14. An illuminated copy of an early printed Book of Hours issued from the press of Gillet Hardouyn.
Hardouyn was a prominent publisher of books of hours. In Paris, a stronghold of the trade in manuscripts, the printing press ousted the scribe less easily; and it was here, more than in most other places, that the printed book kept touch with the art of the illuminator. In this vellum copy, woodcut borders and pictures are gilded and coloured. In addition an illuminated miniature is placed at the beginning of each section of the work. The binding, in blind-stamped calf, was probably executed in Paris, although the clasps are of contemporary English manufacture.
(detail of lower clasp)
15. Hans Holbein. Scenes from the Old Testament. Lyons, Melchior and Gaspard Trechsel (for Jean and François Frellon), 1538.
Although Holbein originally established his reputation in the field of woodcut illustration during the period 1515-1526, he did not actually illustrate an entire woodcut book until 1538, when Scenes from the Old Testament and its companion volume Dance of Death were issued. By this time, Holbein had achieved fame as a portrait painter at the court of Henry VIII. He was identified as the artist of this book by Gilles Corrozet in the "Epistle to the Reader", but the woodcuts were actually engraved by Hans Luetzelburger after Holbein's designs. Trechsel and Frellon continued to use the woodblocks in later editions. The University possesses a first edition which is hand-coloured.
T.G. Rylands bequest.
16. T.T. Bury. Coloured views of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. London, Rudolf Ackermann, 1831.
Rudolf Ackermann, a German coach-maker, settled in London in 1795, and quickly established himself as the foremost fine-art publisher in England. Ackermann initially produced only seven hand-coloured acquatint plates of his well-known series depicting the Liverpool to Manchester Railway; but expanded the series in 1833 to thirteen plates in total. Many of these were revised and re-engraved as they became worn through heavy use. On display is the "Excavation of Olive Mount", a plate which exists in four different states. The University’s copy, a first edition in its original wrappers, has this in its earliest state: in later renderings the right side is finished, and there is no receding train on the left.
Presented by Sir Charles Sydney Jones, 1945.
17. Geoffrey Chaucer. The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. London, Kelmscott Press, 1896.
In 1891 at his home in Hammersmith, William Morris founded the Kelmscott Press, with the aim of producing fine editions inspired by the best printing of the past. In the seven years of its existence, this press produced 52 works, all made to exacting standards in editions limited to about 300 copies. Morris’s masterpiece was the Kelmscott Chaucer (1896), an imposing folio issued just six months before his death. No expense was spared in the production of this book. It was printed on two Albion presses in a run of 425 copies on paper and 13 on vellum, which took nearly two years to complete. It is one of the high points of nineteenth century printing, and launched the fine-printing movement which extends to our own day. The University owns a paper copy in its original blue boards, as issued.
William Noble bequest, 1913.
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