(London: Printed for Richard Chiswell, 1686). 371 x 232 mm. (14 5/8 x 9 1/8"). 4 p.l., 348 pp.Edited by Simon Patrick. FIRST EDITION.
SPLENDID HONEY BROWN DICED RUSSIA BY ROGER PAYNE, covers with wide, intricate, and elegant dentelle frame composed of many small floral tools; raised bands, spine with gilt crest of Sir Richard Colt Hoare in top compartment, gilt titling in next two compartments, and four elaborately tooled compartments below with gilt floral sprigs radiating from a central quatrefoil, interspersed with circlets and many small floral tools; turn-ins with simple gilt rules and delicate floral cornerpieces, endpapers of purple "fine drawing paper" (Payne's words), all edges gilt (joints and a very small portion at spine ends recently and expertly renewed by Courtland Benson). In a (somewhat scuffed) folding cloth box lined with felt. With two illustrations in the text and four plates of views of the cathedral. A Large Paper Copy. Front pastedown with armorial bookplate of Sir Henry Hope Edwardes and engraved bookplate of W. H. Corfield (see below). Front flyleaf with transcription in Sir Richard Colt Hoare's hand of Payne's very detailed explanation of the work done and the bill for it. Wing G-2246; Foot "Henry Davis Gift" II, 194 (for another Payne binding with the same early provenance). Spine evenly darkened toward a chocolate brown, moderate foxing to half a dozen leaves, occasional rust spots, light stains, or other trivial imperfections elsewhere in the text, but AN ESPECIALLY DESIRABLE SPECIMEN in generally very fine condition, mostly clean and always fresh internally, and the very special binding entirely solid now, with virtually no wear, and with all of the delicate gilt quite bright.
Containing a comprehensive history of the cathedral at Peterborough, this impressive volume was bound by one of the most celebrated figures in the history of English bookbinding for one of the major English collectors at the end of the 18th century. Beautifully designed and flawlessly executed, the binding is also distinctive simply for its very substantial size. The son of a diocesan registrar at Peterborough Cathedral, our author Gunton (1609-76) was a canon at the church who was fascinated by this looming presence in his life; he spent years collecting data from its monuments and from the records in his father's care. His manuscript notes on the clergy, patrons, architecture, and historical documents were revised after his death by Simon Patrick and published in the present work, which includes important information lost during the Civil War. Roger Payne (1738-97) was apprenticed to the Eton bookseller Joseph Pote, then moved to London, where he first worked as a bookseller before establishing his bindery. Among his clients were two of England's greatest book collectors, the extraordinarily discriminating Rev. Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode (1730-99) of Christ Church, Oxford, and the celebrated bibliophile George John, second Earl Spencer (1758-1834). It has been fashionable over the years to attribute attractively decorated English bindings from the latter part of the 18th century to Roger Payne, often without any shred of definitive evidence. With the present item, however, there are unmistakable matches between distinctive tools used here and those reproduced in Davenport's book. In particular, two of the floral tools used in the dentelle frame--the lily and the tulip with columbine--match those in Davenport's Figure 27. "The Henry Davis Gift" pictures another Payne binding done for Sir Richard Colt Hoare (1758-1838), using the same eagle head tool in the crest as on our volume. In addition, we have a note on the flyleaf, apparently in Colt Hoare's hand, noting that he bought the book at the Southgate sale in 1795 for £2, 5 shillings and paid Payne £3, 10 shillings for the binding. The transcription of Payne's (rambling and self-congratulatory) bill says in part that "the very magnificent broad borders, with a very great number of Tools, which took [him] a great deal of Time" were part of "quite a new Pattern in the Gothic Taste, and [he is] in great hopes of the Borders being approved." A review of the Abbey, Schiff, Davis, Broxbourne Library, and Wormsley Library collections, as well as Maggs Catalogues 1075 and 1212 and the British Library Database of Bookbindings locates just one Payne binding taller than the present item. Payne's work was done mostly on small volumes, and there are only four other books over 300 mm. tall listed in these various sources. Scion of a banking family, Colt Hoare was a scholarly man who devoted his life to art and antiquities. He expanded his grandfather's famed art collection at Stourhead, the family estate, and added a Regency-style library that is still one of treasures of the National Trust. (ST12250)
Add to Cart Price: $12,500.00
PJP Catalog: 71.072