(London: Lovell, Reeve & Co., 1866). 258 x 186 mm. (10 1/8 x 7 1/4"). 1 p.l. (half title), lxxxvii pp., [10] leaves, 230 pp., [2] leaves, 233-440 pp.Edited and with Essays and Annotations by Henry Green.

FINE NAVY CRUSHED MOROCCO BY RIVIERE (stamp-signed on front turn-in), covers framed by gilt rules with fleuron cornerpieces, large gilt arabesque at center, raised bands, spine gilt in compartments with fleuron centerpiece, gilt titling, heavily gilt inner dentelles, all edges gilt. Photo-lithographic facsimile with 252 woodcut emblems in the text, and 72 plates relating to the history of emblem books. A hint of wear to joints, a couple of short scratches to rear board (well masked by refurbishing), minor offsetting to flyleaves from binder's glue, about two-thirds of the leaves uniformly lightly browned (due to paper stock), but still an excellent copy, clean and fresh with ample margins, in a sound binding.

In a handsome binding from a first-rate workshop, this is a very pleasing 19th century facsimile of the first emblem book printed in English, and an affordable alternative to that very rare and quite costly work. With nearly 250 woodcut emblems, Whitney's collection of emblems first introduced English readers to a wealth of material gathered from earlier French and Italian emblem books published by Plantin, such as those of Alciati, Sambucus , Adrianus Junius, and Paradin. Just over 80 percent of the woodcuts were printed from blocks identical with the Continental works, and, editor Henry Green has included examples of these "borrowed" emblems in the 72 plates here. Green has also included an introduction on the history of emblems books, biographical notes on Whitney, and bibliographical essays on "Choice of Emblems." Geffrey (or Geoffrey) Whitney (ca. 1548-1601) was educated at Oxford and Cambridge, and served as under-bailiff of Great Yarmouth. He studied at the University of Leyden in 1586, at a time when English troops under the Earl of Leicester were supporting the Dutch war for independence from Spain (some scholars have seen in his emblem book political overtones of that conflict).

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PJP Catalog: RCVF20.018