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Old Ballads, Historical and Narrative, With Some of Modern Date;

EVANS (Thomas).

EVANS (Thomas).

Old Ballads, Historical and Narrative, With Some of Modern Date; Now first collected, and reprinted from rare Copies. With Notes.

Engraved vignette on the title-pages.

First Edition. Two volumes. 8vo. [180 x 120 x 47 mm]. [4]ff, 334, [2] pp; [4]ff, 308pp. Bound in contemporary sprinkled calf, plain sides, the spines divided into six panels with gilt compartments, the first with the gilt crest of Morse on a green goatskin label, lettered in the second on a red label and numbered in the third on a green label, the others tooled with a large flower and sprigs, the edges of the boards hatched in gilt, marbled endleaves, sprinkled edges. (Slightly rubbed).
London: printed for T. Evans, in the Strand, 1777

With the half titles and final leaf of advertisements in vol.1. The titles are headed "Evan's Edition". A little spotting at front and rear but a very good copy. The work was intended as a supplement to Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, first published in 1765.

The crest at the head of the spine, a demi man in armour holding a halberd (axe), is that of Morse. The labels in the first panels appear to be contemporary with the bindings, which almost certainly date from soon after publication. The same crest is found on a six volume set of Plutarch's Lives, published in 1774, now in the Clements Collection in the National Art Library at the V&A. The British Armorial Bindings database identifies the crest as that of John Morse (1776-1844) of Sprowston Hall and Bagthorpe in Norfolk, and Abbot's Wooton in Dorset. He was the eldest son of John Morse, Alderman of Norfolk (could this not have been his crest?) and Elizabeth, daughter and heir of John Boycott of Sprowston Hall. In 1800 John jr married Elizabeth Anne, only daughter of General Thomas Hall of Western Colville in Cambridgeshire. Their son John Hall Morse (d.1874) took the additional name and arms of Boycott in 1844. Both volumes have the armorial bookplate of his only son, Frederic Augustus Morse Boycott (1849-1926).

Stock no. ebc4872

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Price: £600