MEYRICK, Sir Samuel Rush (1783-1848); and Joseph SKELTON
A Critical Inquiry into Antient Armour, as it Existed in Europe, particularly in Great Britain, from the Norman Conquest to the reign of King Charles II. Illustrated by a series of illuminated engravings. With a glossary of military terms of the Middle Ages ... Second edition, corrected and enlarged ... [with:] Engraved Illustrations of Antient Arms and Armour, From the Collection at Goodrich Court, Herefordshire, from the drawings, and with the descriptions of Sir Samuel Rish Meyrick ... by Joseph Skelton
London: Henry G. Bohn, 1842-1854. 5 volumes, folio. (14 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches). [Meyrick:] Half-titles. Hand-coloured lithographic frontispiece to vol. I, 80 plates (70 hand-coloured aquatints, most heightened with gilt, 10 etched uncoloured plates), 27 large hand-coloured initials, most heightened with gilt. [Skelton:] Engraved titles and engraved frontispieces in each vol., portrait and 150 engraved plates. (Minor foxing).
Contemporary half red morocco over marbled paper covered boards, spines with raised bands in six compartments, black morocco lettering pieces in the second and third, the othes with a repeat armour themed decoration in gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt edges
Provenance: W. W. Greener (bookplate in first three vols.)
An excellent set of the second and best edition of Meyrick's great work on arms and armour, with beautiful plates "as fine as the monuments of Westminster Abbey" (Edinburgh Review). This set with the supplement by Skelton on the famed Goodrich Court collection.
Prideaux writes that this "book is certainly superb." A contemporary review echoed this sentiment: "Sir Walter Scott justly describes this work as 'the incomparable Armoury.' 'This most superb archaeological work is animated with numerous novelties, curious and historical disquisitions, and brilliant and recondite learning - Learning going to Court in the full, rich costume of the Order of the Garter. - Plates as fine as the monuments of Westminster Abbey. Really and truly the work is admirably executed, and deserves every eulogy.' - Edinburgh Review." (quoted in Lowndes II, p.1541). First published in 1824, this work was one of the first to view the subject of ancient arms and armour from an historical perspective. The present second edition includes revised text and a new hand-coloured lithographic frontispiece to the first volume. The presentation is otherwise very similar to the first edition with both plates and initials hand-coloured and heightened with gold where necessary. As a whole the work is beautifully designed and printed. The plates and initial letters, which are expertly hand-coloured, are taken from copies of "antient [sic.] seals, illuminations, painted glass, and monuments" (preface, p.xiv), whilst the author's intention for the whole work was that it should supply 'the general deficiency of information on the subject: to throw a glimpse of light over the rugged paths of the historian, to furnish dates to the antiquary, and to give vividness of truth to the efforts of painting, sculpture, and the drama" (preface, p.xiv).
Cf. Hiler p.587; Lipperheide Qb62 (2nd edition); Lowndes II, p.1541; cf. Prideaux p.322.