MOXON, Joseph (1627-1700). Mechanick Exercises, or the Doctrine of Handy-Works. -Mechanick Exercises: Or, the Doctrine of Handy-Works. Applied to the Art of Printing. The Second Volumne. London: printed for Joseph Moxon, [1677-]1683.
2 volumes (v.1: 13 parts containing 14 "numbers", v.2: 7 parts containing 24 numbers), chancery 4o (v.1: 192 x 151 mm), v.2: 200 x 151 mm). Collation: A4 (engraved frontispiece of smith's tools, general title dated 1683, preface), B-C4 (number I Smithing); D-F4 (plate 2, divisional title dated 1683, number II Hinges, Locks, Keys, Screws and Nuts); G-I4 (frontispiece, divisional title dated 1677, number III Jacks, Bullet Molds, the twisting of Iron, Case hardning, Steel, the manner of Softening, Hardning, and tempering); K2 (plate 4, divisional title dated 1678), L-M4 (number IV The Art of Joynery); s2 (plate 5, divisional title dated 1678), N-P4 (number V Continued in the Art of Joynery); 2 leaves (plates 6 and 7), 2s2 (-1 blank, divisional title dated 1678), Q-R4 (number VI Continued in the Art of Joynery); 2 leaves (plates 8 and 9), 3s2 (-1 blank, divisional title dated 1679), S-T4 (number VII House-Carpentery); 4s2 (plate 10, divisional title dated 1679), U-X4 (number VIII House-Carpentery), plate 11 inserted between X2.3; 5s2 (blank, divisional title dated 1679), Y-Z4 Aa4 (number IX House-Carpentery); 2 leaves (plates 12 and 13), 6s2 (-1 blank, divisional title dated 1680), Bb-Ee4 (number X Turning, Dd2 plate 14, Dd3 divisional title dated 1680, number XI Turning); 7s2 (plate 15, divisional title dated 1680), Ff-Gg4 (number XII Turning); 8s2 (plate 16, divisional title dated 1680), Hh-Ii4 (number XIII Turning); 9s2 (plate 17, divisional title dated 1680), Kk-Ll4 (number XIV Turning, errata), plate 18 inserted between Kk1 and Kk2.
Collation of vol. 2: 2 conjugate leaves (engraved portraits of Gutenberg and Coster), A2 (general title dated 1683, dedication to the Bishop of Oxford, Sir Leoline Jenkins and Sir Joseph Williamson), B4 (number I Printing); C-F4 (numbers II and III Printing, D2=plate 1 and E2=plate 2); 2 conjugate leaves (plates 3 and 4), G-M4 (numbers IV-VI Printing, I4=plate 8 and L1=plate 9), plates 5-7 inserted where they relate to the text; plate 10, N-S4 (numbers VII-IX Letter-Cutting); 3 pairs of conjugate leaves and a singleton (plates 11-17), T-Z4 Aa-Cc4 Dd2 (numbers X-XIII Mold-Making, Sinking the Matrices, Casting and Dressing of Printing-Letters), 2 pairs of conjugate leaves and a singleton (plates 18-22); Ee-Nn4 (numbers XIV-XVII Compositers Trade), 3 pairs of conjugate leaves (plates 23-28); Oo-Zz4 Aaa-Fff4 (numbers XVIII-XXIV Press-mans Trade, Fff4 blank), 2 pairs of conjugate leaves and a singleton (plates 29-33).
The 39 engraved plates and 14 full-page engravings show tools, furnaces, locks, wainscoting, machines; portraits of the inventors of printing, compositor's cases and their lay, composing sticks, galleys, printing presses and their separate parts, punchcutter's tools, typefaces, casting tools, imposition, wetting and drying the sheets, knocking up the balls, pressing the piles. (Some minor staining and browning.) Contemporary or early-18th-century English bindings: vol. 1 blind-panelled mottled calf, the central compartment plain, pointill flower tool at the angles, gilt spine with red morocco lettering piece, blue-marbled edges, (joints and corners worn); vol. 2 blind-panelled reversed calf, blue-marbled edges not uniform with those of vol. 1, (rebacked, original spine-strip and red morocco lettering piece laid down, corners repaired).
Provenance: a member of the Bridgeman family, Earls of Bradford (18th or 19th-century armorial bookplates on general title versos, the shelfmark inscription on pastedowns presumably belongs to this library); C.E. Kenney (booklabel, Sotheby sale, 22 May 1967, lot 3031).
THE FIRST ENGLISH BOOK PUBLISHED IN PARTS. Second edition of vol. 1 numbers I-II, second issue of the FIRST EDITIONS of vol. 1 numbers III-XIV; FIRST EDITION of vol. 2. The two volumes were joined in the 18th or early-19th century to form A VERY FINE SET OF THIS IMPORTANT BOOK RARELY FOUND COMPLETE. The first edition of vol. 1 number III is particularly scarce as it too -- like the first two numbers -- was reprinted for this second issue. A rather appropriate accident for this book occurred in perfecting sheet Ddd in vol. 2 of this copy; a single piece of type had strayed or fallen onto the outer forme and a clear impression of its shank and beard can be seen in the lower outer blank corner of Ddd4v.
Moxon was a hydrographer, mathematician and bookseller. He published books on navigation, mathematics, architecture, astronomy, geography (becoming map printer to the King shortly after 1660), but his principal work remains Mechanick Exercises. Having begun in January 1677 and issuing monthly parts, he intended to instruct his readers in all the chief trades of his day. Interrupted by the Popish plot, "which took off the minds of my few Customers from buying," he resumed in 1683 by reprinting the first three numbers, reissuing the remainder of vol. 1 and composing a practical manual of printing to form vol. 2, THE EARLIEST PRINTING MANUAL IN ANY LANGUAGE EVER PUBLISHED. It served as the standard text on the subject for well over a hundred years, while today it serves as the primary source for the study of early printing shop practices and terminology. Bigmore & Wyman II, 54; Moxon, Mechanick exercises, ed. Davis and Carter, preface and introduction pp vii-ix, xix-lv; Wing M-1303 and M-1304; Norman 1561