London: The De La More Press, 1902. First edition. Quarto (10 1/4 inches tall), original paper vellum spine, gilt and blind-stamped gray paper boards, top edge gilt, uncut. Soiling to spine, toned edges, corners bumped, foxing to blank flyleaf, binding sturdy, closed tear to plate VII (not affecting image), interior text and plates very clean. Very good indeed. Item #1379
"VOICELESS THOUGH THIS SCULPTURE, STILL IT UTTERS SOUND"
First edition of this illustrated study of the monastic seal art of the High Middle Ages, selected, introduced, and described by Gale Pedrick, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. A catalogue of 100 halftone photographs (printed on fifty plates and numbered I-L) is appended after the text. providing a window into the ecclesiastical culture of the monasteries, many of which are now in ruins.
Often overlooked due to their utilitarian nature, the design and artistic merit of these seals illuminates "the circumstances and ideal conceptions of medieval Christianity." The text is composed of two main sections: a lengthy Introduction (in four parts) and Descriptive Notes: "The Monastic Houses, seals of which are illustrated, are arranged alphabetically," from Barking (Benedictine Abbey of SS. Mary and Ethelburga, co. Essex) to York (Hospital of S. Leonard, co. York). With Pedrick's brief Preface (dated "Teigenmouth, February, 1902") recognizing the importance of Dugdale's Monasticon Anglicanum and De Gray Birch's Catalogue of Seals in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum. Handsomely printed by the De la More Press for a limited list of Original Subscribers on watermarked paper with a title page in red-and-black.