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To the Rev. William Besant M.A.


To the Rev. William Besant M.A. The Vicarage, Buglawton, Cheshire. 31st October 1907.

Illuminated manuscript by Palmer, Howe & Co (signed at the foot of the first leaf of dedication) on four leaves of vellum, comprising a frontispiece with a water-colour of Buglawton Church within a gold and coloured border, two leaves of dedication to the Rev William Besant in red, green, blue, purple, brown and gold with elaborate foliate borders and a list of subscribers within a gold and coloured border.

Folio. [328 x 255 x 14 mm]. Contemporary binding by Palmer, Howe & Co of Manchester of dark red goatskin over bevelled boards, the front cover with a border composed of a repeated gilt roll and thick blind fillet and a panel of gilt fillets with blue and citron goatskin onlays tooled in gilt, with gilt fleurons in the corners and at the centre a cypher with the letters W and B in dark green and blue goatskin outlined and shaded with gilt fillets and gouges; the lower cover similarly tooled but without the onlays. Smooth spine, the turn-ins and matching inside joints tooled with a gilt dog-tooth and fillets and with blue goatskin onlays tooled with a repeated semi-circle to create a wave pattern, blue watered silk endleaves and doublures. Contained within the original dark purple goatskin drop-over box, padded and lined with white silk, the upper cover tooled with the gilt cypher. (The box a little rubbed and scratched and the underside protected with a panel of purple cloth).
Manchester: 1907.

The testimonial was presented to the Rev. William Besant to mark his 40 years as vicar of Buglawton and 50 years as minister of the parish of Astbury in Cheshire. It is signed in the name of the two churchwardens, six sidesmen, the schoolmaster and 75 subscribers. Both the manuscript and the binding and box are elaborate and competently executed. The firm of Palmer, Howe & Co of Princess Street, Manchester has proudly applied its name to all three pieces. They are better known as printers and publishers, but there is another of their signed bindings in the John Collins collection now in the British Library.

Stock no. ebc2593

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Price: £900