Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages.London: William Pickering, 1843 Stock Code: 129144
NotesFirst edition in book form following issue in parts in 1840, one of six deluxe large paper copies. An exceptional, highly regarded book: McLean states that "it has considerable claim to be called the most handsome book produced in the whole of the nineteenth century" (McLean, Victorian Book Design and Colour Printing, p. 66). Upon Henry Shaw's bankruptcy four of the large paper copies which he had retained went up for auction in 1854, where they made over twenty pounds each, a considerable sum at the time. The success of the antiquary Henry Shaw's (1800-1873) works on medieval art was a result of the Victorian obsession with the mediaeval period, an obsession which Shaw's works helped to fuel; "his reproductions of medieval and Renaissance artefacts and manuscripts established standards of finish, colour, and form that the originals themselves had to match to satisfy Victorian taste" (ODNB).
2 volumes, folio. Original green quarter cloth, rebacked with original spine laid down, spine lettered in gilt, red paper sides.
With 94 hand-coloured plates and additional colour illustrations in text, some with gilt finishing, woodcut illustrations throughout.
Old catalogue description from 1998 pasted to front endpaper. Wear to spine and extremities, rubbing and light staining to sides, red cloth strengthening strips to hinges, foxed. A very good copy.
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