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    Sale 7725

    Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts, Including Fine Plate books from an Historic Continental Library

    3 June 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 52

    CHAUCER, Geoffrey (d. 1400). The Workes ... newly printed with divers addictions, whyche were never in print before; with the siege and destruction of the worthy citie of Thebes, compiled by William Thynne. [London]: W[illiam] R[astell], 1561.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    CHAUCER, Geoffrey (d. 1400). The Workes ... newly printed with divers addictions, whyche were never in print before; with the siege and destruction of the worthy citie of Thebes, compiled by William Thynne. [London]: W[illiam] R[astell], 1561.

    2° (312 x 205mm). Black letter in double column. Title with woodcut architectural border [McKerrow & Ferguson 20], border repeated on title to 'The Romaunt of the Rose'. 21 woodcuts, some with side-pieces. Decorative initials. (Lacks all preliminaries before B2, the start of the verse Prologue to the Tales, and all leaves after TT2. Title repaired with small loss to border supplied in pen-and-ink facsimile, title to Boetius' "De consolatione Philosophie" cut down and mounted, corner of C1 torn with some loss and repaired, M1, M6, O2, P2, and U4 cleanly torn and repaired, O4v with paper fault affecting woodcut, some other leaves restored at margin or with corners torn away, some mainly marginal soiling, II1 waterstained.) Early 20th-century russia by W.H. Smith bindery, gilt and blind rules with foliate corner-pieces on covers and spine, front cover with Smith arms at centre (lightly rubbed). Provenance: occasional annotations, drawings and scoring by several early readers -- I.W. (initials below ms armorial on title to 'The Romaunt of the Rose') -- John Tyler (signature on Uu5r and NN1) -- J. Thompson 1651 (inscription on front blank) -- William Henry Smith, 3rd Viscount Hambleden (1903-1948, binding and bookplate).

    UNRECORDED EDITION. On-line STC records three issues in 1561, two published by John Kyngston for John Wight [STC 5075; 5076], and one by H. Bradsha [STC 5076.3]. This previously unrecorded edition by William Rastell contains a woodcuts at the start of each Tale. These differ from the 22 blocks in the prologue to STC 5075, originally used in the second edition of Caxton's Chaucer, yet appear of similar age and show equal signs of wear. The existing leaves in this copy collate: ?A1 (title) B2-6 C-Z6 Aa-Yy6 AA-SS6, TT2. Chaucer's works would appear to end on TT2v and would presumably have been followed by Thynne's 'Siege of Thebes' as in other editions. Caricature drawings of a courtier occur on the title, the title verso to 'The Romaunt of the Rose', and Ss2v, the last showing an inebriated figure with wine glass in hand. Cf. Pforzheimer 176.


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    Saleroom Notice

    This is a recorded edition of 1542 (either STC 5069 or STC 5070) not an unrecorded edition of 1561. With border of sectional title to Boethius used for the general title and with title lettering in pen-and-ink facsimile, giving the erroneous date of 1561. The estimate is now £1500-2500.