A Booke of Christmas Carols. Illuminated from Ancient Manuscripts in…

A Booke of Christmas Carols. Illuminated from Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum. by CUNDALL, Joseph, publisher. < >
  • Another image of A Booke of Christmas Carols. Illuminated from Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum. by CUNDALL, Joseph, publisher.
  • Another image of A Booke of Christmas Carols. Illuminated from Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum. by CUNDALL, Joseph, publisher.
  • Another image of A Booke of Christmas Carols. Illuminated from Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum. by CUNDALL, Joseph, publisher.
  • Another image of A Booke of Christmas Carols. Illuminated from Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum. by CUNDALL, Joseph, publisher.
  • Another image of A Booke of Christmas Carols. Illuminated from Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum. by CUNDALL, Joseph, publisher.
  • Another image of A Booke of Christmas Carols. Illuminated from Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum. by CUNDALL, Joseph, publisher.
  • Another image of A Booke of Christmas Carols. Illuminated from Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum. by CUNDALL, Joseph, publisher.

~ A Booke of Christmas Carols. Illuminated from Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum. London: Joseph Cundall, Old Bond Street, [1845].

8vo (185 × 130 mm), pp. [24], plus frontispiece and three plates, the text in letterpress with elaborate illuminated borders, all printed in chromolithography with gold. Some foxing throughout. Contemporary blindstamped red morocco with octagonal onlays to both covers lettered in manuscript. Hinges repaired. A good copy.

First edition of the first of Joseph Cundall’s illuminated gift books, with superb decoration by John Brandard printed in chromolithography. According to the good essay on this book on the University of Glasgow’s special collections website: ‘The borders in the book were copied from Harleian MS 2936 and MS 3469, Royal MS.19.C.3 and 19.C.8, the DeCroy MS, and Henry VIII’s Missal, all in the British Library; also used was a Book of Hours in the possession of the publisher. The miniature paintings are from Harleian MS. 2877’ (Claire McKendrick).Cundall (printer, publisher and photographer) is also known as the publisher of the first commercially printed Christmas card (in an edition of 1000 copies) in December 1843 (the same month as Dickens’s A Christmas Carol). He later produced some of the most handsome illustrated books of the 1850s and 1860s, including the ‘Home Treasury’ series of children’s books.

The colophon reads: ‘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’. McLean, Victorian Book Design and Colour Printing (2nd ed.) pp. 90-1.

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