([England]: 1930). 198 x 150 mm. (7 7/8 x 6").  leaves. Single column, 21 lines in a small script.
Quarter vellum over blue linen boards, smooth spine with gilt titling, all edges gilt. Title page with A FULL BORDER composed of line and dot rules and filled with gilt bezants, small, colorful arches, and penwork embellishment, the lower half of the page with a penwork floral spray inside a smaller border, each page of text with a simple line and dot border and a colorful head-piece featuring a different design, many with gold accents. Tissue guards between each leaf. Vellum binding just slightly soiled, a hint of wear at corners, but these faults negligible, and internally like new.
This charming little work appears to be a mock-up on paper for a manuscript that, presumably, would later be executed on vellum, offering an intriguing look into the artistic process of a professional illuminator and calligrapher. Although there are no notes or inscriptions in the book to confirm our hypothesis, its appearance suggests a work in progress: the pencil rules and outlines have all been left in place, the application of paint looks more roughly blocked out than polished, some of the designs have been left unfinished, and in a few cases, one can see changes in the design between pencil and ink. It is possible that this work was the prototype for a manuscript by the same artist that was sold by Bloomsbury in May of 2009. That auction featured several other manuscripts by Mercer (about whom we were able to find no biographical information), all of which were inscribed to Vyvyan Holland, the youngest son of Oscar Wilde and Constance Lloyd. (ST17129-024)