New York: The De Vinne Press, 1909. Limited edition. Thick quarto (11 7/8 inches tall), contemporary crushed navy morocco, blind-stamped pictorial panels, gilt spine, gilt dentelles, navy watered silk endpapers, all edges gilt. Upper corner bumped, modest wear to joints and edges, else Fine. Item #1053
"EVERY STONE YOU LAY, AND EVERY BEAM YOU HEW, IS LAIN AND HEWN FOR THE HONOUR OF ALMIGHTY GOD"
Limited edition of this pictorial history of Philadelphia's S. Mark's Church—a sumptuous treasury of Anglo-Catholic architecture and art, in a superb morocco binding by Zaehnsdorf.
Inspired by the contemporary Oxford Movement, the original founders of this venerable Episcopalian parish were "those who in building S. Mark's desired to give expression to what the new movement showed to be the real mind of the Anglican Communion, as exhibited in the Book of Common Prayer and its appeal to antiquity." The parish trustees sought out the "ecclesiologists' of the Cambridge Camden Society (formed in 1839 by John Mason Neale and Benjamin Webb at Cambridge University) for consultation. Shortly after its founding the Camden Society moved from Cambridge to London and changed is name to The Ecclesiological Society: "By 'Ecclesiology' the Camdenians meant 'the principles which, it was supposed, guided mediaeval builders.' To restore a medieval church, clearing away box pews and the three-decker pulpit, refurbishing the chancel and sanctuary, reinstating the font, and uncovering ancient sedilia, aumbries, and piscinas, was to provide a sacramental expression of the church catholic and its worship" (Geoffrey Rowell).
Designed by John Notman, S. Mark's was completed in 1849 and followed by The Lady Chapel, which was consecrated in 1902. A parish anniversary was the impetus for this lavish volume—both overseen by the Rev. Alfred G. Mortimer, elected Rector in 1891: "This year S. Mark's is keeping it's Diamond Jubilee and thus we fitly close an epoch of its history with deep thankfulness for God's many blessings and mercies to the Parish the past sixty years." The custom Zaehnsdorf binding emulates of the Neo-Gothic structure with blind-tooled architectural portaits of "Marcus" and "Sancte-Maria." This account is divided into two sections: Part One: I. The History of the Parish, II. The Lady Chapel, III. The Chancel, IV. The Nave and Cloister, V. The Church Plate, VI. The Vestments, VII. Tables of Statistics. The text in part one is decorated with fine engraved head-pieces and historiated initials. Part Two: One Hundred and Twenty-Seven Plates Depicting and Describing the Treasures of the Church. The plates (interleaved with captions) include portraits in photogravure as well as color illustrations of the structure, vestments, fixtures, and treasures. One of only four hundred copies (this copy not numbered), printed on French handmade paper, at the De Vinne Press. Rowell. The Vision Glorious: Themes and Personalities of the Catholic Revival in Anglicanism.