London: Robert White for Nathaniel Ponder, 1668. First Edition. Folio in 4's. , A2, a-Zzz, Aaaa-Iiii,  = 318 ff., 2 vols. Contemporary English calf "trade binding," on covers two vertical double fillets, very worn and partially defective, with many chips and tears, on upper cover a repair to portion of lower right corner, leather coming away from boards exposing 17th-century manuscript waste as lining, printed waste used as reinforcement (see below); staining from leather turn-ins on blank leaves at the front and back, as well as the outer edge of the title and final leaf. Textblock unusually crisp and clean. Front endleaf torn in the middle, large "pot" watermark on 2nd front and back blank leaf a variant of Heawood 3693 (here the watermark is "PR." Textblock edges stained red. Separate title page for "An Exposition of the Two First Chapters" on Ss4r with different pagination, T3 mistakenly labelled T2, woodcut initials and head pieces begin preliminary material and the two major sections, containing Hebrew and Greek type. Armorial bookplate of I.G. Schorsche on front pastedown. Fair. Item #3041
A very useful, and inexpensive teaching example of an English Restoration-era trade bookbinding. While the binding is in poor condition, it is nonetheless unsophisticated, and offers a number of interesting points to be raised during classroom instruction:
WATERMARKS on endpapers: Heawood (p. xiv) records six instances of a watermark with monogram MLI, all datable from the 1660s ("London)" but the papermaker unidentified. The closest resemblance to our watermark is his no. 1683. The very distinctive "pot" with monogram "PR" is a variant of his no. 3693, which he tentatively links to the unidentified (London?) papermaker MLI.
PRINTED WASTE used as guards around conjugate: unidentified, but 17th century English gloss on the Bible.
MANUSCRIPT WASTE used inside leather covers: unidentified (unidentifiable?), but 17th century English cursive.
UNUSUAL BINDING STRUCTURE: five leather sewing supports, the top one being alum tawed, the remaining being tanned, laced into boards. Evidence of curious "V" straps that do not correspond to the horizontal lines of the sewing supports. What were they?
IRONIC CONTEMPORARY ANNOTATION: the last portion of the Errata warns of "sundry other mistakes [...] which a diligent and Candid Reader will easily observe and amend. And it is not worth the while to collect them for those who are otherwise." Below this a contemporary reader has written: "By this Rule of Reasoning, it was Idle to remark these" (!)
PROVENANCE: from the distinguished library of Irvin and Anita Schorsch (with their Bibliotheque Schorsch bookplate), dispersed in 2016. The collectors were both sophisticated and eclectic (their so-called "farmhouse" in Meadowbrook, PA was described as a "mini Winterthur").
John Owen (1616-1683) was a prominent non-conformist English theologian and academic administrator, holding positions at Trinity College, Dublin and Oxford University, including as a chaplain and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford. His political involvement in the Parliament began in 1654-5 where he sat for the First Protectorate Parliament, though his friendship with Oliver Cromwell began a few years prior. This work contains Owen's essays on historical and theological subjects relating to Hebrews, where he provides extensive commentary and criticism. Ultimately totaling 4 volumes, all printed by Robert White for Nathaniel Ponder from 1668-1684, this copy contains the first two which were printed and issued in 1668.
Wing O753; ESTC R18100.