(London: Printed by George Eyre and Andrew Strahan, 1820). 142 x 80 mm. (5 5/8 x 3 1/8"). 510 pp.; 80,  pp.
VERY FINE CONTEMPORARY STRAIGHT-GRAIN PURPLE MOROCCO, ELABORATELY GILT, covers with frame of gilt rules and anthemion-and-flower roll, central panel with arabesque corners, central sunburst medallion containing the Tetragrammaton within a triangle from which the dove of the Holy Spirit descends, raised bands, spine panels gilt in a floral and arabesque design, gilt titling, turn-ins with zig-zag gilt roll, orange endpapers, all edges gilt. Front pastedown with large morocco bookplate of Louisa Smyth, dated 25th Dec. 1821 and signed with the initials E. P. Front flyleaf inscribed: "Harriet E. Thorpe / From her affectionate / Brother-- / As a remembrance of / her dear Aunt L. Dickens. / Nov. 1841." Griffiths, p. 246. A breath of rubbing to corners, but A BEAUTIFUL COPY with no signs of use--clean fresh, and bright internally, and in a sparkling ORNATE binding.
Bound in somber purple, but with religious imagery in bright gilt, this pretty little prayer book is very typical of an era in which such luxurious volumes were popular gifts among the moneyed classes, as was the case here. Miss Louisa Smyth must have treasured this Christmas gift from "E. P." as its condition clearly indicates it was seldom, if ever, used for daily devotions. It likely served as a perfect accessory for Louisa's Sunday finery, and perhaps she carried it at her 1831 wedding to Lt. Col. Thomas Mark Dickens of the Royal Engineers. After Louisa's 1841 death, the book passed to Harriet E. Thorpe, wife of Louisa's nephew, Rev. William Smyth Thorpe. Both families are well documented in the county of Norfolk, where their eminent lineage goes back generations. Whoever inherited our prayer book from Harriet continued to care for it assiduously, as it appears little changed from the days when Louisa first held it in her hands. (ST15600)
Add to Cart Price: $1,400.00
PJP Catalog: 76.060