London: George Newnes Ltd., 1902. Jones, Garth. Limited Edition. Leather bound. No. 3 of 56 special edition copies on hand-made paper, octavo size, 232 pp., in a Chivers Vellucent binding, with Garth Jones plates in two states. Near fine. Item #CNJR06
A stunning publication of the 14th-century book written by Geoffroy IV de la Tour Landry (ca. 1330 to 1402/6) who wrote a book of advice to his sons (which has disappeared) and another, this work, to his daughters - or, "doughters". In it he covers areas such as etiquette when visiting the royal court, proper religious observances and advice on being a good wife. The book initially was written in 1371-72 and "became the most popular educational treatise of the Late Middle Ages" (n.b., quote per Wiki). It would be translated into German and into English, being printed by William Caxton in 1483 under the title 'The Book of the Knight of the Tower"; Caxton's Preface actually opens this publication, stating that he was requested by "a noble lady...to traslate & reduce this said book out of frenssh in to our vulgar englissh..."
George Newnes published both a trade and a special edition version, with the 56 special edition copies being on hand-made paper (with the watermark of "J Batchelor & Son") and with the illustrations in two states. Apparently the entirety of the special edition version was purchased by Cedric Chivers of Bath, England, who then had most of them bound in this style: in full purple morocco with a drawing of a knight by H. Granville Fell recessed into the front board, protected by a sheet of transparent vellum (a process which Chivers developed, called "Vellucent").
The illustrations are by Alfred Garth Jones (1872-1955) whose work was primarily in woodcuts, pen-and-ink line drawings, and watercolours. They perfectly complement the text, as Jones' style is somewhat akin to that of Albrecht Dürer. "Although direct and simple, the illustrations [in this work] are nevertheless complex in narrative" (n.b., quote from the web site of "The Visual Telling of Stories"). Presented here in two states, black and white, and hand-coloured.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full purple morocco by Cedric Chivers, Bath, with their binder's stamp on the rear turn-in, the binding with gilt ruled borders on both boards, the front board with a ruled border and gilt decorations surrounding the Vellucent drawing of a knight by H. Granville Fell, the spine with gilt lettering and decorations, gilt ruled and decorated turn-ins, marbled endpapers in soft shades of pink, yellow and green, top edge gilt, fore- and bottom edges uncut, the limitation statement on the verso of the first half-title page, an additional half-title page follows, illustrated title page and six illustrations are each presented in two states, each chapter opens with a red rublicated initial, glossary at the end; octavo size (8 7/8" by 7 1/4"), pagination: [1-4] 5-229 [230, blank] [231, Instructions to the Binder], [232, printer's statement], note that pagination includes neither the plates nor the illustrated title pages.
___CONDITION: Near fine overall, the leather smooth and supple, the Vellucent illustration set into the front board free of marks and with the colours bright, straight corners with minimal rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; some bowing to the boards (as seems typical for this binding), a few stray spots of very light rubbing to the leather, some foxing to the fore- and bottom edges of the text block, a few spots on the endpapers, and some pencilled vintage bookseller notations on the flyleaf. Even with its few minor faults still a breataking work.
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