WITH MORE THAN 300 HAND-COLORED SHIELDS, CRESTS, AND COATS-OF-ARMS: THE ACCEDENCE OF ARMORIE, 1612
(HERALDRY) LEGH, Gerard. The Accedence of Armorie. Newly Corrected and Augmented. (London: John Jaggard), 1612. Octavo, 19th-century full brown paneled calf rebacked with original spine laid down, later black morocco spine label, all edges gilt. $2500.
Sixth edition, with hand-colored woodcut title page and more than 300 hand-colored woodcut shields and coats-of-arms, three full-page hand-colored woodcuts, and woodcut initials and head- and tailpieces.
"Legh's book's popularity suggests that his discussions of heraldic symbolism, as well as his linking of chivalry to virtue and heraldry to fable, was admirably suited to Tudor England. Certainly it seems to have been particularly well adapted to the class-conscious claims of the gentry, whose obsession with pedigrees and coats of arms were almost as much a reaction to social mobility as an anachronistic longing for chivalry. It may also have appealed to readers among those same 'upstarts' who, despite the discouragement of their social superiors, found armory a useful adjunct to their claims to gentle status. Legh's learning is evident if idiosyncrtic; he cites not only classical authors but also Chaucer and other medieval authorities… the book has numerous illustrations of coats of arms, including full achievements for several contemporaries" (ODNB). First published in 1562. Ten leaves (pages 95-114) supplied in very neat pen-and-ink facsimile, with all 28 woodcuts found on those pages finely drawn and colored by hand as well. STC 15393. Bookplate; infrequent ink marginalia.
Text clean, hand-coloring vivid and fine. Some light rubbing to outer edges of boards, leather a bit dry. A very good copy.