When I say “really rare” without a modifier, I mean Absolute rarity id est one copy recorded, or no copies listed in  bibliographies, then the modifiers come in, no copy listed in the US, no copy on the Market since 18… et c. Of course there as another category, Unique. While it can be argued (and well) that almost every Early printed book can be unique, The individual divergent qualities of a specific book need fairly obvious, in order for it to be worth duplicating a text.

Recently I have sold a few books with early notes by an early/original owner, whose  notations outnumbered the words in the printed text, in short two books in One!

Today I have a book which (probably at the time of binding), was  augmented by engravings from another book, which fit quite nicely thematically.

But: The physical attributes do not interpret themselves, and thus rely upon comparison, I’ll take us through the steps as I take them.

First, The binding!



DSC_0021 DSC_0022




So; From here i can tell the binding is appropriate for a London book circa 1707, and it doesn’t look as it has been re-backed or re-sewn, that leads me to think we have the book as it came from the first book binder.

Next Opening the book. Provenance!

DSC_0013The easiest decipherable text here on the first endpaper is August 14th 1707 Andrew Vigurs. A quick search finds a will for Andrew Vigurs the younger,of Penzance who died 1748 at 24 years old. NOT Our guy. It is Likely his Father also named Andrew 1660-1731!! Yes  The book passes To Dorinda (his daughter ) January 6th 1731!.[ this is recorded on a rear end page.]



So now into the book. We can see from the title the printer, and the Price, but no Author. A look at the English Short Title Catalogue, gives us a first description of other copie

ESTC System No.
ESTC Citation No.
LinkThe Nature and design of holy-days explained: Or, Short and plain reasons and instructions for the observation of the feasts, and fasts appointed to be kept by the Church of England. Adapted to the meanest capacity.
LinkLondon : Printed by W.B. for Richard Sare at Grays-Inn-Gate in Holborn, 1705.
Physical descr.
[8],102p. ;  12⁰.
General note
Price on title page: Price 6d stitch’d, or 8d Bound.
Microfilm. Woodbridge, Conn. : Primary Source Microfilm, an imprint of Gale Group, 2004. 1 reel ; 35 mm. Unit 421. (The Eighteenth Century ; reel 14703, no. 02).
Corporate subject
LinkChurch of England — Customs and practices — Early works to 1800.
Copies – Brit.Isles
LinkNational Library of Scotland 
LinkOxford University Bodleian Library (includes The Vicar’s Library, ST. Mary’s Church, Marlborough) 
LinkOxford University Corpus Christi College 
Copies – N.America
LinkHarvard University Houghton Library 
Electronic location
Eighteenth Century Collections Online. Gale Group ; 



From here we get a lot of information, one of the primary descriptions is the page count [8],102p. ;  12⁰. , It matches the text of our book, but ours has 19 engravings? Next it tells us it is rare in libraries in this country, only listing Harvard,and three copies in the UK.

No mention of a frontice even?


Harvard describes their copy thus:

Author :
LinkBuchanan, Cha. (Charles), b. 1660 or 61.
Title :
LinkThe nature and design of holy-days explained, or, Short and plain reasons and instructions for theobservation of the feasts and fasts appointed to be kept by the Church of England : adapted to themeanest capacity.
Published :
London : Printed by W.B. for Richard Sare, at Grays-Inn-Gate in Holborn, 1705.
Location :
Houghton EC7.Eℓ874.734c Library Info
Provenance :
Armorial bookplate of the Earls of Macclesfield: North Library [with ms. shelfmark “13.A.17”].
Copy information :
Bound with Elwall, Edward, 1676-1744. A declaration against all the kings and temporal powers under heaven (London, 1734) and Beverland, Adriaan, 1654?-1712. De fornicatione cavenda (Augustae [i.e. London], 1697).
Description :
[8],102 p. ; 16 cm. (12mo)
Notes :
Dedication signed: Cha. Buchanan
W.B.=William Bowyer, the elder.
Signatures: A⁴ (-A4, A1+chi1) B-I⁸/⁴ K⁴ (-K4).
References :
ESTC T170660
Subject :
LinkChurch of England — Customs and practices.
Subject :
LinkFasts and feasts — England — Early works to 1800.
HOLLIS Number :

This gives a collation which matches this copy but again excepting the plates, But it does add an Author, this confirms my speculation , so I like it. The ESTC lists this as a first edition, and two more editions, 1708,1722.No us copies of the 1708 and only Harvard of the 1722, none of them list engravings. So It seams safe to say that” none of the copies listed in ESTC have these 19 engraved Plates.

305G   Buchanan, Cha. (Charles).    b. 1660 or 61


The Nature and Design of Holy Days.      


London: printed by W. B. for Richard Sare, at Grays-Inn-Gate, in Holborn, 1705.             $1,900 Octavo, .  First Edition A-I4/8/K3 +19 Full page engravings.

Engraved frontispiece, discolored, and nineteen full-page engravings  extraneous to the tex. Bound in full contemporary calfskin, leather cracked at front joint, some missing leather pieces, largely intact, contents with some browning along the gutters, some leaves becoming loose, endleaves with old tape, contemporary annotations. And Price on title page: Price 6d stitch’d, or 8d Bound.

This book is not only rare but it is probably unique, with the illustrations, the ESTC lists the book as anonmyous, yet is is undoubtedly but Charles Buchanan.
ESTC makes no mention of frontispiece or illustrations.
Three editions listed in ESTC, the first and third editions each only show one U.S. library location: the Houghton Library, the second edition has no North American holdings, see ESTC T170660.