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Cundall, Joseph, compiler.  A booke of Christmas carols, illuminated from ancient manuscripts in the British Museum. London: Henry G. Bohn, [1845]. 4to (19 cm; 7.5"). [16] ff.; illus.

The first of Cundall's illuminated gift books. A lovely example of high-Victorian "medievality," the volume has four full-page, gold-bordered illustrations and each text page is given a beautifully executed border copied from a manuscript in the British Museum; the borders on the twelve rectos are complex, pictorial, and unique with those on versos being uniform and stylized. The texts are from a variety of sources including the Bible, Wynken de Worde, Herrick, and Edmund Bolton, and all leaves, of heavy white paper printed using letter-press for text and chromolithography for illustrations and borders, are set into the binding on narrow tapes.
        The colophon, in noting that the work has been "Selected and arranged by Joseph Cundall. Drawn and lithographed by John Brandard. Printed in colours by Messrs. M. & N. Hanhart. Printed with type by Charles Whittingham," describes what really was => an all-star cast.
        Binding: Deep claret morocco, spine compartments ornately stamped and lettered in gilt; covers framed using multiple rolls, fillets, and individual devices, accomplished in gilt and blind. Board edges bear a single gilt rule; volume with delicate gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Binding signed by => Zaehnsdorf with their small stamp on verso of front free endpaper.
        Provenance: Signature of Dorothea Burrell and gift inscription to Henrietta Edith Burrell dated "Xmas 1883"; later in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard (sans indicia).

McLean, Cundall, p. 58. Bound as above, morocco lightened to olive on spine; gently rubbed at corners, light pencilling on flyleaves. Variously light to moderate spotting and age-toning, inscriptions as above. => A luxurious production using "modern" technologies to make brilliant nontraditional use of a noteworthy "ancient" manuscript collection.  (37647)   Please RESHELVE This.

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