For my work, I try to re-cycle and re-use as many materials I can. If I cannot, I give materials to my local recycling centre and they sell them on for quite reasonable prices. I have also bought a number of things from them not only for work but also for my art collection. I bought the three George Fall watercolours in my collection (discussed in an earlier chapter) from the re-cycle centre. I had a look in their discarded book bin a couple of days ago and found this weeks chapter topic.
I found a ‘Book of Common Prayer’ which the Church of England has used for several centuries. Finding one is fairly easy – any book store or charity shop likely has one or more on its’ shelves. So to pull one out of a book bin does not sound too exciting. Mine has no cover. It would likely have been bound with black leather boards and spine with some gold detailing. Mine starts at the marble cover pages.
It is when opened that one discovers the wonder which one has found. For not a modern copy but one printed in 1758 is what lies behind those marbled pages. Published in 1758 by #ThomasBaskett – printer to the University of Oxford. To the right you see the title page of this #BookofCommonPrayer. In truth, it is a little cheeky of Thomas Baskett to claim copyright for this book since as the title page states it was actually published by #EdwardRyland in 1755 making this book basically a reprint.
It is wonderfully illustrated throughout with 55 engravings by various artists. By my count I am missing 2 leafs of the 55. The 55 does not count the title page (I think) which was done by #GeorgeChinnery by special request.
I always wonder what causes someone to throw such things away. Are they useless? Are they valueless to them? They must be for otherwise, I would not find the things I do. At times I lament our throw away world but then again am I much different. Not really although I try. If I can save but a few artworks which others have counted as nought and share them with the world maybe it will enthuse others to do the same. For the past is our history – it should not just be discarded or tossed away. A past filled with beauty and ugliness – coexisting – yet both worth remembering. So much beauty just tossed away.
And to show you the excellence of this work, I include a few more images taken of the engravings found in this beautiful book.