William of Orange, Prince Eugene of Savoy, Cornelius Jansen, Tilly, and many others

[Heraldry - Autograph album]. Album with 60 mounted autographs by European rulers, noblemen and military men.

Prob. assembled in Great Yarmouth, 1820s; contents date from c. 1525-1775.

12 unnumbered ff. (1 blank), 60 numbered ff., 64 blank ff. With 56 armorial drawings in watercolors (1 in India ink) and 40 decorative grisaille cartouches washed in India ink. Late 18th c. calf with gilt spine, gilt-tooled border on boards and star-shaped center panel on both boards. Leading edges gilt. Oblong 12mo.


Remarkable collection of autographs from the library of the English botanist and antiquary Dawson Turner (1775-1858) with his autogr. ownership entry on first leaf (dated 1825). Dawson, who had published on botany and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1802, turned his interests to antiquities in the 1820s. He and his children were taught to draw by their good friend, the renowned Norfolk artist John Sell Cotman, who resided in Yarmouth from 1812 to 1823.

The signatures, mostly clipped from letters and other documents, are from historic French, German and Dutch personages, including William, Prince of Orange (1533-84); Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736); Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, commander of the Imperial forces in the Thirty Years' War (1559-1632); Cornelius Jansen, theologian and later cardinal, founder of Jansenism (1585-1638); Philip de Montmorency, Count of Hoorn (1524-68), and Lamoral Count of Egmont (1522-68, opponents to Spanish rule in the Netherlands, executed); Johann Casimir, Duke of Saxe-Coburg (1564-1633); August the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, founder of Wolfenbüttel's Herzog August Library (1579-1666); Johann Wilhelm von der Pfalz, Elector Palatine (1658-1716); André-Hercule de Fleury, Cardinal (1653-1743); Fredrick, landgrave of Hesse-Eschwege (1617-1655); Floris van Pallant, Count of Culemborg (1537-98); Froben Ferdinand zu Fürstenberg-Mößkirch (1664-1741), and many more. Most names are accompanied by a skilled armorial illustration in full colour painted on the opposite page; forty of the signatures are bordered by decorative washed cartouches with specially designed figurated, landscape and allegorical ornaments, sometimes rather ingeniously incorporating the signature's pen flourishes and very likely prepared by members of the art-loving and gifted Turner family, possibly with help from Cotman.

Occasional slight brownstaining; book block loosened. Corners bumped; defects to upper spine end and lower third of spine. A remarkable (and remarkably presented) ensemble of autographs, forming a striking early 19th-century showpiece.

Stock Code: BN#27083 Tags: ,