Meyrick, Sir Samuel Rush | Beautiful plates "as fine as the monuments of Westminster Abbey"
1,500 to - 2,500 USD
Meyrick, Sir Samuel Rush
A Critical Inquiry into Antient Armour, as it Existed in Europe, particularly in Great Britain, from the Norman Conquest to the reign of King Charles II. Illustrated by a series of illuminated engravings. With a glossary of military terms of the Middle Ages...Second edition, corrected and enlarged. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1842
3 volumes, folio (365 x 264 mm). Half-titles, hand-colored lithographic frontispiece to vol. I, 80 plates (70 of which hand-colored aquatints, most heightened with gilt, and 10 etched uncolored plates), 27 large hand-colored initials, most heightened with gilt. Publisher's red half morocco over marbled paper-covered boards, spines with raised bands in six compartments, olive morocco lettering-pieces in the second, brown morocco lettering-pieces in the third, others with repeated outer border decorations surrounding a single large tool including a helm in the first and sixth compartments, crossed swords in the fourth, and a gauntlet and pair of spurs in the fifth, edges gilt, marbled endpapers.
A handsome set of the second and best edition of Meyrick's great work on arms and armor
Prideaux writes that this "book is certainly superb." A contemporary review echoed this sentiment: "Plates as fine as the monuments of Westminster Abbey. Really and truly the work is admirably executed, and deserves every eulogy" (Edinburgh Review, quoted in Lowndes II:541).
First published in 1824, this work was one of the first to view the subject of ancient arms and armor from an historical perspective. The present second edition includes revised text and a new hand-colored lithographic frontispiece to the first volume. The presentation is otherwise very similar to the first edition with both plates and initials hand-colored and heightened with gold where necessary. As a whole the work is beautifully designed and printed. The plates and initial letters, which are expertly hand-colored, are taken from copies of "antient [sic.] seals, illuminations, painted glass, and monuments", whilst the author's intention for the whole work was that it should supply "the general deficiency of information on the subject: to throw a glimpse of light over the rugged paths of the historian, to furnish dates to the antiquary, and to give vividness of truth to the efforts of painting, sculpture, and the drama" (Preface xiv).
John Gretton, 1st Baron Gretton (armorial bookplate)
Cf. Hiler 587; Lipperheide Qb62 (2nd edition); Lowndes II:1541; cf. Prideaux 322
Condition as described in catalogue entry.
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