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[The Athelhampton Copy of] A Survey of Dorsetshire

[The Athelhampton Copy of] A Survey of Dorsetshire by COKER, John (1732)

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Author: COKER, John
Title: [The Athelhampton Copy of] A Survey of Dorsetshire
Year: 1732
Publisher: John Wilcox
Place: London [and Athelhampton]
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: Yes
Price: £950
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Added under Rare books

Extra-illustrated and coloured by the owner of Athelhampton House in Dorset (probably Alfred De la Fontaine), one of the most beautiful manor houses in England. Bound in old panelled calf, rebacked in the twentieth century, with a new red morocco spine label 'Coker' and new endpapers. The book collates complete with the fold-out map and six armorial plates to which have been added three additional hand drawn plates, each with sixteen hand drawn and watercoloured images of the armorial glass in the windows of the Great Hall and throughout Athelhampton House. The third leaf is not quite fully coloured although the shields have been sketched out for the Kings Way and Great Staircase windows. In the same hand are pencil notes about the windows on the first leaf of the index, two additional leaves of pen and ink armorial drawings loosely inserted and on the title page, before the printed title the designation: 'The Athelhampton Copy'. Additionally, referring to the inserted armorials, the extra-illustrator has written next to the instruction for plates 'to which are added those arms which are at Athelhampton'. The map opposite is also coloured. The ownership signature 'Wm Watsons' appears on the title page, probably William G Wallis Watson who wrote the history of the Martin family who built Athelhampton in the fifteenth century. Watson is one candidate for the extra illustration but his signature does not match the annotator's hand. The most likely candidate seems to be the house's owner around the first quarter of the twentieth century the antiquarian Alfred de La Fontaine who beautified both house and gardens. One other candidate is a later owner of Athelhampton, Robert Victor Cooke, who acquired the house in 1957 and whose descendants sold it recently with consequent dispersal of the books there.
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