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Two East Anglian Picture Books. A facsimile of the Helmingham Herbal and Bestiary and Bodleian MS. Ashmole 1504.
Full-size colour facsimiles of two extraordinary, and almost identical, medieval picture books containing a total of 98 pictures of flowers and trees and 58 of birds and animals together with a variety of other material (ornamental alphabets, drawings of coats of arms, household gear, embroidery patterns, landscapes and grotesques) representing the full range of medieval ornament.
Nicolas Barker’s wide-ranging introductory text examines the precise relationship between the two manuscripts, their purpose and provenance, the extent of the naturalism of their images, and connections with the other arts. The text is amplified with 61 black and white plates, and with a map and diagrams.
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AN ENGLISHMAN IN NAPLES BRACEBRIDGE, Samuel.
Autograph letter signed to George Lucy at Charlecote, Warwickshire, obsessively concerned with Lucy’s health and his own, and sending news of English visitors to Naples.
Samuel Bracebridge (d. 1786, of Lindley Hall, near Nuneaton on the Warwickshire/Leicestershire border), apologises for an eccentric hand (‘if you can’t read a letter presume it e or r’), not helped by having to write on what he calls Italian ‘blotting paper’. His correspondent George Lucy had himself been travelling in Italy in 1756-1758, including a winter in Naples.
MASSUE DE RUVIGNY, Henri de, Lord Galway.
Autograph letter, signed (‘Gallway’), in French, to an unnamed English statesman, sending greetings and referring to regimental dispositions.
A Huguenot exile from France, Massue de Ruvigny served in the English army and was created Viscount Galway in 1692 (elevated to an earldom in 1697). In 1694 he was appointed commander of the English auxiliary forces in Piedmont, with credentials as envoy extraordinary to the court of Turin, but was outmanoeuvred diplomatically by the duke, who concluded a treaty with the French in August 1696, whereupon Galway withdrew into the Milanese (see DNB).