Printed on vellum. Folio (285 x 185 mm).  leaves, clxiii, ; , 84, 4, 4, , 11 pp.  leaf. 2 blank leaves at front and 4 at back. Title with Grolier Club device, three engraved vignettes by Max Rosenthal in the first part (Fowler’s introduction), unsigned lithograph on a separate leaf at the end of the introduction (included in the pagination), showing William Bradford’s tombstone, woodcut or linocut ornamental initials, final leaf with De Vinne press device. Bound in black morocco, t.e.g., others untrimmed, by Denis Gouey. Provenance: personal copy of the printer Theodore Low De Vinne, bookplate; Bernard Breslauer, inserted collation notes on The Ritz London stationery, and carbon copy of a letter sent by him to Decherd Turner, July 19, 1997, plus a clipping from the bookseller’s catalogue from which he purchased the book; sale, Christie’s New York, part 3, 27-28 June 2005, lot 1134.***
A fine association copy: the exemplaire de tête, printed on vellum, retained by the printer for his private collection, from a total edition of 315 copies, of which 312 copies on hand-made paper and three copies on vellum, of a facsimile of the founding laws of the colony of New York. The first part consists of a long historical introduction by Robert Ludlow Fowler. The Facsimile was made from the Lenox Library copy, as explained in a two-page note from the Publication Committee (pp. 172-173). The book was published by the Grolier Club on the occasion of its tenth anniversary, and the other two vellum copies were auctioned off at the tenth annual members’ meeting, on 21 February 1894. A copy of the Grolier Club invitation to that meeting, as well as the 4-page illustrated prospectus for the book (both of which were printed by de Vinne), are loosely inserted, along with the aforementioned documents from Bernard Breslauer. Mr. Breslauer collected books on vellum, and in the inserted 1997 letter to Decherd Turner he announced his acquisition of this, his fifth Americanum on vellum.
Theodore Low de Vinne was one of the nine founding members of the Grolier Club, and he printed most of its publications until his death. “His encyclopedic understanding of the craft, his advancement of its technology and design, his appreciation of its history, his business leadership, and his many writings earned him, among his contemporaries, the designation `Dean of American Printers’” (APHA website, The De Vinne Centennial, Feb. 16. 2014). Item #3187