"The Most Magnificent of All Editions" [Magna Carta]. [Whittaker, John, Publisher]. Magna Carta: Regis Johannis XV. Die Junii Anno Regni XVII. A.D. MCCXV. London: Apud Johannis Whittaker, 1816. 12 ff. Folio (17" x 14"). Contemporary gilt-tooled morocco, textured-cloth central panels to boards, the front has a central gilt-tooled title panel (reading Magna Carta, Printed in Letters of Gold), patterned lilac-colored endpapers, ribbon marker. Moderate rubbing to extremities, corners and spine ends bumped, soiling, a few stains and a few scuffs to boards, cracks in text block between front free endpaper and title page and final leaf and free endpaper. Printed in gold on card, initial at beginning of text decorated by hand in watercolor with royal regalia and floral border, probably designed by Thomas Willement. Light toning, occasional finger smudges, small inkspot to first text leaf (with offsetting to verso of title page). $10,000. * The first book printed in gold in England. As Lowndes has pointed out, Whittaker published "the most magnificent of all editions of the Magna Carta." Although all are printed in gold, rarely are two copies alike. Some were printed on colored vellum and even jeweled, all have different levels of ornamentation. Some have a list of Barons. The present copy contains the text of Magna Carta only, printed on glazed card, and is richly bound. Lowndes, Bibliographer's Manual of English Literature (Revised edition, 1864) II:1450.
Book number 64332