[HANWAY, Jonas (1712-1786)]. Thoughts on the Use and Advantages of Music. London: J. Dodsley, 1765.
8° (199 x 125mm). Engraved frontispiece. Bound for presentation by the author in fine contemporary mottled calf, upper cover with centrally-placed gilt head of Brittania surmounted by the initials 'O.F.B.T.,' lower cover with harp at centre, both covers with border formed from a repeated rose tool and with emblematic tools of the sun, omniscient eye, winged hour-glass and flower at corners, red morocco lettering-piece, remaining spine compartments tooled with stylised stars, gilt turn-ins, yellow glazed endpapers, modern cloth box. Provenance: 'Explanation of the Binding alluding to the Subject of this book' (18-line manuscript in a contemporary hand, partly in ryhme, on recto and verso of a loosely-inserted 8° leaf) -- Sir Stafford H. Northcote (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION OF THIS SCARCE HANWAY TRACT, seeing a moral danger in Italian music and other amusements being introduced on the Sabbath. HIGHLY UNUSUAL IN HAVING THE SYMBOLISM OF THE PRESENTATION BINDING EXPLAINED IN A CONTEMPORARY MANUSCRIPT NOTE, possibly in the hand of the book's [?]female recipient. Hanway supported many philanthropic projects and his pamphlets were characteristically bound for presentation to royalty, great libraries and his personal friends. Among his many idiosyncracies was a passion for symbolism, and the emblems on this binding are among the tools used by the binder he employed from 1765 onwards. In Howard M. Nixon Broxbourne Library Bookbindings, 1956, no. 92, the head of Britannia is surrounded by the invocation 'O Fair Brittania Hail.' However, the cryptic letters 'O.F.B.T.' on the present binding stand for 'O Fair Britannia Think.' This can only be gleaned from the 'Explanation' which begins: 'O Fair Britannia think, how swift thy Hours fly.' The harp on the back cover is intended to suggest that music be used for devotion: 'Whilst thy time is on the Wing/Tune thy Harp with joy & sing/Praises to th'Almighty King,/Whose tender Providential Eye/Will conduct thee to the Sky ....' A footnote to the 'Explanation' stresses that it is 'Applicable to individuals whose Passion for amusement is too strong but not intended in a National view.'