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KING (Daniel). The Vale Royall of England. Or, The County Palatine of Chester Illustrated. Wherein is contained a Geographical and Historical Description of that Famous County, with all its Hundreds and Seats of the Nobility, Gentry, and Freeholders; its Rivers, Towns, Castles, Buildings Ancient and Modern. Adorned with Maps and Prospects, and the Coats of Arms belonging to every individual Family of the whole County... Also, An Excellent Discourse of the Island of Man; Treating of the Island. Of the Inhabitants. Of the State Ecclesiasticall. Of the Civil Government. Of the Trade; and, Of the Strength of the Island.1656

London: Printed by John Streater, First edition, small folio (285 x 180 mm), [12], 99, [7], 239, [11], 55, [1], [6], 34pp., signature A incorrectly bound in after signature B, complete with the engraved title page, the printed title page, a double-page engraved map of Chester, a double-page engraved plan and inset prospect of Chester by Wenceslaus Hollar, a double-page engraved map of the Isle of Man with 8 inset prospects, 2 double-page engraved plates (one with repair to a closed tear), 15 other engraved plates, including armorial plates, and engravings in the text, small piece of blank lower corn of title page torn-away, finely bound in nineteenth-century green straight-grained morocco, gilt tooled dentelles, boards with a gilt roll tooled floral border, spine with five raised bands, two compartments lettered in gilt direct, others ornately tooled, all edges gilt, fine. Frances Mary Richarson Currer's copy in a fine morocco binding. A choice copy with a fine provenance and bound in a sumptuous full green morocco binding. "In 1656 King published in London The Vale-Royall of England, or, The County Palatine of Chester Illustrated, for which he wrote the preface. In it he printed for the first time two essays on Chester written by William Smith and William Webb more than forty years earlier, as well as an essay on the Isle of Man by James Chaloner. This book was illustrated with etchings mostly by Wenceslaus Hollar, which were unsigned and for this reason have often been attributed to King himself."—(Oxford DNB). Frances Mary Richardson Currer (1785-1861) was England's earliest female bibliophile and was described by Dibdin as the "head of all female book collectors in Europe.". Currer inherited both the library of her great grandfather, Richard Richardson (1663-1741) and her grandfather Mathew Wilson of Eshton Hall. With the additions added by Currer the library became of considerable importance, and in its day, it was surpassed only by those of Earl Spencer, the duke of Devonshire, and the duke of Buckingham. Most of the books in her library were auctioned at Sotheby's in 1862, realising £6,000. A second sale took place in 1916 which raised more than £3700, and the residue of her library was sold in 1979 and 1994. Provenance: Contemporary signature of Joseph Hopkinson to head of engraved title; The front pastedown has the armorial bookplates of Mathew Wilson and his grand-daughter Frances Mary Richardson Currer. Wing, K488; Upcott I, p.61; Cubbon I, p.461.

Stock #38138

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