The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church...Together with the Psalter of David...

London: William Pickering, 1853. An important William Pickering production, reprinting the Queen Elizabeth Prayer Book of 1569. This is generally considered to by Mary Byfield’s masterpiece. Title-page in black and red, within a woodcut border representing the Tree of Jesse. Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I on verso of title. Every page within an elaborate woodcut border, engraved by Mary Byfield. Bookplate and stamp of the Society For the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts on the front endpapers, old donor's inscription on front free endpaper. Front hinge cracking, but sound. Overall a very good, clean copy, scarce in original cloth. Original drab cloth over beveled boards, neatly rebacked, with original backstrip laid down, including the Pickering printed paper label, now browned and worn. Twelvemo. [360] ff. (Item ID: 16032)


Mary Byfield (1795–1871) was the sister of engravers John (1788–1841) and Ebeneezer Byfield (1790–1817). She did most of her work for printers Charles Whittingham, nephew and uncle, who employed her almost full time until her death in 1871, and most of the Chiswick Press ornaments were engraved by her. In Oliver Byrne's color-printed First Books of Elements of Euclid (1847), each proposition is headed by an engraved Byfield initial.

"A triumph of printing" (Ruari McLean). Keynes p.86.

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