AUTHOR: [Dodsley, Robert].
TITLE: The Oeconomy of Human Life. Translated From an Indian Manuscript, Written By an Ancient Bramin, to Which is Prefixed an Account...
PUBLISHER: London: S. and E. Harding, 1795.
DESCRIPTION: 1 vol., 7" x 4-5/8", illustrated with 49 engraved vignetts by Harding in text, first edition of this work with these illustrations. Bound in a fine full contemporary vellum, smooth spine, title gilt on blue wash background spine label, spine panels gilt, covers with Greek key roll boarder on a blue wash background, additional floral gilt inner boarder, gilt dentelles, red water silk endpapers and pastedowns, all edges gilt, by Edwards of Halifax.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: James Edwards patented his method of rendering vellum translucent in 1785 (though it was certainly in use several years prior to this). This involved soaking the vellum in pearl ash solution and pressing it heavily. The decoration could then be painted on the underside of the vellum, with the result that it was completely protected from dirt and scratches. The vellum was then lined with paper and the book covered in the normal way, usually with a "French-groove" and laced-in vellum slips. Most examples have a gilt border of a "Greek-key" or one of several variations of metope and pentaglyph roll tooled over a wash background.