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Typographia, or the Printers' Instructor:



Typographia, or the Printers' Instructor: Including an Account of the Origin of Printing, with Biographical Notices of the Printers of England, from Caxton to the close of the Sixteenth Century: A Series of Ancient and Modern Alphabets, and Domesday Characters, Together with An Elucidation of every Subject connected with the Art.

Titles printed within architectural typographic borders, vol.1 with engraved frontispiece portrait of Johnson, additional engraved title and Roxburghe Club plate; woodcut illustrations and type specimens throughout.

First Edition. Two volumes. 16mo. [125 x 80 x 77 mm]. [4]ff, xii, 610, [10] pp; [2]ff, iv, 663, [17] pp. Mid-nineteenth century polished calf, the covers with a border of a gilt double fillet and blind roll. spine divided into six panels with raised bands flanked with gilt fillets, lettered on new red goatskin labels, marbled endleaves and edges. (Rubbed).
London: [by J. Johnson at the Apollo Press] published by Messrs. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown & Green, Paternoster Row, 1824

Frontispiece and engraved title in vol.1 lightly foxed, marginal tears pp.557-560 in vol.2 without loss. A good copy. Vol.1 is inscribed in ink on the fly-leaf: "Herbert Heath from William Blades Xmas 1886". Both volumes have the later ink signature of D. Bateman.

William Blades (1824-1890) was a printer (partner in Blades, East, and Blades), bibliographer and author (Life and Typography of William Caxton and The Enemies of Books) and collector (his library was acquired by St. Bride Foundation on his death). ODNB concludes "Blades's enduring claim to fame rests on his pioneering use of type identification as a method of dating undated early books".

John Johnson (1777-1848) operated Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges's Lee Priory Press before a falling-out. Typographia was printed at his Apollo Press, in Brook Street, Holborn, with the financial support of Edward Walmsley, and came out in four sizes. "Of the few standard works on the art of printing in the English language, this is perhaps the most familiar. [The first volume contains] a table of the introduction of the art into the different countries, after which comes the "introduction and art in Great Britain", with a list of the productions of the first printers up to 1599. The second volume may be described as practical, in contradistinction to the first, which is historical. It gives a description of types, directions for composing, for press, and warehouse work, &c. It is particularly rich in foreign alphabets, a feature which has gained of it great estimation. It has long since become, and deservedly, a printer's classic" - Bigmore & Wyman, I, pp.371-2.

Stock no. ebc7065

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Price: £400