Sandford.   Francis     - A magnificent copy.
Coronation of James II
THE HISTORY OF THE CORONATION Of the Most High, Most Mighty, and Most Excellent MONARCH, JAMES II. By the Grace of GOD, KING of England, Scotland, France and Ireland. DEFENDER OF THE FAITH &c. And of His Royal Consort QUEEN MARY: Solemnized in the Collegiate Church of St. PETER in the City of WESTMINSTER, on Thursday the 23 of April, being the Festival of St. George, in the Year of Our Lord 1685. With an Exact Account of the several Preparations in Order thereunto, Their MAJESTIES MOST Splendid Processions, and Their Royal and Magnificent FEAST in WESTMINSTER HALL. The Whole Work Illustrated with SCULPTURES. By HIS Majesties Especial Command. (With a large engraved vignette of the Royal Coat of Arms) By FRANCIS SANDFORD Esq; Lancaster Herald of Arms. In the Savoy: Printed by Thomas Newcomb, One of His Majesties Printers 1687.
Large Folio. 410x270mm. Marbled paste-down and endpaper. [2] 2fep with verso bearing name of 'Imprimatur'. Title Page in red and black text and engraved vignette finely rebacked. [1] 2p To the King. 1p James R. [1] 2p Preface. 2p Contents. 1-135. [1] 2feps. Back endpaper and paste-down marbled. Full polished calf, panelled elaborate gilt spine with raised bands, inner gilt fillets on the paste-down and gilt edges to the boards and pages. In all, 3 engraved vignettes and 31 engraved plates. That is 2 detailed plates of the Regalia, Ground plan of Westminster, ground plan of St. Peter, 2 views of the Cathedral of Westminster during the service, The Royal Couple after the in-thronization, ground plan of Westminster Hall showing the King and Queen's Dinner plan, inside of Westminster Hall showing the King and Queen at Dinner with the service of the first course of the Hot meal, Manner of Champions, with 2 extra plates of the magnificent Fireworks display on the Thames and the procession of William 11. These superb plates engraved by S.Moore, W.Sherwin, N.Yeates, Sturt and Collins. This copy is an early issue before some of the headpieces and initials were printed. Page 33 is present in two states, with and without the marginal engraving of five crowns. Lipperhide #2688 mentions only 28 plates with 2 reproductions. Ex-libris the Rev. William Bree, Rector of Allesley. A magnificent and desirable copy.
- Many a 'splendid occasion' in European history - coronation, royal wedding, funeral, beatification, embassy or triumphal entry - has been commemorated in an illustrated 'festival book.' Like a souvenir scrapbook, such volumes record memorable events down to their most fleeting aspects, eg; the food and the fireworks. Catholic Italy and France, eminent in opera and liturgy, were the chief producers of festival books. Even though England came late to the genre, 'The History of the Coronation of James II' is one of the most splendidly illustrated books of the seventeenth century. It served as a visual touchstone for subsequent coronations, almost inventing a tradition. British royal ceremonial is one of the few to survive intact, and it remains the most magnificent and brilliantly orchestrated. Here in thirty one double-page plates, drawn under the direction of the herald Francis Sandford, one may follow every detail of the procession and banqueting, from the discreet presence of the diarist Samuel Pepys, holding a pole of the canopy that shields the king, to the "1,445 dishes of the delicious viands" consumed that day. Henry Purcell, one of England's greatest composers, died in November 1695, and is buried in Westminster Abbey. At the time of the coronation of James II in 1685, Purcell was Keeper of the King's Instruments and Organist of the Chapel Royal. The introit ‘I Was Glad’ with its text taken from Psalm 122 was written by Purcell especially for the coronation. This is just one of the myriad of details that make the event so exceptionally well documented, thanks to Sandford’s book published two years after the Coronation. Of particular interest to the cookery book collector is the large chapter starting on p108 titled 'The Royal Feasts in Westminster Hall'. It contains a list of all 144 dishes placed on the table of the Peers and Peeresses. In all there is a breakdown of the placement of the total 1445 Dishes. There is also 2 beautiful plates of the table layout and the actual Dinner of the King and Queen. On p119, Patrick Lamb Esq, His Majesties Master-Cook (and author of "Royal Cookery' 1710; see item 11025 in this book-site.) is mentioned for his part in the feast, and on p127, his payment of £50 is documented. Sandford's book was so well received and so admired that in many ways it set the standards for great British Royal occasions of the future. These traditions are singularly unique and unchanged even today. In a diverse and fast changing world the magnificence of these fantastic Royal occasions still attracts huge interest around the world. To view these traditional and colourful pageants on TV and to then read the book, one gets a true historical sense of the continuity of the British Monarchy.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 11024