A Display of Heraldrie: manifesting a more easie accesse to the knowledge thereof than hath beene hitherto published by any, through the benefit of method, whereinto it is now reduced by industry of J. Gwillim [or rather of J. Barcham, with the additions of J. Guillim]

GUILLIM, John (1565-1721)

Published by Thomas Cotes for Jacob Blome, London, 1638
From Sanctuary Books, A.B.A.A. (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

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(xvi), 430pp. (i), +(xxviii) (433) of additions and alphabetical table (table separately printed). Roman letter, printed side notes, woodcut initials and headpieces. Innumerable heraldic shields (most hand-colored), nine full page woodcut armorial achievements described in considerable detail. Engraving bound in after page 422. Modern half-calf over marbled boards, spine with red morocco lettering label stamped in gilt; (occasionally browned, some edges brittle; light edgewear). This rare colored copy is from the collection of American film star Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.; his heraldic bookplate is on the front pastedown. Early inscriptions, possibly by former owners’ one passage mentioning Edmund Taylor and describing his arms to front endpaper (incomplete), "Tho. Chelmys?" to title, and a later inscription crediting an earlier work by Sir William Segar titled The Booke of Honour and Armes which was published anonymously in 1590. Third Edition. Guillum’s monumental work A Display of Heraldrie was first written and published around 1610; and then was reprinted as early as 1611. There were six or seven further editions of the book following Guillim’s death, with the last one being printed in 1724. Guillim was born in Gloucestershire and entered the College of Arms in London after finishing studies at Oxford. At the College he became a junior officer of arms, a Rouge Croix pursuivant, in 1618. Guillim was devoted to heraldic studies and to writing the Display which proved to be the best organized and most encyclopedic work of English heraldry of its time. In it, Guillim deals with the social history and beginnings of heraldry, the different images appearing on arms, the various kinds of escutcheons and the families to whom they belonged, all divided into six parts and then into subchapters which were each closely analyzed. The alphabetical table comprises the names of those families whose arms are contains in the Display so one could look people up with ease. Although a small addition to the volume it makes the work much more usable. In his dedication to the King, Guillim rightly claims the merit of his originality, writing, "I am the first who brought a method unto this heroic art." Former owner, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. was the first American actor to receive the Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) from King George VI in 1949. He was a famed actor, and often dubbed a "gentleman’s gentleman." The College of Arms in London granted Fairbanks a coat of arms of a silken knot on a blue ground, symbolizing the friendship of the U.S. and Britain united across the Atlantic Ocean. Guillum’s is a paramount work on heraldry, possibly never surpassed in content and still a leading reference from an important 20th century collection. Bookseller Inventory # D3127

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Title: A Display of Heraldrie: manifesting a more ...

Publisher: Thomas Cotes for Jacob Blome, London

Publication Date: 1638

Binding: Hardcover

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