Emblems Hieroglyphikes Francis Quarles 100+ Engravings 1684 + Harvard Letter
7th March 2017
Beautiful little English Emblem book with 100+ religious, alchemical and symbolic illustrations/engravings in two parts + a letter dated 1945 from Library of Harvard University, The Houghton Library, signed by William A. Jackson (1905-1964), the first librarian for The Houghton Library .
**Emblemes **(a.k.a. emblems) by Fra. Quarles (Francis Quarles) + **Hieroglyphikes of the Life of Man **London printed for J. Williams at the Crowne in St. Paul's Churchyard 1684 (although the date looks like it could be read either as 1624 or 1634)
Size, Binding and Collation: Cute little 12mo volume measuring 6.5"x4" 381 pages + preliminaries, in later, probably early-to-mid 20th century calf. Collation is as follows: blank, title page, Dedication to Edward Benlowes, To the Reader, a latin inscription, first engraving, and main text begins The First Book begining with The Invocation (1-64), The Second Book (65-124), The Third Book (125-188), The Fourth Book (189-248), The Fifth Book (249-311), book plate of The Library of J. Roy W. Barrette (probably 20th century) on past down, two blank pages, "the mind of the frontispiece", "Hieroglyphikes of the Life of Man" title page on page 317, Dedication to Lady Mary Countess of Dorset (319-20), To the Reader (321), first engraving of the Hieroglyphikes on page 322, main text alternating engravings and text 322-381, Finis.
Condition: Near Fine pages in Near Fine binding, and very good+ title page. Beautiful solid binding, slight edge-wear to the edges of the boards, but overall clean and solid, text very readable, engravings mostly clear but probably towards the end of the printing run. Slight toning towards the edges of the main title page with a taped repair to the top, not affecting inner engraving, mostly clean pages, near fine, with occasional spotting, nothing serious. Overall a very good solid book from the late 17th century!
Included Letter: Interestingly, this volume was apparently at first purchased or acquired then passed on and returned to Miss Mabel Zahn and Charles Sessler by Harvard University's Houghton Library as shown in a letter in the volume written and signed by William A. Jackson who was the first librarian of Houghton Library at Harvard, appointed in 1942 and remained at the post until his death in 1964. According to the letter, the seller or donor (it's not clear whether this was a donation or a sale, to Harvard but I suspect this was a sale) had dated the volume to 1634 but Jackson felt positive the book was printed in 1684 although the engraved title page's year is difficult to read. Jackson speaking for Houghton declined the book and another book, which makes me believe these were a possible transactions from an antiquarian bookseller. So this book has "partial provenance", briefly owned by Harvard University then not!
NOTE: The pictures are of the actual item for sale. (The pictures are NOT a stock photo.)
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