EARLY 17TH-CENTURY BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, IN HAND-PAINTED FOLK-ART DECORATIVE BINDING-GRANVILLE PENN’S COPY
(BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER) BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER. The Book of Common Prayer… London: Robert Barker and the Assignes of John Bill, 1631. Three volumes bound as one. Octavo, early 19th-century three-quarter brown calf, raised bands, marbled and painted boards. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $2500.
Early 17th-century edition of the Book of Common Prayer, author Granville Penn’s copy, bound in a unique folk-art decorative binding with hand-painted covers.
The beautiful and dignified language of the Book of Common Prayer, first issued in 1549, has considerably influenced not only ecclesiastical practice but also literature in English for centuries. Illustrated with woodcut royal coat of arms on title page; decorative woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces throughout. Bound with contemporary editions of John Speed’s popular Genealogies (first published in 1611), which presents 34 engraved charts; and with the Apocrypha from the King James Bible. Hand-ruled in red throughout. The hand-painted front board reads, “The Book of Common Prayer printed in the 7[th?] year of King Charles the first, and in the year of Lord God 1631, with Genealogies of all the Tribes from Adam [to] the Blessed Virgin Mary [and?] our Savior Jesus Christ.” The rear board is decorated with a hand-painted floral pattern. Griffiths 1631:2. STC 16384. A bookbinder’s autograph note, dated August 19, 1837, laid in, mentioning that the book has been “bound and cleaned.” The note is addressed to author Granville Penn, the grandson of Pennsylvania founder William Penn. “Penn published a number of competent translations from the Greek and many theological and semi-scientific works” (DNB). Bookplate.
Front free endpaper excised. Title page of prayer book trimmed closer than rest of text block, not affecting text. Occasional marginal soiling. Versos of leaves 3I3 and 3I5 of Apocrypha misprinted; all text present. Moderate rubbing to boards, joints partially split at spine head; binding sound. An extremely good copy with a notable provenance.