Exe-libris: gleanings from the shelves of Exeter Libraries
4. The Topsham Museum Bible box and its prints
In June 1986 Topsham Museum purchased a Bible box and Bible (inventory no. 4026) from the Exeter antique dealer Peter Wadham. The London & Manchester Insurance Group had donated some money towards setting up the period rooms in the Museum. The box has the date 1696 and the initials I W carved on the lid but there is no information as to its further provenance. Its dimensions are given by the Museum as 22 by 12 by 6 inches. It contained what was described as a leather bound "Edward VI Bible" but this has not been examined for inscriptions. The owner in the 1760s lined it with three broadsheets. In August 2010 I photographed the broadsides that lined the Bible box which is on display in the Museum and attempted to piece them together.
A catalogue of maps, prints, copy-books, drawing-books, histories, old ballads, patters, collections, &c. Printed and Sold by Cluer Dicey and Richard Marshall, At the Printing Office, in Aldermary Church-Yard, LONDON. Printed in the Year M, DCC, LXIV.
10. Jacob with his Twelve Sons, in One Sheet, with a large Historical Account.
274. The Danger of yielding to Temptations: Or, the Power of Beauty.
Although it lacks the title as well as the imprint it can be identified from the incomplete verses under the woodcut:
My Glass in Hand, and Book in Lap,
Secure the Mind from a Mishap;
W[ith?] Idleness and wanton Thought,
W[hich?] by Degrees bring me to naught.
With busy Thoughts I quench that Fire,
Which often burns to lewd Desire;
I see my Duty in the Glass
How Beauty fades away as Grass.
I cultivate ...
For Fopish ...
And show ...
107. King George III.
These broadsheets were not known to the English Sort Title Catalogue compilers at the British Library in 2010 and their surfacing in a collection in Exeter shows how what is known to survive of this type of popular literature is only the tip of an iceberg. Copyright © Ian Maxted 2012
This page last updated 14 July 2012