Fourth Collected Edition, The Workes of Geffray Chaucer. Geoffrey Chaucer, London: [Nicholas Hill] for Wyllyam Bonham, 1550.
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Presented by Sammy Jay, Rare Books Specialist at Peter Harrington Rare Books – &
Folio (286 × 178 mm). Late 19th-century full grosgrain morocco in antique style by Hayes of Oxford, tooled in blind and decorated in gilt, marbled endpapers, wide turn-ins richly gilt, gilt edges. Housed in a morocco-backed folding case. Printed in black letter in two columns. Title page and separate title for “Romaunt of the Rose” within decorative border, woodcut of the Knight on B1r, woodcut of the Squire on E6v, woodcut initials throughout. Provenance: John Hawes (contemporary ownership inscription inked to title and colophon); Thomas A. Hendricks of Indianapolis (bookplate); Rosenbach Collection (typed label on printed header); Sylvain Brunschwig (morocco bookplate); Paul Peralta-Ramos (small Japanese-style inkstamp); the collection of Cornelia Funke, author of the Inkheart trilogy. Joints tender, lacking final blank, mild browning, dampstaining to first gathering and to margins of last gathering, head of B1 shaved just touching foliation, tear to f. 90 affecting a few letters of text, pen-trials to outer margin of f. 227, discreet ink doodles to woodcut of Knight, “Squier” inked to scroll on woodcut of same, last leaf coming away at head, overall a very good copy.
Fourth collected edition, one of four variants each with a different publisher’s name in the colophon: the others were Richard Kele, Thomas Petit, and Robert Toye. Pforzheimer notes that, to judge from the relative numbers of extant copies, it is probable that they shared equally in the edition. The woodcuts of the pilgrims that had first been printed in Caxton’s 1483 edition are here replaced by two new cuts, of The Knight and The Squire, which were then reprinted in later black letter editions through to 1602. The history of the woodcuts is traced by David R. Carlson, “Woodcut Illustrations of the Canterbury Tales, 1482–1602,” The Library, 6th ser., 19 (1997): 25–67.
Fourth Collected Edition, The Workes of Geffray Chaucer. Geoffrey Chaucer, London: [Nicholas Hill] for Wyllyam Bonham,1550. –