A hand-coloured example of the first work to discuss the law of the sea, the first to use the term “Brytish Impire”, and the first to propose a “Pety-Navy-Royall’.
By DEE, John (1527–1608), 1577
General and Rare Memorials Pertayning to the Perfect Arte of Navigation.
- Author: DEE, John (1527–1608)
- Publication place: London
- Publisher: John Daye
- Publication date: 1577.
- Physical description: Small folio (298 by 198mm). Cancels: ?3, ?4. Slip-cancels: e*1r blank slip over last 5 lines of side-note; B4r, line 19, ‘A sword, keepeth peace’ (altered from ‘maketh’); E2r 25-line side-note. Title with large woodcut, 18-line initial of Queen Elizabeth in majesty and woodcut plate of the arms of Sir Christopher Hatton all fully coloured by a contemporary hand, 3 woodcut 13-line initials. Contemporary calf, skilfully re-backed, covers with two panels outlined in single gilt and double blind fillets, central gilt medallions, gilt edges, joints cracking, extremities rubbed.
- Inventory reference: 3206
Fittingly for man known for astrology and esoteric leanings, although Dee’s name is explicitly stated in the third person in the dedication, it is also encoded in the signatures of the first three quires (‘?ee’), in the letter inset on e3r, as well as in other places.
Extremely rare. We are not aware of any other coloured example. A statement on p.79 says that only 100 copies were printed of this work, although in the Huntington copy this has been amended in manuscript in a contemporary hand to 50 copies. We have been able to locate some 15 institutional examples (Birmingham; Cambridge; Edinburgh; Glasgow; King’s College, London; Leeds University; National Library of Scotland; National Library of Wales, Newcastle, Oxford; NMM, Greenwich; Trinity College Dublin, Ireland; Huntingdon, USA; LOC, USA, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Germany). Only 6 examples can be traced as selling in the past 100 years. They are as follows:
1985 — Sotheby’s $17,600
1982 — Nebenzahl $36,000
1980 — Sotheby’s £4,600
1972 — Sotheby’s £5,200
1971 — Sotheby’s $9,120
1946 — Francis Edwards £50
Allan Heywood Bright (24 May 1862 – 3 August 1941) was a member of the Liverpool firm of Rogers and Bright, tinplate merchants and ship agents, and a British Liberal politician. He was married to Edith Turner, a prominent campaigner for women’s and workers’ rights. He bequeathed his library of 1951 volumes to the University of London.