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The Oxford Bestiarium [bestiary ]
Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Ashmole 1511, Southern England, 12th Century
Published in 1982. Complete colour facsimile edition of the 244 pp. (105 + 17 fol.) and of the inner end pages in original size 280 x 180 mm. The all leather binding is a faithful replica of a Romanic binding, presently in the possession of Austrian National Library in Vienna. All folios are cut according to the original. + Commentary volume: Transcription and translation of the text into German by F. Unterkircher, Vienna,  Limited edition. with fantastic animal pictures on rich gold leaf. Bestiaries, illustrated books of animals, whose moralistic contents relate to selected biblical texts, were highly popular in the late 12th century. ther Oxford manuscript probably ranks among the finest examples of its kind. The magnificent codex, richly embellished with gold leaf, not only exceeds itself with its marvellous luminous opaque colour painting and clear depiction of animals, plants and human beings, but also in its predilection for serene symmetry, refined ornament and frequent use of carefully executed diaper-patterned backgrounds. The pictures are irregularly dispersed throughout the text. According to our modern conception, the animals often depict a surreal view of nature: a crocodile with a serpent's head and bird's feet, a horned panther with rather arbitrary colouring are but a few examples of an astonishing iconography which, far from naturalistic sketches, was based on the free interpretation of literary models. The book contains an overwhelming wealth of animal depictions: for example: A magnificent many-finned whale catches fish, while misguided sailors, thinking it to be an island, try to land on its back. All in all 130 miniatures within only 105 pages illustrate several chapters on nature and the qualities of animals; birds, snakes, worms, fish, trees, flintstones, as well as the nature of mankind. Of special interest is the illustration of Genesis in the beginning of the book, which is set amongst exceptionally enlarged and boldly narrative painted scenes. Former owners a.o. : William Wright, vicar of High Wycombe; William Mann; Sir Peter Mancroft; John Tradescant; Elias Ashmole; Oxford University £ 595.00
   ...........  

We ahve another copy without the commentary volume for £ 475
 

 

Tolkien, J[ohn] R[onald] R[euel].
The Two Towers first edition, first impression   AND  The Return of the King. first edition, first impression, 2nd state.  2 Volumes.

The two towers: George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1954, 353pp. 3250 copies were printed. With the errors on pp. 111 and 350.
(Hammond-Anderson p. 98) ) The return of the King, 1955, 416pp., First edition, first impression, 2nd state 7000 copies
were printed.  Both volumes Octavo, In  splendid new full green leather bindings with 5  raised bands, panelled spines
double-ruled in gilt, gilt ring and eye embossed devices to the front boards, Gilt inner dentelles. 2 black leather title labels
on the spines, top edges  stained red. which in The two towers has slightly run into the tops of the 3 first leaves. maps in
the rear. Texts slightly yellowed as usual very occas. Slight spotting. . no jackets.

there were 2 states of the first impression
of the Return of the King: (1) on p. 49 (4, recto) the signature mark 4 is present, and all lines of type sag in the middle;
(2) on p. 49 no signature mark is present, and all the lines of type are staight ( Hammond/Anderson page 86. ) £ 1350
 
 

Inner dentelles, first paste-down

TOLKIEN J R R The Devil's Coach-Horses. . Jersey, Edward Brothers, 1925.
[pirated edition 1980's ?) the typography gives this facsimile edition away since
the typeface used Monotype Bembo is a typeface only cut in 1929. 6pp.
see: Hammond/Anderson page 346: C19: re-set from Review of English studies,
1, no. 3 (July 1925) in blue paper covered boards, with an embossed coloured
design , c. 3 cm wide, on front board. very fine copy. £29.95


 
 
 
 

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