RESTORATION DRAMA -- WYCHERLEY, William (1640-1716). The Plain-Dealer. As it is acted at the Theatre-Royal. The third edition. London: for R. Bently and M. Magnes, 1677 [i.e. 1678]. [Bound with:] George Villiers, Duke of BUCKINGHAM (1628-87). The Rehearsal, as it is now acted at the Theatre-Royal. The fourth edition, with amendments and large additions. London: for R. Bentley and S. Magnes, 1683.
2 works in one volume, 4° (215 x 165mm). (The first work spotted, small nick to outer margin of title and following leaf.) LONDON BINDING OF CONTEMPORARY GILT-TOOLED RED TURKEY, the sides with an all-over mosaic pattern of 'drawer-handle' tools, rosettes, pansies and a larger flower, interspersed with spangles and dots, and with pyramids of small semi-circles along border, spine in six compartments tooled with floral volutes, comb-marbled endpapers, gilt edges (spine slightly damaged at foot and with small area of restoration, covers very slightly chipped and with a few dark spots, corners a little rubbed and bumped).
A FINE RESTORATION BINDING ON TWO EQUALLY FAMOUS PLAYS. According to the inserted description by a bookseller, this 'unrivalled binding' was executed by Samuel or Charles Mearne 'for one of the Royal favourites,' possibly a mistress. However, this attribution appears improbable now. Other examples of the same binder's work occur in Maggs Catalogue 1075, 1987, no. 95 and Maggs Catalogue 893, spring 1964, no. 62. The present binding, and the two examples cited, all have the same tool of a large flower with floppy petals. In the latter, the large flower occurs at the centre of the design. In the present case, it occurs at the border. The unnamed binder's work is further discussed in G. D. Hobson English Bindings ... of J.R. Abbey, 1940, no. 46, where the same tool is described as a 'curious nondescript large flower.' Bindings of this quality are rarely found on dramatic works, although Queens' Binder B is known to have bound some quarto plays by Etherege and Shadwell with panel designs in mosaic. Arber II, 52 (2nd work); Wing W-3751 & B-5326.