JAMES II (1633-1701) as Duke of York -- The Book of Common Prayer. London: John Bill, 1661.
4 parts in one volume, 2° (296 x 187mm), black letter, general title and title to 'The Psalter or Psalms of David' with woodcut border, title and calendar in red and black, woodcut headpieces and initials, ruled in red throughout. (Some dampstaining and browning, S3 holed with loss of a few letters, a few shoulder notes shaved with slight loss, sectional title to 'The Psalter' cleanly torn.) CONTEMPORARY RED GOATSKIN BY JOHN FLETCHER FOR JAMES II AS DUKE OF YORK, covers with the Duke's coronetted cypher between palm leaves enclosed by a panel with massed small tools on black onlays at inner corners, citron and black goatskin onlays with the same massed floral tools repeated at borders, other onlays forming a tulip above and below the monogram and poppies at outer corners of panel and along borders, spine with lettering-piece and repeat pattern of tooled onlays, comb-marbled endpapers, gilt edges (some onlays lacking on lower cover and spine, lower cover and extremities of spine lightly rubbed, joints cracked, ties lacking), late 19th-century brown morocco slipcase. Provenance: Thomas Stanley (signature on title) -- Mary Gardiner, Thomas Kilpin (signatures at head of a2) -- Lord Amherst of Hackney (bookplates, sold Sotheby's 24 March 1909, lot 734 to Quaritch) -- Lord Aldenham (bookplate, sold Sotheby's 22 March 1937, lot 69) -- J.R. Abbey (bookplate, sold Sotheby's 21 June, 1965, lot 214 to Pickering). Exhibited: Church Congress Exhibition, no. 192 (label) -- Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1891, reproduced as pl. 95 in the Catalogue -- Victoria and Albert Museum, 1951, Festival of Britain Exhibition of Books, no. 461 (label).
A BINDING OF SUPERB OSTENTATION, using the later of two known versions of the royal cypher ('JD' for Jacobus Dux), the earlier version having fleur-de-lis and strawberry leaves on the princely coronet as opposed to fleur-de-lis and cross pattée. H.M. Nixon identified the binder as John Fletcher in The Book Collector, Spring and Summer 1956. The son of John Fletcher, Gentleman, of Combe, Herefordshire, he was apprenticed to James Crump in 1646, and is last heard of in 1671. Among his key characteristics, Nixon notes the use of a large tulip with sprays of foliage above and below the central ornament. The front free endpaper contains a note on the cost of binding: 'In Quires 0--5/Ruling 0--4/Binding 1--0/Strings 0--14.' Wing B3620A; C4106 ('The form and manner of making and consecrating bishops, priests and deacons'). Reproduced in G.D. Hobson English Bindings of J.R. Abbey, no. 39.