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First edition, lithographed vignette title and 19 plates, 2 printed on India paper and mounted, 2 printed with ochre (one the background colour separation for the other), light foxing and soiling, contemporary cloth, rubbed, spine defective.                 

"This was the most important English treatise on lithography to be published in the first half of the nineteenth century. It was one of the few early treatises to appear in a large format (imperial octavo) and was, with the exception of the English edition of Senefelders's work, the most expensively produced. It is a somewhat larger book than Engelmann's and it is far more complete in its instructions." - Twyman, Lithography 1800-1850, pp. 114-15.

This landmark publication will be of great use to students studying the development of printing techniques and crafts, history of art and of book illustration, all of which regularly feature in CRL workshops.

The excellency of the pen and pencil : exemplifying the uses of them in the most exquisite and mysterious arts of drawing, etching, engraving, limning, painting in oyl, washing of maps & pictures : also the way to cleanse any old painting, and to preserve the colours : collected from the writings of the ablest masters both ancient and modern, as Albert Durer, P. Lomantius, and divers others ; furnished with divers cuts in copper, being copied from the best masters, and are here inserted for examples to the learner to : a work very useful for all gentlemen, and other ingenious spirits, either artificers or others.

London: Thomas Ratcliff and Thomas Daniel, for Dorman Newman and Richard Jones, 1668. First edition, engraved frontispiece, folding plate and illustrations, some full-page, old ink signature of W. Vaughan at head of title, light spotting, a few small rust-spots causing holes, later tan morocco ruled in gilt,

This important publication in the history of Early Modern print culture will be a great addition to our collections.  It is especially relevant to CRL sessions centred on engagement with original material for students. It is also relevant to researchers who are interested in the development of printing techniques, the history of art, professional and recreational crafts, and of book illustration.

Nazari (Giovanni Battista) Della tramutatione metallica sogni tre, collation: *4 A-Y4, title with first word in woodcut cartouche and with woodcut printer's device, woodcut illustrations, some full-page, woodcut historiated initials, penultimate f. with woodcut printer's device recto, otherwise blank, Y4 blank, occasional early ink marginalia, browned, lower corners trimmed away, some staining, 20th century limp vellum, spine titled in gilt, 4to (207 x 147mm.), Brescia, Francesco & Pietro Maria Marchetti, 1572.

Rare second edition of this alchemical work, which takes the form of dreams. Includes a list of authors and books of an alchemical nature.

This fine example of illustrated Renaissance printing will be a very welcome addition to our engagement workshops with a range of students from across the Arts modules: Literature, Italian, History and Art.

First edition, engraved portrait frontispiece and 36 plates, list of subscribers, errata leaf at end, contemporary half calf over marbled boards, worn, 4to, for the Authoress, 1806.

Margaret Bryan opened a school for girls near Hyde Park Corner in the early 1790s, relocating to Blackheath in 1795. Unusually she focused her pupils’ education on mathematics and science. In 1797 she published A Compendious System of Astronomy. Nevil Maskelyne, the Astronomer Royal, is included in the list of subscribers.

Margaret Bryan (fl. 1795–1816) was a scientist and talented schoolmistress, who published three books.  Her first volume was A compendious system of astronomy (1797).  Designed initially for (and, unusually, dedicated to) her pupils rather than the wider public, this work was produced from her lecture notes.  In the Preface, Bryan sets out her aim: to make seemingly obscure topics “clear to the understanding of young people”.

Publication of these lectures was endorsed by the mathematician Charles Hutton, and the volume contains a long list of subscribers, including renowned astronomers, notable academics from Cambridge and Oxford colleges, but also many women.  A number of subscribers have the address ‘Bryan House’, suggesting they were Margaret Bryan’s students.

Acquisition of this book is part of a continued commitment to furthering research around previously neglected figures in women’s history. It also brings awareness of their contributions to wider audiences.  This particular book is illustrative of the efforts of women to encourage and enhance the education specifically of girls and other women, but also of the population at large.  It also demonstrates the substantial input women made to a field that was, at the time, perceived as the exclusive preserve of men: science.  CRL staff will be investigating whether there is more of a link between James Watt and Margaret Bryan. This might reveal a less obvious but important Birmingham connection.

Whitehurst (John) The Works, 4 parts in 1, engraved portrait frontispiece after Joseph Wright and 10 plates, most folding, some foxing and offsetting, ink stamps of London Institution to title and final leaf, modern half morocco, joints slightly rubbed, 4to, for W. Bent, 1792.

John Whitehurst (1713 - 1788) was a clockmaker and scientist based for many years in Derby, who made significant early contributions to geology.  He was friends with Erasmus Darwin and with Matthew Boulton, and it was through Boulton that Darwin and Whitehurst met Benjamin Franklin in July 1758 when he travelled to Birmingham, as part of his effort "to improve and increase Acquaintance among Persons of Influence".  Along with Boulton and Darwin, Whitehurst was a prominent member of the renowned Lunar Society of Birmingham, with other members including Joseph Priestley, Josiah Wedgwood and William Withering.     

Acquisition of this publication complements existing Whitehurst editions held at CRL. It fills an important gap in our holdings of publications by and about members the hugely influential Lunar Society, which was based in Birmingham from 1765 to 1813.  It will also be of interest to geologists and to our many local historians.

Writing book.- Calligraphy.- Palatino (Giovanni Battista)Libro... Nel qual s'insegna a scriuere ogni sorte lettera, antica, & moderna, di qualunque natione, con le sue Regole, & misure, & essempi, et con vn breve et vtil discorso de le cifre, collation: A-H8, title with large woodcut portrait, full-page woodcut alphabets and examples of calligraphy, H8 with large woodcut printer's device recto otherwise blank, a few ff. with light red crayon colouring, repaired hole within portrait, marginal repairs, some spotting or light staining, 19th century polished mottled calf, gilt, spine in compartments, rubbed, 8vo (198 x 126mm.), [Rome], [Antonio Maria Guidotto & Duodecimo Viotti], 1556.

'The last of the three major Italian copy-books of the sixteenth century... Palatino's manual was a more ambitious effort than Arrighi's or Tagliente's... Palatino's models of chancery script are among the handsomest, but are nearly impossible to execute if the writer is a person of modest ability.' (Miner, 2000 Years of Calligraphy, 65).

Giovanni Battista Palatino (c. 1515 - c. 1575) was an Italian calligrapher and writing master.  Born in Rossano, Calabria, he moved to Rome as a young man but little is really known about his life.  The work for which he is most remembered is Libro nuovo d’imparare a scrivere (1540) which translates to “New Book for Learning to Write”.  The manual was hugely popular and went through numerous reprints before a revised and enlarged edition was published in 1545, under the new title Libro di M. Giovambattista Palatino cittadino romano: nel qual s’insegna à scriuere ogni sorte lettera, antica, & moderna di qualunque natione.  The volume purchased by CRL is the 1556 edition of this title.

Palatino’s calligraphic model for cancellaresca, complete with serifs, which is outlined in the manual, is credited being as a predecessor to the modern English italic and was hugely influential. The manual offers a wide range of handwriting examples such as chancery scripts, mercantile hands from numerous geographic areas. It includes non-western scripts, such as Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, and Cyrillic.

The departments of History and English share an interest in calligraphy and palaeography. Acquisition of this book for our collections also adds an important resource for the study of Renaissance manuscript culture in Europe and beyond. Some scripts described in this book are represented in our Mingana Collections of Middle Eastern Manuscripts. It also complements CRL’s collection of papers relating to calligrapher and typographer, Beatrice Warde (MS823).

County map centred on Warwick with vignette of Warwick Castle and St Mary’s Tower in the lower left, engraving, 1370 x 1065 mm. (54 x 42 in), dissected and mounted on linen, some scattered spotting and surface dirt, pencil inscriptions, folding into modern slipcase, 4to, John Sharp, 1793. Scarce large-scale survey. John Sharp, the publisher of the map, was a bookseller in the High Street, Warwick.

Relatively little is known about the cartographer William Yates (1738- 1802), who lived in Lowhill, near Liverpool.  From his will, it is known that Yates was actually a Customs Officer at Liverpool Customs Office, who apparently had a personal passion for field surveys and cartography.  In 1769 he undertook a survey of Staffordshire which was published in 1775, before then conducting a survey of Lancashire, completed in 1786 and published in 1787, for which he was awarded a gold medal from the Society of Arts in 1788.  In 1787-1789, Yates completed the survey for what was apparently his final map, of Warwickshire, which was published in 1793.

This rare map is an important addition to CRL’s local history collections as it's a glimpse of the county in transition. The survey was completed just prior to the opening of several new canal routes, the Worcester and Birmingham Canal (1791), the Warwick and Birmingham Canal (1793), and the Stratford-on-Avon Canal (1793). 

All passing through the city of Birmingham, and some offering links to London.  This network helped bring about a mini industrial revolution within Warwickshire, changing the landscape quite dramatically during the following decades.  It will be of particular interest to our postgraduate students in the Centre for West Midlands History, as well as other researchers with an interest in local history and topography.