Forward to Friend
Ken Spelman  - New Acquisitions of the Month - No 30. March 2017.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to our latest monthly short list of Ten Recent Acquisitions of rare and unusual books. As always, these are new to stock (normally in the last month), have not appeared in a previous catalogue, and there will only ever be ten items to browse through.

These are sent in addition to our regular catalogues on Manuscripts, Art & Design, Gardening, and Topography.

best wishes,

Tony Fothergill

1.  FITZHERBERT, Nicholas.   De Antiquitate & Continuatione Catholicae Religionis in Anglia, & De Alani Cardinalis Vita Libellus.  Ad Sanctissimum D.N. Paulum Quintum Pontificem Maximum.   [8], 100, [4]pp., woodcut coat-of-arms on the title-page, and wood-cut tail-piece. With the final blank leaf.  A very good clean copy bound in full contemporary limp vellum. Gilt ruled borders with 'two-legged winged dragon' device corner-pieces, and contemporary hand lettered spine which has some slight insect damage at the head.  The binding would originally have had green silk or linen ties, which are no longer present. Provenance: A duplicate, purchased in 1981 from St Mary's Roman Catholic College, Oscott, Birmingham. It bears their book-plate, and small stamp on the end-paper, verso of the title-page, and foot of the final leaf.
8vo. Romae, apud Guillelmum Facciottum. 1608.


~ The scarce first edition of this work by the English Roman Catholic recusant writer Nicholas Fitzherbert (1550-1612), originally of Padley Hall, Derbyshire.

Fitzherbert matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford, where his name appears in the matriculation register as a senior undergraduate member of the College in 1571 and 1572. However he would not have been able to obtain a degree because of his religion, and therefore like many he went abroad in order that he might practice his Catholic religion. He finally matriculated in the University of Douai before studying law at Bologna in 1580. During his absence from England he was found guilty of treason on 1 January 1580, on account of his zeal for the Catholic cause, and especially for his activity in raising funds for the English College at Rheims.  He settled in Rome, and received from Pope Gregory an allowance of ten golden scudi a month. In 1587, Dr William Allen (who had founded the English College, Douai, in 1568) became a cardinal, and Fitzherbert became his secretary and continued to reside in his household till the cardinal's death in 1594. He accidentally drowned in 1612 whilst attempting to cross a brook, a few miles south of Florence, on his way to Rome.

2.   [BEWICK, Thomas].  The Poetical Works of Robert Burns; with his Life.  Ornamented with engravings on wood by Mr Bewick, from original designs by Mr. Thurston.  In two volumes.  6,(vii-) xlii, (43-)266pp; vi, [3],10-270pp., frontispiece portrait, 14 full-page wood engravings by Thomas Bewick after Thurston, and 48 wood engraved vignettes by Bewick.  Several leaves misbound in its gathering but present, and an old stain to the blank margin of one page.  A very good copy bound in handsome full contemporary tree calf, gilt decorated spines with gilt morocco labels. The top inch of one joint is slightly cracked, but very firm.  Later 19th century book-plate of Ethel Mary Portal.  Scarce, especially in such attractive contemporary state.
8vo, bound in fours. Alnwick: printed by William Davison. Sold by the booksellers in England Scotland and Ireland, 1808.

~ "A completely different setting, with variant vignettes, from the Catnach & Davison edition of the same year and with the frontispiece portrait of Burns in volume 1 which, as Tattersfield notes, is not always present. The partnership between Davison and John Catnach had only lasted for a few months in 1807-8, it seems therefore that their edition of Burns enjoyed a healthy enough sale to warrant Davison issuing this new edition shortly after they parted." ref: Barry McKay catalogue entry. 

First edition - extra illustrated copy in full red morocco.

3.  DICKENS, Charles. 
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. First edition.  A fine clean copy, bound by Bayntun-Riviere in full crimson crushed morocco, single gilt ruled border, enclosing a gilt medallion of the author on the upper cover and the author's signature on the lower cover. Gilt panelled spine, all-edges-gilt, marbled end-papers and paste-downs.  Private owner's book-plate on the inner board.
8vo.  Chapman and Hall. 1837.

[i-v], vi, [vii], viii-ix, [x-xi], xii-xiv, [2] directions to binder and errata, [1], 2-609, [610]pp., with the half-title., 43 illustrations by Seymour, Buss, and Phiz, extra-illustrated with a complete suite of 32 engraved plates, most by Thomas Onwyn (who has signed many of the plates as "Sam Weller").

Vignette title page plate has "S. Veller" and "Phiz fecit"; the two Buss plates are present, rather than the later Seymour replacements, and the Seymour and Phiz plates are early issues before captions, and have just the engraver's name or a page number.  Signature E on p. 25.

~ The extra illustrations, announced as "Thirty-Two Etchings by Mr Samuel Weller" were serially published by Edward Grattan from May 1837 onwards.  They were advertised in the later monthly parts of Pickwick Papers and form an interesting counterpoint to the better-known 'Phiz' plates,

Aborigines in America, Africa, the Arctic, and the West Indies.

4.  HOWISON, John.
European Colonies, in Various Parts of the World, viewed in their social, moral, and physical condition.  First edition.  Two volumes.  xii, 430pp; xii, 460pp., half-titles.  A very good copy bound in handsome full contemporary dark green gilt calf, ornate gilt panelled spines, red morocco labels.  Marbled edges and end-papers.  Some slight rubbing to the extremities, and a few pages have some light foxing or browning.  Scarce.  19th century armorial book-plate of Henry James Wilkinson, and a note presenting this copy to him from his friend Charles Henry Lipscomb.  There is also a later private owner's book-plate.
Richard Bentley.  1834.


~ John Howison (1797-1859), was born in Edinburgh, and travelled to Canada in 1818, setting up a medical practice, and writing  Sketches of Upper Canada on his return to Scotland in 1821.  In European colonies, published 16 years after this visit to Canada, and after extensive travels in India, Africa, and the Arctic, Howison still advised emigrants that Upper Canada was the best choice for agriculturalists. He had not changed his opinion of the population, however. The great mass consisted of “persons of the lower classes, who have emigrated from Europe.” The conclusion of European Colonies presents a chilling vision of British North America – “scenes of wildness, solitude, and sterility extend westward without interruption to the Pacific Ocean, and northward to the icy regions of the Pole.”
 This work was publicly burnt by the common executioner.

5.  POCKLINGTON, John.    Altare Christianum: or, The Dead Vicars Plea. Wherein the Vicar of Gr. being dead, yet speaketh, and pleadeth out of antiquity, against him that hath broken downe his altar. Presented, and humbly submitted to the consideration of his superiours, the Governours of our Church. [8], 163, [i]pp. [A]4, B4-X4, Y2.  A good copy, the title-page a little dusty, otherwise very clean. Some close cropping to the upper margin of the final six leaves, affecting the running head and page numbers on some pages.  The book was rebound in the 19th century using old limp vellum, and bears the book-plate of Joseph Nelsen Pocklington, most probably a descendant of the author. Tipped onto the inner board is a 19th century note relating to the controversy of this work. ESTC S114776.
4to.  Printed by Richard Badger. 1637.

"At Grantham in Lincolnshire, the Vicar of the Parish procured a piece of painting from one of the remains of an abbey and had it placed within the altar - all his hearers were Puritans, and the setting up of the painting drove them almost stark made - a combination of the parishioners went to the church to demolish the altar, and the Vicar to defend it -  a stout battle ensued, in which the Vicar, who seems to be a man of courage, lifted a form upon his shoulder and knocked down five or six of his assailants."

~ The Petition and Articles exhibited in Parliament against John Pocklington, D.D., Parson of Yelden, Bedfordshire, was published in 1641, and he was charged with being a ringleader in ritualistic innovations. On 12 February 1641 he was sentenced by the House of Lords never to come within the verge of the court, to be deprived of all his preferments, and to have his two books, 'Altare Christianum' and 'Sunday no Sabbath,' publicly burnt in the city of London and in each of the universities by the hand of the common executioner.


a fine set, still with the original glassene wrappers

6.  COBBETT, William. 
Rural Rides.  Edited by G.D.H. and Margaret Cole.  With numerous vignettes by John Nash, and a map of Cobbett's country by A.E. Taylor.  Three volumes.  Number 302 of 1,000 sets.  A fine set in original cloth backed marbled boards, gilt labels, and still with the fragile original glassene wrappers which have some slight wear.  Private owner's elegant book-plate, and in a simple card slip-case for protection.
large 8vo.  Peter Davies.  1930.

A superb copy of the first edition of the author's first book of verse

7.  HARDY, Thomas.  Wessex Poems, and Other Verses.  With thirty illustrations by the author. xi, [1], 228pp., half-title., 31 illustrations (13 full-page) by Hardy.  The frontispiece retains its original tissue guard.  A near fine copy bound in original dark green bold-ribbed cloth; front blocked in gold with TH monogram medallion, gilt lettered spine. Private owner's book-plate.  No cracking to inner hinges, and free of written names or inscriptions. Just several very slight marks to the edge of the upper board.
8vo.  Harper and Brothers.  1898. 

~ Although published by Harper in 1898, this was produced in an edition of 500 copies, in a binding to match the recently-published Wessex Novels.


8.  ANSON, George. A Voyage Round The World. The third edition. [24], 548pp., engraved folding charts of the Southern Part of South America, Part of the Pacific Ocean, and of the Track of the Centurion round the World. (Three charts, complete. This edition was issued without engraved plates.)  Full contemporary calf, some wear to the binding, with several areas of leather missing on the boards, and some wear to head and tail, but sound, the title-page dusty, but text clean, and the folding charts in good state with just several very small tears without loss. Lacks front free end paper, and with a private owner's bookplate.
8vo. London. John and Paul Knapton, 1748. 

~ Published the same year as the first Edition. "This is the official account of Anson's voyage. England, at war with Spain in 1739, equipped eight ships under the command of George Anson to harass the Spaniards on the western coast of South America, for the purpose of cutting off Spanish supplies of wealth from the Pacific area. Lord Anson, who was a friend and patron of Benjamin Robins, after returning from the voyage around the world in the Centurion, appears to have entrusted to Robins, for revision, the account of the voyage which had been compiled from the journals by his chaplain, Richard Walter. It is probable that Robins revised and edited the work, wrote an introduction, and added dissertations." (Hill). 


9.  Joyce, James. Finnegan's Wake.  First Edition. A very good clean copy, no names or inscriptions, no cracking to the inner joints. Covers unfaded, and just a small white mark to the corner tip of one board, and several very slight other small marks . With the original dust-wrapper which is worn and has loss to both panels and the spine.
large 8vo. Faber and Faber. 1939.


Presented by the Duke of Wellington to Edward Balfour

10.  ST JOHN, James Augustus.   Egypt and Nubia, their Scenery and their People.  Being incidents of history and travel, from the best and most recent authorities, including J.L. Burckhardt and Lord Lindsay. viii, 472pp., half-title., title page vignette and 125 wood engravings in the text.  A very good copy bound in full contemporary calf, gilt panelled spine, olive green morocco label. Slight wear to the head of the spine.
8vo. Chapman and Hall.  c1860.


~  Inscribed on a preliminary blank, "Edward Balfour from Arthur Wellesley, on his leaving Eton, Easter 1866."

Arthur Wellesley, (1807-1884), 2nd Duke of Wellington; the 3rd Duke was named Henry.  Edward Balfour is most probably a brother of the future prime minister Arthur Balfour.  The Balfours and the Wellesley's were all educated at Eton.
Copyright © 2017 Ken Spelman Books Ltd, All rights reserved.
unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences