“THE BEST OF ITS KIND”: 1702 FOLIO FIRST EDITION OF ECHARD’S ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY, SPLENDIDLY BOUND
ECHARD, Laurence. A General Ecclesiastical History from the Nativity of Our Blessed Saviour to the First Establishment of Christianity by Humane Laws, under the Emperour Constantine the Great. London: by W. Bowyer, for Jacob Tonson, 1702. Tall folio (10 by 16 inches), contemporary full red morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine and covers in the Cottage style, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $2850.
First edition of Echard’s history of the early days of the Christian church, with finely engraved frontispiece by Van der Gucht and double-page engraved map of the Holy Land. This copy splendidly bound in an elaborately gilt-decorated Restoration binding.
“A work valuable in many respects… the best of its kind” (Lowndes, 711). “Having been ordained by Moore, bishop of Norwich, Echard was presented to the livings of Welton and Elkington, Lincolnshire, and was appointed chaplain to the Bishop of Lincoln. For more than twenty years he resided in Lincolnshire, chiefly at Louth, where during that time he wrote a number of works” (DNB). This later Restoration-era binding was skillfully accomplished in the style of Roger Bartlett, a renowned London bookbinder active until 1695 or so, using several tulip, flower, leaf and roll tools likely from his workshop.
Faint marginal dampstain to lower corner of text, otherwise interior very clean, with wide margins. Expert restoration to spine ends and corners only; binding remarkably well preserved, gilt very bright. A splendid volume.