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BOSSEWELL, John.

Workes of Armorie,

devyded into three bookes, entituled, the Concordes of Armorie, the Armorie of Honor, and of Coates and Creastes.

Published: London: Richard Tottell, 1572

Stock code: 83133

Price: £10,000

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First edition, contemporary hand-colouring throughout. The numerous woodcut crests and other illustrations throughout Bossewell’s Armorie were published with the colours indicated by key letters (“V” for vert, green; “A” for argent, silver, etc). In this copy, all the crests, initials and illustrations have been finely illuminated throughout in colour and gilt (although silver, lacking throughout, appears to have been unprocurable) in a contemporary hand. Most copies appear uncoloured or with only a few instances of colouring, making this an exceptionally attractive and desirable example.

Octavo (224 162 mm). Contemporary calf boards with modern rebacking, spine with raised bands and gilt titles direct, sides panelled with gilt rules, floral and geometric cornerpieces, and lion rampant crest gilt stamped to the centre on both sides. Housed in a brown cloth solander box. Woodcut border to title page, numerous woodcut initials, crests and figures throughout; with contemporary hand colouring throughout. Provenance: Britwell Court Library (Sotheby’s, 29 March 1971, lot 235); Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow. Boards generally worn and scratched, general offsetting from the hand-colouring (with a small abrasion to two lines of text on H2), and occasional mild tanning to leaves, but all in all a very good copy, sound and presentable.

Bibliography: STC 3393.

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