3 March 2004
PERCY, Thomas (1729-1811, editor). Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. London: J. Dodsley, 1775.
3 volumes, 8° (180 x 110mm). Half-titles. Engraved frontispiece, title vignettes, one leaf of engraved music at end of volume III, numerous engraved head- and tail-pieces. Contemporary speckled calf gilt, spines with raised bands and contrasting morocco lettering-pieces (green lettering-piece to vol.I largely lacking, spines chipped at head and foot, corners rubbed). Provenance: presentation copy to Sir John Elliott (1736-1786, front free endpaper of vol. I inscribed by Percy 'To Sir John Elliot [sic] Bart. This small Tribute of Friendship is with the truest Respect & Regard presented by The Editor'; occasional marginal glosses in [?]Elliot's hand).
EDITOR'S PRESENTATION COPY of the third edition of this famous compilation, first published in 1765, and famously based on a manuscript saved by Percy from the housemaids of Humprey Pitt of Shifnal, Shropshire, who were using it to light the fire. Sir John Elliott, physician to the Prince of Wales and the original recipient of this work, was created a Baronet in 1778 and died in 1786. Vander Poel's pencil note in volume II identifies him as a distinguished collector. (3)
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