BOOK OF HAWKING, HUNTING, AND HERALDRY. St. Albans: [Schoolmaster Printer], 1486.
Chancery 2° (280 x 195mm). Collation: part II only, comprising the Book of Heraldry: a-b6 c-e8 f10 (a1r Book of the Lineage of Coat Armours, b6 blank, c1r Book of the Blasing of Arms, f9v colophon, f10r device, f10v blank). 40 (of 90, missing part I and quire a of part II) leaves, the text of quire a supplied in 18th-century MS., transcribed from the Rawlinson copy at the Bodleian; interleaved. 31 lines. Type: 2:124G, 4:140G. 117 woodcuts of arms, printed in red, black, blue, green, and yellow, printer's device printed in red, lombard initials and paragraph marks printed in red or blue. (Corners and fore-edges worn, some waterstaining.) 18th-century English blue straight-grained morocco, gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt edges (small imperfection at head of spine), part of an early flyleaf retained containing a MS. table. Provenance: many annotations in a contemporary hand; Luton, pencilled inscription.
THE FIRST ENGLISH PRINTED ARMORIAL AND THE FIRST COLOUR PRINTING IN ENGLAND. Virtually nothing is known about the printer at St. Albans, except for Wynkyn de Worde's description of him as "sometyme scole master of Saynt Albons." His types resemble very closely Caxton's, and his type 4 used for printing this book is identical to Caxton's type 3, a Veldener type, for which Caxton probably had the matrices. The products of the St. Albans press fall into two groups, the first characterised by school books suitable for St. Albans abbey, and the second by this gentleman's book. It was later reprinted by de Worde with an additional treaty on fishing. A copy of this first edition which was used as printer's copy by de Worde survives and is now at the British Library (L. Hellinga, "The Book of St. Albans 1486," Fine Books and Book Collecting, ed. C. de Hamel and R. Linenthal, 1981, pp.31-34). The variant readings on c1r and f9v agree with Oates 4214. HC 2465; GW 4932; Goff B-1030; Klebs 500.1; IDL 1002; Duff 56; STC 3308.