(London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, 1860). 276 x 197 mm. (10 7/8 x 7 3/4"). xvi, 239,  pp.Translated and edited, with additions, by Richard Pigot. First Edition with these Illustrations.
FINE CONTEMPORARY GREEN STRAIGHT-GRAIN MOROCCO, HANDSOMELY GILT, covers framed by multiple rules and wide, ornate dentelle, the whole enclosing a detailed Greek urn centerpiece, raised bands, spine densely gilt in compartments featuring many small botanical and floral tools, gilt turn-ins, all edges gilt. With allegorical frontispiece featuring a portrait of Cats, 60 large tondo emblems, and 60 tailpieces by John Leighton and others after Adriaen van de Venne. Front flyleaf with ink presentation inscription, "Wilhelmina Colquhoun Jones / 1863 / with Charlotte Harriet Jones' / Love and best wishes" (see below). Spine darkened to an olive brown (as almost always with green morocco), just the faintest hint of wear to joints, occasional minor foxing or stains, but AN EXTREMELY ATTRACTIVE COPY, the very decorative contemporary binding bright and scarcely worn, and the text very fresh and showing no signs of use.
This is a beautifully bound, attractively illustrated, and very well-preserved copy of an uncommon Victorian book featuring emblems produced by the Dutchman Jacob Cats and the Scotsman Robert Farley in the 17th century. Each entry, devoted to a particular virtue, opens with a Cats emblem and closes with one by Farley, with numerous quotes from philosophers and poets of all eras appearing between the two. A statesman of considerable importance, Cats (1577-1660) has long been considered Holland's household poet, having written a large quantity of insightful and charming philosophical verse, including some of the most important works of emblematic literature produced in the Netherlands. Farley (or Farlie) is an obscure figure known best for his "Lychnocausia," published with 58 full-page emblems in London in 1638. Leighton's interpretations of the illustrations by van de Venne (1589-1662) retain the charm of the originals, which include engravings with allegorical pictures and epigrams, sometimes freighted with mystical profundity, but also winning scenes of life, full of the fascinating detail of costume, architecture, furnishings, recreations, social intercourse of several kinds, and all the other varied physical and interpersonal dimensions of living. John Leighton (1822-1912) was one of the most prolific and successful book illustrators and cover designers of his day. The DNB describes him as "possessed of exceptional ability, with wide-ranging interests," and "distinguishable by his sheer proficiency as well as by his artistic talent." He contributed well-regarded engravings to editions of "Ingoldsby Legends" and "Robinson Crusoe." Former owner Wilhelmina Colquhoun Jones (1841-1910) likely received this as a wedding gift for her 1863 marriage to Edward Talbot Day Jones, apparently from a relative--perhaps a sister--of her new husband. Whoever Charlotte Jones may have been, she was important enough to the couple that they named their first daughter, who grew up to be the historian Helen Charlotte Foxcroft, for her. The especially handsome binding here is unsigned but is exactly the kind of thing Hayday was producing during its heyday. (ST11871)
Add to Cart Price: $750.00
PJP Catalog: 67.236