Fragmenta Aulica. Or, Court and State Jests in Noble Drollery. True and reall. Ascertained to their times, places and persons.
12mo. (10), 144, (12) pp. With engraved frontispiece (signed "John Chantry sculp."). Contemporary full brown calf with remains of a gilt spine-label.
First edition of this rare and curious jest-book which Hazlitt called a "collection of rather dull anecdotes in prose". The frontispiece represents "a man and a woman with an owl and a magpie at their feet" (ibid.), the woman's garment just exposing her nipples (an extreme décolletage not uncommon as late as the 17th century). The final 3 pp. contain adverts. Not to be confused with the more common (and much cheaper) "Fragmenta Aurea" by Suckling.
Small piece torn from the edge of B9 (not affecting text). A single small wormhole through frontispiece and title-page. Leather binding solid and secure; pastedowns unstuck. An old label at the base of the spine reads, "42/32". Complete as per ESTC. Generally a lovely, clean and pleasant copy.
ESTC R200892. Wing S 161. Gibson 568. Hazlitt, Hand-book to the Popular, Poetical, and Dramatic Literature of Grait Britain (1867), p. 301, no. 19.