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MOULE, Thomas (1784-1851)


The Heraldry of Fish. Notices of the principal families bearing fish in their Arms

John van Voorst, printed by Samuel Bentley, London, 1842. Contemporary full-green Morocco. First edition. Super Octavo (259 x 162 mm), pp.15, 250, with 205 fine wood-cuts in the text. Engravings probably by Mary and Elizabeth Clint. Full green morocco, gilt lettering on spine and 5 raised bands. Second compartment reads Heraldry of Fish, third compartment Moule, and London 1842 on spine heel. Other compartments with gilt emblems. Gilt ornamentation on covers. Gilt bordered dentelles, marbled pastedowns, front and endpapers, top edge gilt. A beautiful and very rare large paper copy. Moule states that, as symbols for names, almost all fish have been used in heraldry.

A UNIQUE COPY with 11 ADDITIONAL PLATES of which one is hand-coloured.

In many instances fish have been incorporated into the arms to reflect the produce of the state or the family name. The fish displayed on the heraldic device may also be chosen by the bearer of the device because he feels that the particular species displays a characteristic which he admires. Thus the acquaint device has a twofold interest. The subjects in The Heraldry of Fish are arranged according to a natural history form of classification. The book consists of XIV sections. Of particular interest are: V. The salmon, trout, smelt, and grayling, with their enemy the otter; XII. The dog-fish, sea lions, and other monsters; XIII. The seal, mermaid and triton. Among the extra illustrations, some of which are hand-drawn, are: the contre-seal of Godfrey de Lucy, Bishop of Winchester; the autograph, seal and arms of Sir Thomas Lucy; the arms of Walton and Cotton; the ancient seal of the corporation of Swansea; and the arms of van Voorst of Utrecht. The only hand-coloured plate is of Coryphaena hippurus.

Price: € 2400

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