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A Critical Inquiry into Antient Armour

A Critical Inquiry into Antient Armour

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A Critical Inquiry into Antient Armour: as it Existed in Europe, Particularly in Great Britain, from the Norman Conquest to the Reign of King Charles II.

by Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick

  • Used
  • Hardcover
  • first
Very Good+/None
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Tokyo, Japan
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About This Item

Beautiful copy of the rare first edition of this standard work on medieval European armour.

With 80 fine illustrations drawn and engraved by Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick (some engraved by Richard Bridgens and William Maddocks).

Complete with three frontispieces with calligraphic titles and engraved vignettes drawn by Richard Bridgens and engraved by Charles Heath, 70 hand-coloured aquatint plates drawn by Meyrick and engraved by himself or William Maddocks, 10 engraved plates drawn by Meyrick and etched by Richard Bridgens, and 27 illuminated chapter initials.

Volume I: 22 hand-coloured plates (VIII to XXX) & 8 b/w etchings (I to VII, XXVI), pp. lxxvii, 206
Volume II: 35 hand-coloured plates (XXXI to LVI), 1 b/w engraving (XLIV), pp. 297
Volume III: 13 hand-coloured plates (LVII to LXXIX) & 1 b/w (LXXX) , pp.147, unpaginated 132-page glossary

The plates are essentially a catalogue of the collection of ancient armour collected by Samuel and his son Llewelyn, with a few items drawn from illuminated manuscripts or grave effigies. The armour includes chainmail suits worn by Norman invaders in the 11th century, knights in battlefield plate armour with heraldic armorial surcoats of the 12th to 13th century, crossbowmen, archers and pikemen of the 15th century, knights in ornately decorated and embossed jousting armour of the 16th century, and Royalist cavaliers of the 17th century.

There are portraits of English kings Richard I, Richard II, Henry VI, Henry VII, Henry VIII, Emperor Maximilian I, Richard Fitzhugh, Earl of Chester, Sir Thomas Peyton, Sir John Harsich, King Charles VII of France with Joan of Arc, Alfonso II, Fifth Duke of Ferrara, knights Templar, etc.

Meyrick (1783-1848), was a lawyer, antiquary, historian and collector of arms and armor. In 1828, he built Goodrich Court, and exhibited his collection in a large armoury there. He was knighted in 1832 after helping to re-organize the armour collections at the Tower of London and Windsor Castle. Most of his collection is now in the Wallace Collection.

Bookplate of Henk Visser (1923-2006), Dutch arms and armory collector, in each volume.

Bound in contemporary red half morocco with gilt tooling on spine, a.e.g., some staining and fading to cloth boards, original endpapers. Some finger smudges and dust to edges of text pages, but plates bright and clean with vivid hand-colour and gilt highlights. A few plates with slight oxidization.


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Florilegius JP (JP)
Bookseller's Inventory #
A Critical Inquiry into Antient Armour
Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick
Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, Richard Bridgens, Charles Heath, William Maddocks
Half red morocco leather, cloth boards, t.e.g.
Book Condition
Used - Very Good+
Jacket Condition
Quantity Available
John Dowding, 82 Newgate Street
Place of Publication
Date Published
Folio, 40 x 30cm
Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, Antient Armour, ancient armour, armor, medieval, costume, suit of armour, chainmail, plate, mail, military, warfare, heraldry, chivalry, martial arts
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30 day return guarantee, with full refund including original shipping costs for up to 30 days after delivery if an item arrives misdescribed or damaged.

About the Seller


Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2019
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About Florilegius

Tokyo-based bookseller specializing in European illustrated books from the 18th to 19th century, mainly botanical, zoological, costume and travel. Also Japanese ukiyo-e and woodblock botanicals, flower arrangement, etc.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Morocco is a style of leather book binding that is usually made with goatskin, as it is durable and easy to dye. (see also...
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...
Full page illustration or photograph. Plates are printed separately from the text of the book, and bound in at production. I.e.,...
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched...

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