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1756 "The Heads of Illustrious Persons" Book by John Knapton

Item Details

A book of copper engravings entitled ‘The Heads of Illustrious Persons of Great Britain,’ published in 1756. London: Printed for John Knapton in Ludgate-Street, MDCCLVI, 216 pp. The editor of this collection of portraits was John Knapton. The engravings were executed by Jacob Houbraken and George Vertue, with text of their ‘Lives and Characters’ by Thomas Birch, D.D., Secretary of the Royal Society. This is known to be the second edition of this work, the first published 1743-51. The important people included in this collection range from the time of Edward III (1312-1377) up until ‘the present time’, beginning with Geoffry Chaucer and ending with Alexander Pope (1688-1744). Each illustration is credited with the source of the image (sometimes mentioning location, or owner, not always the name of the original artist). Book originally was in the library of Sir John E. Swinburne, 6th Baronet of Capheaton, in Northumberland, England, and bears his stamp (1762-1860). Book has full black leather binding, with numerous surface scratches and edge and corner wear to covers. Gilt spine, cover decoration, and page edges, with gilt dentelles to inside covers, and marbled end papers. Spine edges worn, with a 4’ tear to top of spine (front cover separating from spine). Printed on very heavy paper with only light foxing along edges. Some wear to page corners.


See description for condition details. This book has not been graded or appraised. Text block printed somewhat askew on certain pages.


14.5" W x 21.0" H x 2.5" D

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