Contemplations moral and divine, in two Parts.

London, D. Brown, J. Walthoe, J. Sprint, M. Wotton, G. Conyers, and D. Midwinter, 1711.

8vo, pp. [2 (title)], viii, 254, ‘247-558’ [i.e. 566], without a portrait (see below); part-title dated 1710; sporadic foxing with a few spots (mostly marginal); in contemporary English black morocco, boards gilt to a panel design with central armorial block in blind, spine richly gilt in compartments and lettered directly in gilt, edges gilt, marbled endpapers, endbands sewn in red and yellow on double cores, sewn two-up and bypass on 5 cords; lightly rubbed at extremities with a few minor scuffs, spine sunned, nonetheless an excellent copy; contemporary ink ownership inscription ‘I Bagot’ (?) to front flyleaf, and later eighteenth-century armorial block of William Bagot, first Baron Bagot, in blind to each board, twentieth-century private collector’s bookplate to upper pastedown.


US $544€522

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An early eighteenth-century edition of Hale’s Contemplations in attractive contemporary English morocco. Though first and foremost a jurist, judge, and Commonwealth parliamentarian, Matthew Hale (1609–1676) wrote widely and extensively on other subjects: his Contemplations, first published anonymously in 1676, offer an epitome of his religious views which remained in print through much of the following century.

Provenance: from the Bagot library at Blithfield Hall, with the arms of William Bagot, first Baron Bagot of Bagot’s Bromley (1728/9–1798), Doctor of Civil Law (Oxon.) and Member of Parliament for Stafford from 1754 until his creation as Baron in 1780. He appears to have collected a substantial library of English and European books, with history, literature, and fine printing particularly well-represented; many are stamped with his armorial block, probably first cut while a baronet and amended after his elevation. The present volume does not appear among the 274 lots from Blithfield Hall dispersed by Sotheby’s on 26 November 1945.

ESTC T129379. ESTC’s reference to a portrait (as found in some other editions) is not supported by the digitised copies at the BL, BSB, or Princeton, by any other entry on OCLC (except those copied from ESTC), or by the only other copy recorded at auction.

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