first edition Hardcover
1774 and 1776 and 1781 · London
by [BOWYER, William]
London: W. Bowyer & J. Nichols, 1774 and 1776 and 1781. First Edition. Hardcover. Scattered foxing, small piece of blank upper corner of first title torn off. Neat repairs to leather with some edgewear. Very Good. Three small quarto (5-1/4" x 8-1/4") volumes bound in one in contemporary calf with later rebacking in lighter leather and new endpapers; xvi, 144; viii, 145-183; , , 179-300 pages. Consists of abridgments of Middleton's DISSERTATION CONCERNING THE ORIGIN OF PRINTING IN ENGLAND and Meerman's ORIGINES TYPOGRAPHICAE. Edited by William Bowyer and John Nichols. Bound with the 1776 AN APPENDIX TO THE FIRST EDITION OF THE ORIGIN OF PRINTING as well as the 1781 SUPPLEMENT TO THE ORIGIN OF PRINTING. An exploration of 15th century printing in England and elsewhere. With rather early annotations in an unidentified hand throughout the text and including four full pages of notes on the original endpapers. The final leaf of ads in the first volume not bound in but all else present.
Bigmore & Wyman in BIBLIOGRAPHY OF PRINTING, pages 74-75, in regard to the 1776 Supplement state: "This appears to have been issued in order that possessors of the first edition of 'The Origin of Printing' might have the benefit of the annotators researches during the two years that elapsed before the publication of the second edition.... The unsold copies of the second edition were issued with a new title-page and 'Supplement to the Origin of Printing,' paged 176-300, in 1781." (Inventory #: 020045)