11 - 13 July 2000
COWLEY, Abraham (1618-1667). The Works. London: J.M. for Henry Herringman, 1674.
2 parts in one volume, 2° (297 x 181mm). Engraved frontispiece portrait by W. Faithorne. (Some browning and spotting, small rust hole in 2E4, rust hole in A4 of the second part causing loss of one letter on recto, tear to lower margin of 2Q1.) CONTEMPORARY GILT-TOOLED BLUE-BLACK GOATSKIN, the covers with a double panel enclosing a central lozenge built up with small tools, angles and sides of the first panel tooled with flowers and pointillé gouge work, a repeated tulip alternating with a pyramid of semi-circles along the border of the first panel, and a strawberry tool alternating with a stylised four-petal flower along the border of the second, the seven spine compartments tooled with a variety of small flowers, gilt edges (small details of the tooling possibly of later date, a few scuff marks on upper cover, extremities lightly rubbed). Provenance: Richard Heber (1773-1833, ownership stamp on front blank); 'This copy formerly belonged to Queen Caroline, wife of George II. -- from Mr Heber's library' (pencil inscription on front free endpaper); bookseller's printed catalogue description, attributing the binding to Samuel Mearne, with price of £300 (tipped-in).
Fourth edition. FINELY-BOUND COPY FROM THE HEBER LIBRARY, possibly owned by Queen Caroline though without any marks of royal ownership. The style of the binding is unlike that of most recognised Mearne bindings, but is in some respects similar to the work of Thomas Dawson the Elder of Cambridge. For example, in the way the central lozenge is built up, and in the use of an outer border of semi-circles linked by small acorn and tulip tools (compare in the first respect with no. 71 in Maggs Catalogue 1075, and in the second with no. 51 in Maggs Catalogue 1212). Wing C-6652.
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