boards with gilt title-stamping on cover. One light short scuff to front cover with a few light scuffs on the back. Minor rubbing and loss at head and tail of spine. Wear to edge of front cover. Mild toning to pastedowns and page edges. 130 pp., including appendix. 5 3/4 x 8 1/2, octavo. A lovely and entertaining story and beautiful piece of prose about a fishing trip on Anticosti. Scarce.


Friar Diego De Landa; Wm. Gates, trans. Yucatan Before and After the Conquest. Baltimore: The Maya Society, 1937. Second Edition. $300

A good+ second edition [HAND D83], with solid, sturdy binding and cover. Original blue cloth boards with gilt stamping and Maya Society crest in gilt. The blue cloth is showing heavy spotting on the spine and front cover, and the top front corner is bumped. Pages toned, top edge darkened. Former owner’s bookplate. From the private library of Larry Southwick. Laid in with a staple-bound pamphlet for “Publications in the Field of Archaeology, Anthropology, etc. issued by the Carnegie Institute of Washington… May 1937.” Heavily illustrated, includes maps and related documents. 142 pp. Large octavo, 6 x 10 inches tall.

An important primary source, scarce in this edition.

19th Century ephemera

greeting cardsChildren’s processional & Victorian ladies [Kate Greenaway greeting card proofs] by Kate Greenaway. $300

London: Marcus Ward, circa 1879. Proof. Sheet. Near fine. Kate Greenaway. Classic Kate Greenaway lithographic greeting card proofs. Eight scenes, including four of a child’s flower processional, and four of Victorian ladies. Uncut and complete. Toning due to age. Previous owner’s notation and price on back side. A rare find for any Greenaway or Victoriana collector. 12 1/2 x 18 inches.



Capital and labor sawyeresque boysArt bas-relief, “Capital and Labor” by Woodward & Tiernan/ $100

St. Louis, MO: Woodward & Tiernan, 1907. Sheet. Very good +. A very good plus color promotional art bas-relief depicting two “Tom Sawyer-esque” boys, the one snacking on an apple, and the other barefoot and carrying newspapers advertising the “Calendar News” bas-reliefs. From the verso: “We are offering in 1909 a most extraordinary collection of new and beautiful designs in chemigraph and color bas-relief calendars and souvenirs.” Matting shows damp stains, but bas-relief only shows one small spot above second boy’s hat. See photo. 6 x 8 inches tall.

Not your ordinary bookstore

Uncommon Works carries rare and odd books, maps, and ephemera. You’ll find books from 1560 forward, mostly first editions and first or early printings. We specialize in the Spanish Conquest of the Americas, Native America, Latin America and Mexico. You’ll also find first editions of classic and current authors for sale.

We provide services and referrals for book mending, repair, restoration, and binding.

flatopboxWe offer archival storage solutions for your books, photos, or family historical print items.

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Have your collection catalogued by an MLIS librarian.

Now buying books and accepting consignments

Have a single volume, an estate, a collection, or a complete library of books, magazines, journals and letters, manuscripts, maps, or Victoriana? We are currently accepting select consignments and buying print materials and Victoriana.

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Sometimes it’s about giving back

Though we are a commercial enterprise, Uncommon Works supports local and international nonprofits and literacy organizations.

A limited number of our handmade notebooks, journals and sketchbooks are given to local non-profit organizations each year to sell or auction as part of their fundraisers.

We have shelves of books and online auction sales where 100% of the sale goes to the Shalom Free Clinic in Chico, California. The Shalom Free Clinic provides walk-in healthcare services at no cost to individuals and families in our region who could not otherwise afford healthcare services.

Books we encounter that are not first editions, unique, odd or rare are donated to the local public library

If your library or non-profit organization would like to participate in our giving back program, contact Morgan at
530-354-4440 or write to:

We do not provide donation letters for third-party organizations, or tax receipts. Please contact the organization directly for those.

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