Cato, Dionysius: Disticha de moribus [English and Latin].
Translated from the French by William Caxton. With a paraphrase and commentary.
[Westminster: William Caxton, after 23 Dec. 1483]
Fol. [*4] a-h8 i10.  leaves, a1 and i10 blank.
ISTC ic00313000; Goff C313; BMC XI 150 (IB. 55083); DeR(C) 16.5; Bod-inc C-137; GW 6361.
Note: Gathering [*] numbered but not signed; leaf [*1] signed “ij” and leaf [*2] signed “iij”; “there is, however, no evidence for blank leaves beginning and ending the preliminary quire” - BMC.
|Shelf-mark:||Sp Coll Hunterian Bv.2.16 (see main library entry for this item)|
|Provenance:||Francis Layton (d.1661) of Yorkshire, Keeper of the Jewel House to Charles I: signature on a1r “Fra: Layton” (misread as “Laxton” by De Ricci); Layton was the owner of at least two other Caxtons: a 'Myrrour of the worlde', 1481 (Göttingen, Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek) and a copy of Cicero, 'De senectute', 1481 (the Earls Fitzwilliam copy, sold at Christie’s, London, Wentworth sale, 8 July 1998, lot 3).
Edward Harley (1689-1741), Lord Harley; from 1724 2nd Earl of Oxford: one of two Harleian copies of Caxton’s Caton.
Thomas Osborne (d. 1767), bookseller: purchased all the Harleian printed books; either no. 3630 or no. 4054 in his 'Catalogus bibliothecae Harleianae', vol. 3 (London: 1744) and either no. 1709 or no. 1718 in his 'Catalogus bibliothecae Harleianae', vol. 5 (London: 1745).
James West (1703-1772), politician and antiquary: lot 1151 in 'Bibliotheca Westiana' (1773).
John Ratcliffe (1707-1776), book collector: Ratcliffe’s inscription “Perfect” on third front flyleaf; bought by Ratcliffe at the West sale for £4.7.6 according to the annotated copy of the West sale catalogue in University of Glasgow Library (shelfmark Mu31-a.9); one of two copies owned by Ratcliffe; the West copy is lot 1427 in 'Bibliotheca Ratcliffiana' (1776); Ratcliffe’s other copy (lot 1016) was sold to G. Nicol for King George III and De Ricci (16:1) was wrong in supposing that this was the copy bought by Ratcliffe at the West sale - cf. BMC XI 151.
William Hunter (1718-1783), physician and anatomist: lot 1427 purchased by Hunter for £5.5.0 at the Ratcliffe sale according to the annotated BL copy of the sale catalogue.
University of Glasgow: Hunterian bequest 1807; Hunterian Museum bookplate on front pastedown, with former shelfmark “Ad.8.8”.
|Binding:||England, 18th-century gold-tooled red goatskin; covers decorated with a border built up of a narrow tooth roll and of separate tools depicting a single flower in an urn within an architectural arch, the arch surmounted by a globe; gold-tooled spine with two green leather labels and a ‘Gothic window’ design in the remaining four compartments; dark blue paper pastedowns; gilt-edged leaves; green silk bookmark; see Bv.2.13, Bv.2.19, Bv.2.21 for identical bindings (and for the same border see BMC XI, 122, IB. 55040, and Christie’s, London, Wentworth sale, 8 July 1998, lot 2 ‘bound for James West’). Size: 268 × 201 mm.|
|Leaf size:||262 x 189 mm.|
|Annotations:||Fairly frequent pointing hands and underlining; one “nota” mark on g7r; early foliation “3”-“43” in black ink visible from a3-f3; reference to “Ames No.19” on first front flyleaf.|
|Decoration:||Initials supplied in red in gatherings d-f and i; in the same gatherings capital strokes are supplied in red at the beginning of each line of the Latin disticha; paragraph marks in red precede the incipits of liber secundus (e3r) and liber tertius (f8v).|
|Imperfections:||Wanting the blank leaf i10.|