The First English Book Printed in Gold: "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.  ff. Folio (16" x 13"). Contemporary paneled calf, rebacked in period style retaining portions of existing spine, gilt and blind tooling to boards, gilt edges, gilt dentelles to pastedowns, cloth hinges, corners mended. Light rubbing to boards, small scuffs, nicks and scratches, slight gatoring in places, faint stains to rear board, moderate rubbing and some wear to extremities. Faint offsetting to endleaves. Printed in gold on card, text to rectos only. Moderate toning to interior, occasional light foxing and soiling to margins. An attractive copy. $9,500. * The first English book printed in gold, it is described by Lowndes as "the most magnificent of all editions of the Magna Carta." The Westminster binder John Whittaker planned this book "for the display of a new branch of the art of printing" and to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the signing. Although all are printed in gold, rarely are two copies alike. Some were printed on colored vellum and even jeweled, and 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. Lowndes, Bibliographer's Manual of English Literature (Revised edition, 1864) II:1450.
Book number 72939