LILLY (William)
Christian Astrology, modestly treated of in three Books. London, Thomas Brudenell for John Partridge and Humphrey Blunden, 1647. 2 parts in a volume in-4, long grain red morocco, pearled net and small golden spandrels, decorated back, double inner pearled net, golden head, uncut, case (Stikeman & Co).
Gardner, Bibliotheca astrologica, No. 680, extremely rare original
edition of the most famous English astrology treatise.
It is missing from the main bibliographies on the subject. Caillet, n°6692, only cites it after a probably incomplete copy and underlines its rarity: A very rare work by this famous English astrologer, whose books cannot be found.
It is the major work of William Lilly (1602-1681), an astrologer who served King Charles I of England. It is said that this scientist predicted the terrible fire that ravaged London in 1666.
The edition is adorned with a beautiful portrait of the author, engraved intaglio by Marshall, many figures in the text representing astrological and magic squares, as well as some astronomical tables.
The second part, in continuous pagination, has a particular title: An Easie and plaine Method Teaching How to judge upon Nativities [...]. A Catalogue of most Astrological Authors now extant.... (6 ff.) is at the end of the volume.
Copy in a pleasant American bookbinding by Stikeman & Co, executed around 1900. The binder's knife shortened the margin by several sheets, allowing the cuffs to protrude or fold in the form of spoilers.
From the Harold Greenhill Library (1893-1968), with engraved ex-libris.
Cuff of a cut introductory sheet, a short table leaf (cut signature), lack of paper causing the suppression of the pagination on the Mm3 leaf corresponding to pp. 277-278. Portrait doubled. Friction in the binding, especially on the nerves and caps, cracked and fragile hinges, the first plate almost uncoupled.
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