MEYRICK, Sir Samuel Rush. A Critical Inquiry into Antient Armour, as it Existed in Europe, particularly in Great Britain... (SECOND EDITION - 3 VOLUMES - 1842)


AUTHOR: MEYRICK, Sir Samuel Rush. 

TITLE: A Critical Inquiry into Antient Armour, as it Existed in Europe, particularly in Great Britain, from the Norman Conquest to the reign of King Charles II. Illustrated by a series of illuminated engravings. With a glossary of military terms of the Middle Ages...Second edition, corrected and enlarged.

PUBLISHER: London: Henry G. Bohn, 1842.

DESCRIPTION: SECOND EDITION. 3 vols., folio, 14-7/8" x 11-1/4", hand-colored lithographic frontispiece to vol. I, 80 plates (70 of which hand-colored aquatints, most heightened with gilt, and 10 etched uncolored plates), 27 large hand-colored initials, most heightened with gilt, bound in the publisher's 1/2 red morocco, ribbed gilt decorated spines, gilt lettered olive green morocco spine labels, panels tooled with a helm in the first and sixth compartments, crossed swords in the fifth, and a gauntlet and pair of spurs in the fourth, all edges gilt, marbled pastedowns and endpapers, from the library of "Easton Neston" with their shelf bookplate.

CONDITION: Inner and outer hinges fine, head and foot of spine fine, occasional mild foxing to several plates otherwise clean and bright through out, a VERY GOOD set.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: A handsome set of the second and best edition of Meyrick's great work on arms and armor.

Prideaux writes that this "book is certainly superb." A contemporary review echoed this sentiment: "Plates as fine as the monuments of Westminster Abbey. Really and truly the work is admirably executed, and deserves every eulogy" (Edinburgh Review, quoted in Lowndes II:541).

First published in 1824, this work was one of the first to view the subject of ancient arms and armor from an historical perspective. The present second edition includes revised text and a new hand-colored lithographic frontispiece to the first volume. The presentation is otherwise very similar to the first edition with both plates and initials hand-colored and heightened with gold where necessary. As a whole the work is beautifully designed and printed. The plates and initial letters, which are expertly hand-colored, are taken from copies of "antient [sic.] seals, illuminations, painted glass, and monuments", whilst the author's intention for the whole work was that it should supply "the general deficiency of information on the subject: to throw a glimpse of light over the rugged paths of the historian, to furnish dates to the antiquary, and to give vividness of truth to the efforts of painting, sculpture, and the drama" (Preface xiv).