Last month I was the successful auction bidder for an early Hoyle I'm quite excited about. The book is the "sixth" edition of the treatise on whist, published by Thomas Osborne, which I referred to as Whist.6 when I discussed it here. I have other copies of this work in Osborne collections (discussed here), but this copy was separately published.
|Whist.6 title page|
|Whist 6 title page verso|
with Hoyle autograph
What I like about the book is that it is in its original binding. Previously, I had written:
What did these Osborne's individual treatises actually look like as published? I've seen a very few of them in original bindings. They were sold in drab blue unprinted paper wrappers. They were stab sewn through four holes in the paper, rather than sewn through the folds. In nearly all cases, surviving individual treatises have been rebound some time in the past quarter millennium and the original appearance is lost.My new copy, despite some minor paper repairs, is a rare survival of the original binding and confirms my earlier statement: the unprinted blue wrapper and the four-hole stab sewing. The sewing adds weight to my contention here, that one of my Osborne collections consists of separately sold treatises bound by the customer.
|detail of stab sewing|
The full imprint of the book is "Printed for T. Osborne, at Gray's Inn; J. Hildyard, at Hork; M. Bryson, at Newcaste [sic]; and J. Leake, at Bath. M DCC XLVI." The imprint does not reveal who printed it, nor is there a colophon identifying the printer. I was able to identify the printer through his use of woodblock ornaments such as the one appearing in Whist.6 on the first page of text below.
|ornament from Whist 1746|
- Maslen, Keith., The Bowyer Ornament Stock. Oxford, Oxford Bibliographical Society, Bodleian Library, 1973
- Maslen, Keith., Samuel Richardson of London Printer. A Study of his Printing Based on Ornament Use and Business Accounts. Dunedin: University of Otago, 2001. As of 9/28/2012, the book is freely available online.
- Goulden, R. J., The Ornament Stock of Henry Woodfall, 1719-1747 : a preliminary inventory London : The Bibliographical Society, 1988.
Osborne used Gardner to print many of the early Hoyle's and the same headpiece often appeared at the beginning of the text. What is striking is that we can see damage to the ornament over time. See the examples below, perhaps enlarging them in a separate window. In 1745 and 1746, it appears to be in good condition. In Whist.7, the ornament is fine at the beginning of the book, but when it was reused on page 72, the beginnings of a vertical crack are visible to the left of center. By March 1748, the crack is more pronounced in the "eighth" edition of Hoyle's Games. It is difficult to tell from the reproduction from Haywood's Life's Progress if there is any worsening by April. In 1750 the crack appears to be slightly larger in the "tenth" edition of Hoyle's Games.
|Whist "seventh" edition page 1|
|Whist "seventh" edition page 72|
|Hoyle's Games "eighth" edition March 1748|
|Haywood, Life's Progress, April 1748|
|Hoyle's Games "tenth" edition 1750|
I noted earlier that the "tenth" edition was a reissue of the "eighth" with the same setting of type. There appears to be more damage apparent in the 1750 "tenth" edition as compared with the 1748 "eighth." Obviously this suggest that the pictured copy of the "tenth" was printed later than the copy of the "eight." Was there a single continue printing operation or multiple impressions from the same set of type?