[The Canterbury Tales].

Accession number: 
PML 693
Chaucer, Geoffrey, -1400.
[Westminster] : [William Caxton], [about 1483]
[314] leaves : illus. (woodcuts) ; 28 cm. (fol.)
Credit Line: 
Purchased with the Bennett collection, 1902.

Title and imprint from ISTC.
Printed in Caxton's Westminster types 2*:135B and 4*:95(100)B.
Date based upon paper stocks, see BMC.
PML Checklist dates as [1484].
Collation: [1-19⁸ 20⁶; 21-28⁸ 29⁶; 30-39⁸ 40⁶]: 314 leaves, leaves [1]/1 and [40]/5-6 blank.
Paper format: Chancery folio
47 woodcuts, from 23 blocks.
PML copy leaf dimensions: 26.8 x 19.1 cm.
PML copy missing 24 leaves: [1]/1-2, [1]/4-5, [1]/7-8, [2]/4-5, [3]/2-3, [38]/1, [38]/6, [38]/8-[39]/3, [39]/6-[40]/6. Several of the replacement leaves are from a shorter copy and extended, also without rubrication (e.g., leaves [3]/6-8).

Contemporary blind-rolled calf over wooden boards (28 x 20.5 cm), sewn on 4 supports possibly by Caxton's binder; heavily restored with former pastedowns retained as endleaves and notes tipped-on to rear endleaves. Plain paper pastedowns and end leaves; plain endbands.

Hand decoration: Rubricated, contemporary red lombards and paragraph marks at headline. Annotations: Minor notations in text. Inscriptions: IHS, in rubricator's ink (leaf ii6r); illegible inscription, partially visible under UV (leaf [29]/6r-v); illegible inscription at bottom of Parson's Tale woodcut, partially visible under UV (leaf [36]/2v).

John Brand (1744-1806); his sale, W. Stewart, 6 May 1807, lot 3058, to: Richard Heber (1773-1833) (see Ashburnham notes, rear endleaves), his sale, Dec. 1834, lot 816, to Payne and Foss for: Charles Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (1786-1857), 5th Earl Fitzwilliam, exchanged in Jan. 1838 with Earl of Ashburnham for his Recueil (see note tipped to rear endleaf 3): Bertram Ashburnham (1797-1878), Earl of Ashburnham, with shelf mark: 29.E. (front endleaf 1 verso/former pastedown) and bibliographic notes on missing leaves (several rear endleaves), Ashburnham improved this copy with leaves from 3 others (see notes tipped to rear endleaves), his sale, Sotheby's, 25 June 1897, lot 1045, to Pickering for: Richard Bennett (1849-1930), armorial bookplate (front fly leaf verso/former pastedown) and bibliographical notes: No. 266, 1/7/97 and price code rwm/-/- +com (front fly leaf verso/former pastedown); Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), purchased with the Bennett collection, 1902.