Birmingham: John Baskerville, Printer to the University, 1763.
The third variant of the Subscriber's list, with the most names, ending with that of the Hon. Charles York, Esq, Attorney General.  pp. 1 vols. Folio. Baskerville's Masterpiece, in Staggemeier & Welcher Binding. Bound in full dark blue straight-grained morocco, covers tooled in gilt with wide Greek key and drawer handle border with floral cornerpieces, narrow gilt filet-bordered rectangles tooled all over with drawer handle and sunburst tools and semé off small dots, with central gilt-stamped L with crown, spine with six double raised bands, titled in one compartment, stamped with owner's name ("Frederic Powys") in another, and the rest richly gilt, a.e.g., pink endsheets, by Staggemeier and Welcher, with their circular pink paper label on front pastedown. Front joint and headcap with conservation repairs of the highest quality, light foxing to text Nixon, p. 184; Gaskell, Bibliography of John Baskerville, 26; Ramsden p. 135. Provenance: Frederic Powys (his name tooled in gilt to spine, Lilford Library booklabel). Item #306680
The 1763 edition of Baskerville's Bible has always been recognised as his masterpiece and is one of the high-points in the history of printing in Britain. This beautiful and monumental binding can be closely dated because Thomas Powys, formerly MP for Northamptonshire, was created Baron Lilford in 1797, and Staggemeier & Welcher are recorded in partnership on Villiers Street as of 1799. By 1810, Welcher was in business alone at that address. The Hon and Rev. Frederic Powys, whose name appears on the spine, was the third son of the first Lord Lilford; he married in 1807. Whether the binding was commissioned for his taking holy orders or on the occasion of his marriage can only be conjectured. A landmark of printing, in a splendid binding.
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