[ Edward Paget and Queen Victoria. ] Finely bound and illuminated volume, compiled by 'E. P.', containing Autograph Letter Signed ('Victoria R'), frank ('The Queen') and other material by Queen Victoria, with upwards of 1000 royal and noble monograms

Queen Victoria; Edward Paget; Victorian royal and noble monograms, ciphers and bookplates
Publication details: 
[ London (Buckingham Palace), Windsor and the Isle of Wight (Osborne House).] 1853 and 1854.
SKU: 18821

156pp., 12mo. In fine binding of black morocco, tooled in gilt on the boards and spine, one of the five compartments of which contains the word 'CYPHERS', with the date '1854' at the foot of the spine. With all edges gilt and dentelles, and a metal cast of the monogram 'EP' placed at centre of the front board. Hand-drawn and coloured Paget family bookplate on front pastedown. In fair condition, aged and worn, in worn binding. A highly-attractive volume over which a great deal of care has been taken, with around 1000 specimens of monograms from letterheads (and not ciphers as stated on the spine) arranged in groups on the rectos, with manuscript identification within a red ruled border on the facing versos. The volume would appear to be made up of two parts bound up together. The first page of the volume is the cover of the first part, and is beautifully-illuminated around Edward Paget's monogram, with an intricate gothic floral design in red, green, purple and gold. On a verso halfway through the volume is the back cover of the first part, carrying a coloured illustration of two tattered regimental colours with their poles crossed (presumably those of the 28th Regiment, of which Sir Edward Paget was Colonel). The facing recto is the cover of the second part, exquisitely illuminated in colours in the same style as the cover of the first part, in four panels (including a design of the entwined flags of England and France before an Ottoman pendant, and another of lilies against a pink background) around the words 'Part ii'. The following description is divided into two parts, the first dealing with the autographs of Queen Victoria. The first of these items is an Autograph Letter Signed ('Victoria R') by her, to be found towards the end of the first part of the volume. It is: 3pp., 12mo. Bifolium. Dated 'Windsor <...> | Septemb<...>'. On embossed letterhead with royal crest in gold. The letter is aged and worn, and the first leaf is damaged, with loss of a panel constituting around a third of the whole from the outer edge, and with a square of paper carrying the signature detached from the foot. Attached to a recto opposite a verso reading 'Autograph Letter from Her Majesty The Queen to Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester'. The first page reads: 'My dear <...> | I should <...> happy if <...> wld. do me <...> honour & <...> of coming & <...> Thursday & <...> of Oct: & wld. Stay <...> Wednesday <...> you will <...> with you. | I hope you <...>'. At the beginning of the second part of the volume are 13pp. relating to Queen Victoria, beginning with a page carrying an illuminated illustration of the crest of the Order of the Garter, facing a page reading 'The Royal Cyphers given by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester November 15th. 1854.' Attached to a following page in a windowpane mount is a fragment of a letter in Queen Victoria's autograph, without place or date (1854), on the reverse of an engraving of Osborne House, with the royal crest in colours in a top corner. The text reads: '<...> makes it doubly valuable to me. I am spending this day most remarkably & happily with my dearly beloved Husband <...>'. Another page carries another fragment in a windowpane mount, this one on the reverse of an engraving of two wild deer. It reads: <...> <?> good <...> We live in a <?> <...> trying & anxious times and the fall of Sevastopol after <...>'. There is also an envelope franked by the Queen to 'Her Royal Highness | The | Duchess of Gloucester | The Queen'. Another page carries another copy of the letterhead engraving of Osborne House, laid down on a leaf making the text on the reverse (apparently in Victoria's hand) unreadable. Two pages carry a total of five royal letterheads, two from Buckingham Palace, one of them dated by Victoria 'May 22. 1854'; another from Windsor Castle dated by her 'Feb: 2. 1854'; and others dated by her 'Windsor Castle | Ap: 17 1854' and 'Buckingham Palace | April 25. 1853.' TWO (Specimens): The first 807 specimens (to p.128) are numbered, with almost all the owners identified in manuscript on the facing pages. Only occasional specimens among those on the last 28pp. are identified, in light pencil. No. 47, the monogram of 'Edward Paget', corresponds with the metal version placed at the centre of the front cover, and the monogram also features at the centre of the cover of the first part of volume. Another illuminated page carries the words 'The Na Bocklish Society' (the phrase being Gaelic for 'never mind' or 'don't mention it') surrounded by a design of shamrocks and British and French flags; on the facing page are fifteen specimens apparently relating to the Society. The first four pages of specimens are unnumbered: the first page carrying three of 'The Queen', within a border illustrated in colours with crowns and crests. On the second page are those of 'The Prince Albert | The Duke of Cambridge | The Duchess of Kent | The Duchess of Mecklenburgh Strelitz | The Princess Mary of Cambridge'. On p.3 are 'The Duchess of Cambridge | The King of Hanover | The Duchess of Kent', and on p.4 four of the Duke of Parma, with another of the Duchess of Kent. The first ten numbered specimens are those of 'The Duke of Devonshire | The Prince Carini | Viscountess Sydney | Countess of Eglington | Viscount Castlerosse | Honble Augusta Chichester | Dowr Lady Templemore | Earl of Mountedgecombe | Duchess of Norfolk | Duchess of Richmond'. The other specimens include those of the Duke of Wellington, the Queen of Naples, the Earl of Dartmouth, Viscountess Melbourne. Among the gentry represented are the historian Thomas Babington Macaulay, Captain Edward Neville, 'Honble Mrs. Augustus Liddell', 'Mrs. Balfour' and 'Mrs. Smith Barry'. Occasional institutions are represented, most notably various Oxford colleges, but also including the Japan Archaeological Society and the House of Lords.