WHITTAKER, John (publisher). - Magna Carta Regis Johannis XV. Die Junii Anno Regni XVII. A.D. MCCXV. London: John Whittaker, 1816[-1817].
2 parts in one volume, 2° (392 x 310mm). Title printed in gold on vellum with original watercolour and bodycolour surround, two original watercolour and bodycolour drawings on vellum, heightened with gold, the first of King John, flanked by the bishops and barons, reading the Magna Carta, the second an emblematic representation of the barons who forced him to sign, in the form of a small rocky island littered with the shields of the barons, the second title and all text printed in gold on dark-red stained prepared paper, each text leaf (printed recto only) with original watercolour and bodycolour architectronic surround, two pages with original bodycolour initials heightened in gilt, two pages with original watercolour and bodycolour depictions of the seal of King John. Original red straight-grained morocco gilt, covers with wide borders in gilt and blind incorporating various designs from gothic window tracery, the elaborate inner cornerpieces being quarter quadrants of a gothic rose window, spine in nine compartments with raised bands, lettered in the fourth, the others gilt using similar motifs to the covers, wide turn0ins tooled in gilt and blind, red watered silk liners, ruled in gilt, gilt and gauffered edges. Provenance: Edmund Fleming Akers, Acton (loosely inserted manuscript note from Whittaker 'This copy printed on red paper of the Magna Carta for Edmund Fleming Akers, Esqr. of Acton is unique - John Whittaker'); Wm. Simmonds Higgs, F.S.A. (Kensington, armorial bookplate, dated 1819); Joseph Neeld (armorial bookplate).
A UNIQUE COPY, BEAUTIFULLY PRESENTED. Lowndes notes that Whittaker, generally with the help of Thomas Willement, produced a number of spectacular copies of this work, each a variant,with the most eleborate reaching a contemporary price of 250 guineas. Cf. Lowndes II, p.1450.