"THE EARLIEST MANUAL, IN ANY LANGUAGE, OF THE PRINTING TRADE"
(PRINTING, et al.) MOXON, Joseph. Mechanick Exercises. London, 1683[-1684]. Two volumes bound as one.
Rare first edition of Moxon's guide to the chief trades of his day, with the all-important second volume devoted entirely to the printing trade, the first such manual published in any language—as well as the first English book to describe ink making—illustrated with 49 (of 60) engraved plates, 25 of which relate to the printing trade. Issued in parts, "very few complete sets have been preserved, the work being, perhaps, the most difficult to obtain in the whole range of typographical literature" (Bigmore & Wyman). In this copy, the volume on printing was bound without one part only—the three numbers on letter-cutting—and thus wants 48 pages from the total of 394 and ten plates from the total of 35, but includes complete chapters and their accompanying illustrations on printing, the construction and functions of the press, mold-making and the casting of letters, the duties of compositors, correctors, pressmen, and warehouse-keepers, and includes a lengthy dictionary of terms at the end. $12,000.