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English History

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  • Relics for the Curious – Two Volumes – 1824

    First Edition set near impossible to find. Printed by Samuel Burton Leadenhall Street, London in 1824.

    Two small volumes, 184 pages, 168 pages, frontispiece to both. Bound in contemporary olive half calf, spines gilt with double red leather labels. Lightly rubbed a pretty clean and bright set.

    A collection of most peculiar anecdotes. The Literary Magnet of the time praised the contents and demonstrated their approbation of them by making copious extracts available in their rag.

    Classifies as anecdotes, clerical, professional and miscellaneous and compounded by “singular customs” and “extracts from remarkable wills”.

    Very unusual books for the well read and broadly based historian … facts contained in here designed to liven any dull dinner party … “Did you know that …”

    Relics … well anecdotes really of some strange historical happenings.

    $180.00

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  • Le Morte d’Arthur – Sir Thomas Malory – Shakespeare Head Private Press Limited Edition 1933

    Le Morte d’Arthur – Sir Thomas Malory – Shakespeare Head Private Press Limited Edition 1933

    Full title … The Noble & Joyous Boke Entitled Le Morte d’Arthur Nothwythstondying it Treateth of the Byrth Lyf and Actes of the sayd Kynge Arthur; of his Noble Knightes of the Rounde Table. Theye Merveylous Enquestes and Adventures. Thachyevynge of the Sanc.Greall and the Ende the Delourous Deth: and Departynge out of this Worlde of Them al. Wyche Boke was Reduced in to Englysshe by the Well Dysposyd Knyghte Syr Thomas Malory.

    Two volumes, quarto, number xxx of 350 copies for sale (a further 20 copies were not for sale) with 22 woodcut illustrations. Original binding in terra cotta half Morocco over ivory buckram, flat spines with gilt titling, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt. Other edges untrimmed.

    The revered Shakespeare Head, Saint Aldates Oxford, edition of the most famous of the Arthurian tales, reprinted from and resembling in layout and typeface the 1498 edition of Wynkyn de Worde kept in the John Rylands Library, Manchester.

    Volume I comprises 4 initial blanks; half title; title with limitation on verso; prologus i-iv; table v-xxviii; Fyrste Boke to IX Boke 1-316 with woodcut in each; 3 final blanks. VolI comprises 4 initial blanks; half title; title with note to verso; Boke X – Boke XXI 1-373 with woodcuts to each and a further one in Boke XXI; notes 3; 3 final blanks. All as should be.

    Written in the 15th century by Thomas Malory the sweeping Mort d’Arthur includes the youth of Arthur, the romance of Guinevere and Lancelot, the Quest for the Grail, the tragedy of Tristan and Iseult etc.

    This superb work directly tied to the early days of printing in England, with broad margins, quality handmade paper and the impeccably reproduced typeface … all hallmarks of the Shakespeare Head Press.

    The Shakespeare Head Press was started in 1904 at Stratford Upon Avon by Arthur Bullen after he had had a dream about finely printing all of Shakespeare’s works at his birthplace, something that had not been done before. Much of his equipment and initial typeface came second had from William Morris’s Kelmscott Press. After Bullen’s death in 1927 the business was moved to Oxford under its new owners Basil Blackwell and Bernard Newdigate who was the typographer. They continued in the Morris tradition. The building in which they operated was commandeered by the American allies in 1942.

    King Arthur and his Legends and Death – Shakespeare Head Private Press edition.

    $690.00

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  • Military Uniforms of the British Empire Overseas – John Player & Sons Card series complete in rare album.

    Military Uniforms of the British Empire Overseas – John Player & Sons Card series complete in rare album.

    Album 26cm by 20cm 24 pages with a total of 50 cards, published in 1938. Some light foxing to cover and the odd mark inside, generally a very good set. The shading on the images is caused by the scanner and the paper not lying quite flat.

    Uniforms from South Africa, Rhodesia, Canada, India and Burma, and Colonies, Protectorates etc. Some pretty fancy garb among them …. The narrative descriptions of the various regiments, battalions etc is very interesting … useful for those wanting a potted history.

    A nice complete set with the attendant album narrative

    $60.00

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  • An Essay on the Ancient and Modern Use of Armories; Shewing Their Origin, Definition, and Division of them into their several Species. The Method of Composing them, and Marshalling many Coats together in one Shield. Alexander Nisbet – First Edition 1718 – Nice Item

    An Essay on the Ancient and Modern Use of Armories; Shewing Their Origin, Definition, and Division of them into their several Species. The Method of Composing them, and Marshalling many Coats together in one Shield. Alexander Nisbet – First Edition 1718 – Nice Item

    Title continues … Illustrated by many Examples and Sculptures of the Armorial Ensigns of Noble Families in this and other Nations … To which is added, An Index explaining the Terms of Blazon made use of in this Essay.

    First Edition and scarce. Printed by William Adams Jnr for James MackEuen (to be sold at his shop), Edinburgh 1718.

    Small quarto, 224 pages preceded by introductions and subscribers list. With seven folding plates of multiple images of arms, and the aforementioned Index of Terms. Contains a detailed account of the reigns of British Royalty and the origins of their arms. Bound in original full calf in very good condition. Internally, very light browning and signs of old worming long gone. The quality and the condition of the copper engraved plates is something special.

    Scottish historian Alexander Nisbet’s works on heraldry are considered the best on the subject.

    Nisbet the Authority and an early First Edition of his “Essay on Heraldry”

    $290.00

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  • Map of Northumberland – John Speed / Pieter van den Keere – 1627

    Map of Northumberland – John Speed / Pieter van den Keere – 1627

    A delightful and quite rare map of Northumberland … the origin of Voyager.

    Pieter van den Keere (1571-1646) engraved a series of miniature English County maps based on the original surveys of Christopher Saxton. First published by Willem Janzoon Blaeu in 1617 they were Anglicised by the great cartographer John Speed and published by George Humble in 1627. They are often referred to as “Miniature Speeds”.

    Printed area 12.3cm by 8.6cm good plate mark. This example has a shallow lower margin and a little age … altogether still a very good example of a rare near 400 year old map.

    The map stretches to Carlisle and beyond in Cumberland. The county border is clearly shown as a dotted line and at this time Berwick – Upon – Tweed (Barwick) is clearly in England. Holy Island, the Farnes and Coquet Island feature in their olde names. The Cheviot and Simonside Hills are shown and numerous of the Northumberland Norman Castles feature. Interestingly, Cartington has been mis-engraved and a little “t” has been inserted above … a distinctive feature of this engraving that pins its provenance down quite nicely. Voyager used to play among the ruins of Cartington as a young fellow.

    Special map of Northumberland a delight for expatriate Northumbrians and all.

    $160.00

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  • Historic Sail – The Glory of the Sailing Ship from the 13th to the 19th Century – Wheatley

    Historic Sail – The Glory of the Sailing Ship from the 13th to the 19th Century – Wheatley

    A massive production principally by Joseph Wheatley as this is a most visual work … text by Stephen Howarth.

    Squarish folio, 33cm by 32cm, 206 pages, published by specialist Greenhill Books, London in 2000.

    With 91 colour plates of historic vessels with accompanying text page. A quality production and a very good copy. Probably too big for an overseas purchase (and our scanner) .. please enquire though.

    Presented in chronological order with the Danish 13thC Cog and then the Cinque Ports Cog and Venetian Merchantman. Along the way we have Carricks and Caravels before the 16thC Galleys and the Flemish Warships. Some specifics … the Revenge and the San Martin and the Golden Lion. The Armada vessels and the Dutch and the mighty Sovereign of the Seas. Gun ships and the first yachts … HMB Endeavour an to finish a Scottish Tea Clipper.

    At the time of publication Joseph Wheatley was part of the crew on the replica Endeavour … half your luck … one of the images is that magnificent converted collier.

    A special book for grown up Boys who like the Sea.

    $50.00

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