London: George Bickham, ca. 1758. First edition. Hardcover. Small folio.  6pp. [+33 unpaginated plates]. 3/4 dark green pebbled leather over marbled paper boards, with gilt lettering and tooling on the spine. Top edge gilt. Marbled endpapers. Full page frontispiece copperplate engraving.
The finely printed book is a catalog demonstrating various styles of calligraphy, and displaying numerous examples of a myriad of printed fonts, written, engraved, designed and published by English writing-master George Bickham. Illustrated throughout with 34 highly detailed engraved plates (including the frontispiece). The first three plates relate to Buckinghamshire specifically, with the first being a full-page illustrated "map" and the other two being text pages showcasing calligraphy. The initial six pages of text by the author contain technical and descriptive details about the fonts, in a two-column format. The first page of the text (curiously for its time of publication) attempts to replicate the front page of a newspaper with a book laying across it (reading Norfolk Norwich), in a three-dimensional style of image. The author is known for his promotion and popularization of the Roundhand style of English calligraphy.
Binding with some rubbing to extremities, including the hinges, and some light chipping to the head of the spine. Covers with a few light scratches and stains. Interior with some sporadic minor to light water stains and smudges, with images and text mostly still clean and bright. Light foxing to the initial text pages. Handwritten notes in pencil at the bottom margin of the final plate, from a previous owner. Binding in and interior in good+ condition overall. Extremely scarce. g+. Item #44209
During this same period, Bickham is known to have produced other works of these location-specific so called "county copy-books", with content arranged in a similar manner. Known titles include:
"The Oxfordshire and University writing-master", "The Pensylvania [sic] and Philadelphia writing-master", "The Surrey and Southwark writing-master", "The Yorkshire and York writing-master" and the "The English Monarchical Writing-Master".
*Bibliographic references for this work:
"Catalogue of the Library Removed from Stowe House, Buckinghamshire"
"Collection of Books, Tracts, Autographs, Manuscripts., Engravings, Paintings, Etc, of the Late Mr. E.B. Corwin"
No copies listed on OCLC.