[ Sir John Bernard Burke, the pre-eminent genealogist of the Victorian age. ] Collection of material, from his papers, including around 350 proofs of coats of arms for his 'Dormant and Extinct Peerages', drawings, a tracing.

Sir John Bernard Burke (1814-1892), the pre-eminent genealogist of the Victorian age, and Ulster King of Arms
Publication details: 
[ London. ] 1865 and thereabouts.
SKU: 20325

The work for which these proofs were prepared, Burke's 'Genealogical History of the Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire', was published in London by Harrison in 1866, and was a revision of his father John Burke's 'General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerages [...] extinct, dormant, and in abeyance', first published in 1831, with a third edition in 1846. The present collection is largely in fair condition, on aged and worn paper, but with some of the items damaged. ONE: Approximately 350 proofs of engraved coats of arms of different families, for use at head of their entries in the volume. Each on a separate rectangle of paper ranging in size from 11 x 14 cm to around 13.5 x 15 cm. Each with the name of the family in question written in pencil at the foot, but not – with the exception of a handful of proofs – by Burke himself. Also present are a few of the same, with the margins trimmed down. TWO: Twenty engraved coats of arms, on a variety of different papers and cards, some presumably supplied to Burke by the families, for use as sources for the book's engravings. Including those of Sir Thomas E. M. Turton, the Hon P. C. Scarlett (with an accompanying leaf carrying the family motto), and the Kingsdown, Floyd and Buchanan families. Included is at least one bookplate. THREE: Detailed line engraving (around 16 x 12.5 cm) of a coat of arms (Crampton family?) with motto 'Fortem Posce Animum'. Pencil note (by Burke?), partly erased: '[…] like the plate sent probably it will be shorter by having the motto underneath'. On the reverse of the leaf, in Burke's hand: 'Sketches of arms for Peerage [last two words deleted] and Proofs of Arms of Popperts'. FOUR: Set of four 4to leaves, of light-grey paper, each with twelve ink drawings of coats of arms, each 4 x 3 cm, neatly arranged in four rows of three. The names of each family is given beneath the drawing, from 'Radcliffe | E. Derwentwater' to 'Sutton | B Dudley' and 'Lucy | B. Lucy' to 'Mortimer | E March'. Each of the leaves is stamped 'Rec[eive]d. | Oct 19 | 1865.' On one occasion the illustrations are on squares of paper, laid down on the leaf, and on another leaf two of the illustrations are similarly mounted. One leaf carries directions to the engraver in pencil: 'Please to mill the Lines exactly as marked on the Plate not reversed'. FIVE: Tracing, in pencil and ink, of design for gilt title in Gothic letters to be stamped on front cover: 'Burke's | Extinct & Dormant | Peerages.'