Month: November 2015

November 30, 2010


A Book described as being among “the finest specimens of typographical art” produced in England

Intrationu[m] excellentissimus liber : perq[uam] necessarius o[mn]ibus leg[is] hominib[us] : fere in se continens o[mn]em medullam diuersa[rum] materia[rum ac pl[aci]t[orum], tam realiu[m], personalium q[uam] mixt[orum], necno[n] multorum breuium, tam executionu[m] q[uam] aliorum valde vtilium … Impressum … London[i] … : In officina, ere ac impensis … Ricardi Pynson …, anno no[st]re redemptionis 1510, die … vltima mensis Februarij (i.e. London: Richard Pynson, 28 February 1510.) FOLIO. [9 of 10], clxxxv [i.e. 183] leaves. 33 x 25 cm in binding; 30.5 cm lvs., a relatively TALL COPY. FIRST EDITION . Binding: 19th century English Gothic Revival Blindstamped binding, sympathetic spine rebacking, title leaf supplied from the British Museum in old mimeograph, without final blank leaf; otherwise TEXT COMPLETE, 16th century contemporary blank leaves inserted after index in beginning, likely for legal note-taking and annotations; twelve leaves with margins re-inforced with some loss, dampstaining, some worming throughout. Beautiful typography throughout with Celtic inspired typographical spacers. Colophon: Explicit opus excellentissimu[m] [et] perutile in se continens multas materias o[mn]ibus leg[is] ho[min]ib[us] p[er]q[uam] necassarias, nouiter impressum, correctum, emendatum, [et] no[n] minimo labore reuisum London[i] in vico vulgariter nu[n]cupato Fletstrete in officina, ere ac impensis honesti viri Ricardi Pynson, Regis impressoris, moram suam trahentis sub signo diui Georgii anno n[ost]re redemptionis MDCCCCx die vero vltima mensis Februarij; Verso with magnificent woodcut printer’s device [McKerrow 9] as depicted. STC 14116; Beale, Early English Law Books; Treatises T283.

FIRST EDITION of this monumental and important treatise on court writs, which in essence, acted as a medieval legal template book. Court pleadings which were once purely oral, from the middle of the reign of Edward IV, became written and therefore required standardization and accuracy consistent with common law. It was in response to that basic need that this book was printed.

“Richard Pynson (1448 in Normandy – 1529) was one of the first printers of English books. The 500 books he printed were influential in the standardisation of the English language. Pynson, whose books make him technically and typographically the outstanding English printer of his generation, is credited with introducing Roman type to English printing.” (Wikipedia) “Pynson printed numbers of useful books in all classes of literature. The works of Chaucer and Skelton and Lydgate, the history of Froissart and the Chronicle of St. Albans; books such as Æsop’s Fables and Reynard the Fox, romances such as Sir Bevis of Hampton are scattered freely amongst works of a more learned character. On the whole he deserves a much higher place than De Worde. It is rare, indeed, to find a carelessly printed book of Pynson’s, whilst such books as the Boccaccio of 1494, the Missal printed in 1500 at the expense of Cardinal Morton, and known as the Morton Missal, and the Intrationum excellentissimus liber of 1510 are certainly the finest specimens of typographical art which had been produced in this country.” [Ref: Plomer. H. A Short History of English Printing]


posted in: Rare Books

November 30, 2010


Original Signed Autograph Material including a 2 page letter of Dickens:  1038 Specially Mounted Plates

[DICKENS, Charles] [Forster, John] The life of Charles Dickens. [In three volumes] London: Chapman and Hall, 1872. 3 volumes expanded to 9. Special edition EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED by 1038 plates (many mounted to size, some double page) including an incredible complement of 75 portraits of Dickens. Bound in full crushed red morocco leather with gilt lettering and and gilt turn-ins; vols. 4,6, 7, 8, with the boards partially or fully and cleanly separated/detached at the hinges, present but loose; a couple other volumes with weak hinges, three volumes with repairs to hinges. Included in Vol I is an authentic Autograph Signed Letter of Dickens (ALs,) [Fulham Hotel, March 14th, s.d.; circa 1842] . 2 pp, 8vo. addressed to Joseph Nielsen Esq., concerning planning his trip to America and the fact that he is unsure whether or not he will be in a particular village, and if so, only for a few hours. This is a very early Dicken’s letter and Dicken’s letters that mention America are quite rare. Additionally in Vol. I is what is likely (at least stated on verso) an unsigned autograph note of Dickens in his hand in his occasional playful use of third person, on ‘All the Year Round’ stationary, stating that a manuscript submitted [for publication] to All the Year Round by Mr Glascock does not meet the necessary requirements. Vol. VI contains an unsigned letter of ‘Phiz’ (i.e. Hablot K. Browne) written from 2 Park Terrace and illustrated with a very lovely drawing of a devil gazing at paintings while two cherubs attempt to nail down his tail. Additionally, there is an original photograph of Dickens, another of Mark Lemon (founder of Punch Magazine), original and very rare broadsides of theatrical productions of Dickens, eleven front wrappers for Dicken’s titles issued in parts, an unusual acrostic by Charles Kent, Dicken’s characters illustrated by Kyd, as well as an incredibly rich and diverse assortment of views, ephemera, stage actors portraying Dicken’s characters, scenes of Dickens including from his tour of America, as well as the inclusion of additional titles pages form the later NY 1892 edition. This is certainly the largest extra-illustrated set of the Life of Dickens on record.

Provenance: There is no clear indication of who commissioned this remarkable set. The name Fred Dickens appears twice in pencil on flyleaves, so it may originally have been compiled by a relative/descendant. The American theater manager and playwright Augustin Daly, evidently owned a similarly described set that sold at auction in 1900 at the Anderson Galleries, but it is not clear if this is the same set. There is a pencil notation that this set was sold by the famous 5th Avenue American bookseller Dauber &Pine on March 20, 1930 during the Depression.

“John Forster (1812-1876), English biographer and critic, best known for his excellent Life of Charles Dickens. Forster met Dickens in 1836, and became his close friend and adviser. Dickens modeled Our Mutual Friend character John Podsnap on Forster, and his rooms are said to be the basis for the residence of lawyer Tulkinghorn in Bleak House. From the Pickwick Papers onwards Forster saw the manuscripts of nearly all Dicken’s novels before the were published, and Dickens appointed him as his literary executor.”


posted in: Rare Books

November 30, 2010

FIRST EDITION: A fundamental work of the English Reformation

A foundation for the legalization of divorce in England.

The Book:

[Thomas Cranmer; Walter Haddon; John Cheke, Sir; England and Wales. Commissioners on Revision of the Ecclesiastical Laws, 1550-1552.] Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum : Ex Authoritate primum Regis Henrici. 8. inchoata: Deinde per Regem Edovardum 6. provecta, adauctaque in hunc modum, atque nunc ad pleniorem ipsarum reformationem in lucem aedita. Ex officina Johannis Daij: Londini, 1571. [10], 149, [3] leaves. small 4to., 19 x 14 cm., Original vellum boards.,spine renewed, endpapers renewed, some dampstaining (most visible on the lower part of the first 10 nunmbered leaves) and diminishing thereafter , some occasional old faint stains throughout. Generally, Very Good and COMPLETE. VERY RARE.  [SOLD]

This very rare book is a fundamental work of the English Reformation. It was drawn up in 1552 by Commissioners headed by Thomas Cranmer, and published for the first time in 1571 with the later additions and amendments of Matthew Parker, by John Fox, the martyrologist. It was in part a codification that justified Henry’s earlier divorce from Catherine of Aragon, which resulted in the separation of the English Church from union with the Holy See. It notably provided a foundation for the the legalization of divorce whereby it established that marriage was not a sacrament, and that an innocent person might again marry in the case of adultery, absolute desertion, protracted absence, mortal enmities, or, cruelty. Due to the death of Edward VI, it was never officially enacted, but it did enjoy unofficial authority in ecclesiastical courts.

” Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556) was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI. ” [Wikipedia]


posted in: Rare Books