London: Day and Son Limited, ca. 1880s. Hardcover. Octavo size, 285 pp. Very good. Item #18090302
In the days before the printing press, manuscripts were illuminated by hand-painting illustrations and decorations around the text, often in monasteries either for their own use or as a commission from a wealthy patron; the majority of illuminated texts were religious, until the thirteenth century saw an increasing number of secular texts created with this process. Extreme care and meticulousness was taken to create illuminated manuscripts, as "The Art of Illuminating" describes, with numerous steps from the initial line drawing, to the addition of gold leaf and colour, to the final patterns added in ink; this volume also contains ninety-five chromolithographic plates showing a variety of examples and styles of illumination, spanning the hundreds of years the technique was practised.
___DESCRIPTION: Full purple cloth, decorative borders and pattern blind-embossed on the front and rear boards and to the spine, gilt title inside rounded gilt decorative border on the front board, gilt lettering on the spine, fore- and bottom edges rough cut, title page with six-colour chromolithograph in the style of an illuminated manuscript, black-and-white floral headpieces throughout, ninety-five chromolithographs featuring designs of illuminated letters, all plates appear to be present; however, Plate II, which is listed as "6th Century", is bound in between Plates 89 and 90 with the dates "1500-1600"; octavo size (9.5" by 6.25"), pagination: [1-4] 5-90  92-96 [97-285].
___CONDITION: Volume is very good, with a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings, all ninety-five plates are present but please see above for information about Plate II; boards are clean overall with a few spots of soiling, some rubbing to the corners and edges of the boards and to the head and tail of the spine, sunning to the spine and top edges of the boards, the cloth along the rear joint beginning to split, but the board is solid, some foxing to the front and rear flyleaves, a few gutters slightly cracked but the text block still strong, and the rear endpaper has been replaced; while the outer covers have some wear, the gilt on the front board is still bright and the interior pages are still sturdy, clean, and with bright colours.
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