London: John Day, 1578. 8vo. Collation: A-Q8 (lacking two leaves: Q7-8 at end containing final portion of Latin text, Errata and John Day's coat of arms). Text in Greek and Latin on facing pages. Title-page surrounded with typographical ornaments, 10-line initial "H" on A2r, elaborate typographical ornament on A5 (repeated on final leaf). Contemporary vellum, traces of two alum-tawed leather ties at the fore-edge, later MS lettering on spine. Imperfect and priced accordingly; the textblock is quite fresh, and is preserved in what appears to be its first binding. Item #3219
A fresh copy of an Early English Catechism printed by John Day, in Latin with a Greek translation. As is well known, the Catechism became one if the principal vehicles for teaching the young in Elizabethan England.
Our copy is unpressed; bears a 16th-century ownership inscription; and is preserved in contemporary vellum: on the blank leaf opposite the title-page is ink offsetting from the typographical borders, likely an indication that this binder's leaf has been in situ since the book was printed. If that is correct, the inescapable conclusion is that is the original binding (the title in MS on the spine was added later).
"This (says Ames) is a curiously printed book, equal to the Stephens', and has the same coat of arms at the end [lacking in this copy], as the Catechism of 1577 ... Herbert has been entirely indebted to Ames for his description of this rare little book; of which I never saw or heard of a copy" (Dibdin, Typographical Antiquities, 2024).
Of this edition, we have been able to trace only two other copies that have appeared on the market, namely: Christie's NY 2003, and Maggs Catalogue 901 (1966).
Provenance: William Hamer (contemporary signature: "William Hamers") -- we have been unable to identify this early English book owner --> Nathan Comfort Starr (armorial bookplate), former Grolier Club member.
ESTC S113382. STC 2nd ed. 18728. See: Foster Watson, The English Grammar Schools to 1660: Their Curriculum and Practice, 2019.