London: William Pickering, 1851. First edition. Hardcover. Quarto. 32pp., 41 plates. Red cloth with decorative gilt ruling and lettering on spine. Title page printed in red and black with decorative initial and printer's device. Decorative initial. "Many volumes would be required for the full elucidation of all characteristics and varieties of design employed during the middle ages on the different materials in use for decorative purposes. I can only, therefore, hope to exhibit some of their most striking features, and thus act as a guide and assistant to those who wish to devote their studies to a more minute investigation of the details of the principles, or processes, peculiar to each particular class." (Author).
Richly illustrated with 41 plates, 23 in chromolithography with hand-finishes, two of them foldouts, one a double page with loose protective tissue guard. Accompanied by descriptive letterpress text with additional b/w illustrations. Includes designs by Hans Holbein and Benvenuto Cellini. Binding with minor wear along edges and slightly rubbed. Some foxing of first few pages, else sporadic with six of the b/w or sepia-toned plates affected, though motifs mostly clean. Binding and interior in overall very good condition. vg. Item #44280