Moveable Type — An
Entirely Engraved Book
Contemporary Sombre Binding
of England. Book of Common Prayer.
The book of common prayer and administration of the sacraments and other rites
and ceremonies of the Church according to the use of the Church of England together
with the psalter or psalms of David pointed as they are to be sung or said in
churches. London: Engraved & pr. by John Sturt, 1717. 8vo (20.6 cm, 8.13").
XXII, 166 pp.; illus.; lacking volvelle (only).
Click the images for enlargements.
Silver plates, not copper, were used to print this beautiful and finely engraved
Prayer Book. The engraver, John Sturt, was well known for producing a calligraphy
manual, as well as for micro-engraving the Apostles' Creed on a silver penny
and the Lord's Prayer on a silver halfpenny. Both his engraving and micro-engraving
skills are employed in this famous and elegant volume. On
188 silver plates he calligraphically engraved the text and used a number of
entrancing borders, and supplied a wealth of illustrations appropriate to the
seasons of the Church's year or the feast being celebrated.
He excelled himself in his portrait of George I, whose likeness he created
via carefully and minutely inscribed texts of the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles'
Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Prayer for the Royal Family, and the 21st Psalm!
The text, entirely ruled in red, is the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, which is still the
official Prayer Book of the Church of England, with the additions usual at the time: the
thanksgiving for deliverance from the gunpowder treason, the prayers on the anniversary of the
martyrdom of King Charles, the prayers on the anniversary of the accession of the reigning
Contemporary sombre binding in black morocco, an English style used on devotional
books ca. 1670–1720. Both covers intricately tooled in blind with a wide
border of alternating circle stamps and delicate sprays framing a central lozenge
made up of similar tools, arranged asymmetrically, surrounded by pendant floral
ornaments; spine with raised bands and a single tool repeated in each of seven
for a sombre binding, this has gilt board edges and all edges gilt.
For 18TH-CENTURY BOOKS, click
George Richard Mackarness M.A. (bookplate); Wallace Parham (bookplateand sticker).
Gewirtz, But One Use, 55; ESTC T141242; Griffiths, Bibliography
of the Book of Common Prayer, 1717/2. Binding as above; leather
cracking slightly along joints and scuffed in a few places, chips at top of
spine. Lacking volvelle, as is almost always the case; later manuscript note
citing Walpole's “Anecdotes of Painting” laid in. Age-toning/soiling
across page-bottoms and lower outer corners, with only a bit of soiling/spotting
otherwise; reds remain very bright and impressions dark and crisp. Ink inscription
“From my mother Jan. 1855" on front fly-leaf verso. A
wondrously beautiful piece of devotional art in very nice condition.
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Philadelphia Rare Books
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