A SMALL COLLECTION OF DESIRABLE MINIATURE BOOKS, OFFERED AS A GROUP.
1) FOUR EARLY 20TH CENTURY DIARIES. DE LA RUE'S CONDENSED DIARY AND ENGAGEMENT BOOK (FINGER SHAPE) FOR 1902, 1906, 1909, AND 1914. (London: De La Rue & Co., 1902-14) 77 x 24 mm. (3 x 1").  leaves. Four separately issued annual volumes. Diaries with soft leather covers decorated in gilt (1902 in brown morocco, 1906 and 1906 in burgundy, 1914 in scarlet), 1902 diary IN A SILVER FILIGREE SLIPCASE, the others in matching morocco cases. 1902 diary with an address noted on Memorandum page, otherwise unused; other diaries with neatly written entries in pencil or pen. Front cover of 1902 diary slightly sunned, quarter-inch chip to tail of spine, corners and extremities of all books lightly rubbed from sliding in and out of cases, binding of 1914 book lightly soiled, but none of these issues significant, and the bindings and cases all generally very well preserved.
2) AVE MARIA. ([Budapest or Italy, ca.: 1970]) 10 x 11 mm. (3/8 x 7/16"). 6 unnumbered leaves, three of them blank. Charming burgundy calf, upper cover with the head of the Madonna tooled in gilt, flat spine with gilt bands. In a black pebble-grain morocco slipcase, nestled in fabric inside a 32 x 34 mm. metal box with latch. With a cross printed on the first leaf and a simple engraving of the Madonna's head on the second. Bondy, p. 156. Tiny (what else?) scratch to head of spine, otherwise A FINE SPECIMEN.
This charming minuscule book contains the Latin text of the "Ave Maria" printed on one page. Bondy tells us there is some dispute about its origins, with Hungarian bibliophiles claiming it was printed in Budapest, and Italian collectors insisting it was Italy. Whatever its place of publication, it could scarcely be more charming, and it is certainly the most portable prayer book we have ever offered for sale.
3) CHURCH OF ENGLAND. BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER. [with] HYMNS, ANCIENT AND MODERN. (Oxford: University Press, London: William Clowes, ca. 1920) 60 x 45 mm. (2 1/4 x 1 3/4"). 688 pp.; 859,  pp. Two works bound in one volume. Contemporary ivorine covers and spine, silk joints, metal (silver?) monogram mounted on upper cover, textured white endpapers, all edges gilt. Frontispiece of choir boys to first work, and of girls' choir to second. Upper corners of spine beginning to lift, silk joints a little worn, otherwise a fine specimen, clean and bright internally, in a well-preserved binding. (ST18267collection)