Lot 331: Holme (Randle). The Academy of Armory: or a Display of Heraldry. Being a more easy way to attain the knowledge thereof, than hath been hitherto published by any. Containing the several variety of Created Beings, and how born in Coats of Arms, both Foreign and Domestick. With the Instruments used in all Trades and Sciences, together with their Terms of Art..., 3 parts in one, by R. H. Gentleman Sewer in Extraordinary to King Charles, and sometimes Deputy to the Kings of Arms, 2nd edition, London: printed & sold by the Booksellers of London and Westminster, 1701, ,107,,488,,501,p., cancel title with author's name written in manuscript, 48 full-page engraved illustrations and 3 engraved plates (on two leaves) of armorial symbols, (illustration for Book 3, Chap. 1, page 2 duplicated on page 40), bound without additional engraved title, one illustration cropped to lower edge (Book 2, chap. 3, page 45), leaf Ii2 torn to upper outer corner with slight loss of page number, paper fault to fore-edge margin of Book 3, chap. 8 page 347/348 affecting few letters of text, some browning and spotting throughout, front free endpaper inscribed by Peter Le Neve, Norroy (1661-1729), bookplates of William Constable, Richard Henry Wood, John L. Nevinson and Claude Blair, hinges repaired, contemporary panelled calf, rebacked, spine rubbed and board corners showing, folio. Moule CCCXXXV. ESTC N29183. A reissue of the 1st edition of 1688, with a cancel title-page. The 1688 edition also contained an additional engraved decorative title-page, which is not present in this volume. The work is partly an explanation of heraldic symbols, but also an encyclopedia of the 17th century world, with the illustrations depicting not only heraldic symbols, but also trades and persuits etc. including candle making, brick laying, weaving, tapestry making, baking, painting, falconry, playing billiards, chess and tennis. Randle Holmes (1627-1700) was one of the first Freemasons in Chester, and the volume contains a reference to Freemasonry in Book III chapter 9 (page 393, leaf Ddd) which has the following text "I cannot but honor the Felloship of the Masons because of its Antiquity; and the more, as being a member of that Society, called Free-masons: In being conversant amonst them I have observed the use of these severall Tools following, some whereof I have seen born in coats Armour". The work was intended to consist of four books, each focusing on different aspects of heraldry, but following the printing of the thirteenth chapter of the third book Holme was unable to print the rest of his work even though he had as stated in his passage to the reader following the final chapter completed the manuscript. This manuscript is held at the British Library. The rest of book 3 and book 4 were published in 1905 by the Roxburghe Club. Claude Blair FSA, OBE, CVO (1922-2010), the eminent scholar of European arms and armour and historic metalwork, funerary sculpture, English parish churches and the decorative arts. He was Keeper at the Department of Metalwork, Victoria and Albert Museum, from 1972-82. (1)
Dominic Winter's Printed Books and Maps Auction September 2015
Wednesday, 16th September 2015
Write a response...