SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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PALMER, William.
Early Christian Symbolism. A series of compositions from fresco-paintings,glasses and sculptured sarcophagi

London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co, 1 Paternoster Square 1885.
London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co, 1 Paternoster Square 1885.

Folio. Completed in eight monthly parts, each part comprising four chromolithographic plates. Dedicated, by permission to his eminence Cardinal Newman. Light brown paper boards with buff coloured paper title page pasted to upper board. Title in black to spine. No plates have captions. Some plates are loose. Coloured plates in order: 1. Composition A. Of the Dispensation. A 1. Christ is seen as the Good Shepherd, with the lost sheep of human nature on his shoulders. Apostles are to his left and right. A 2. You see an illusion of baptism or spiritual birth. A 3. You see an illusion of the Eucharist, with baskets of bread. 2. Composition B. Of the Woman. B 1. Adam and Eve are seen to the right, with the coiled serpent around the tree of knowledge. At the top of the image, the world is drowned for sin by the flood, with Noah in a box representing the Ark. Moses is seen to the left - striking the rock (Christ). The two men on either side of the woman are the Apostles, Peter and Paul, pointing to the mother (woman) of the promised Saviour. B 2. You see a woman in an attitude of prayer. The two men, one on either side, are the Apostles representing the church, joining hands with her as if to receive the benefit of her prayers. B 3. A woman is again seen in prayer with two men on either side of her, but now the men have each one arm wrapped in the folds of their clothing, while with the other hand, they hold up on either side the arms of the woman at the elbows. 3. Composition C. Of the Rod. C 1a. Christ is seen with a rod in hand touching baskets of natural bread to change it to spiritual. C 1b - c. The bottom of two brittle glass calices or paterae. C 1d to g. [not coloured] C 2a & C 3c. You see the rod in the hands of Moses (top) and Peter (bottom). Moses is seen hitting the rock, while behind it are the Virgin and Child. Peter is hitting the rock, and a Gentile is catching water in his hands, in an allusion to baptism. C 2b & C 3d. [not coloured] 4. Composition D. Of the Two Apostles. D1. Christ is seated in the midst as the Teacher of the world, with a box containing the scrolls of the Scriptures at His feet. Six Apostles are on either side of him; only one on each side is seated. (Peter & Paul?). D 2a to e. The bottom of assorted glasses depicts; Christ in the air, St. Agnes, Saints Peter and Paul (the church), Maria and Moses striking the rock. D 2f [not coloured] 5. Composition E. of the Scriptures. E 1. Christ is seen seated between two boxes of scrolls containing the Scriptures of the two Testaments, with his hands raised in an attitude of teaching. E 1b - c. [not coloured] E 2d. [not coloured] E 3e 1. The two Apostles are seated (Christ is now no longer visible between them) with two boxes of scrolls between them on the ground. They look to be conferring with each other. E 3e 2. Glass figure of Christ in the air giving his blessing to the two Apostles. E 3f to i. Figures of the four Evangelists, beginning with St. Matthew pointing to a star. 6. Composition F. Of the Eucharist. F 2e to h. A basket of bread, with a glass of red wine in the middle of it, placed on the back of a fish - signifying the Eucharist. (f -g) A dove perched on a spray with bunches of grapes and two lambs between an altar of turf with a pail of milk set on top of it [spiritual food] (g - h). Christ, with the rod of divine power, is touching the baskets of bread on one side, on the other the water-pots (e) (sepia). F 3i to l. Images of sacrifice (i -l) and Peter is receiving the power and spirit of Christ (k) (sepia). 7. Composition G. Of the Sacraments. G 1. A Bishop seated in a stone chair, raised by several steps, is laying his right hand on the head of a Clerk. Two Presbyters stand on either side of the Clerk. G 2d. The six Sacraments. G 2g. A glass bottom. G 2b. A Baptism. G 3c. A Baptism. G 3e. A priest giving absolution to a kneeling penitent. On the right, the figure of Jonas is seen giving thanks on dry land, having escaped the jaws of hell. On the left, we see a figure carrying his bed and walking. G 3f. A woman who has spent all she has on earthly physicians, and benefited nothing, is sought at last to Christ (sepia). 8. Composition H. Of the Martyrs. H 1. Christ seen in the middle with a lamb around his shoulders and two sheep at his feet. The scenes depicted left and right contain the symbolic suffering of the Martyrs; Daniel is praying among the lions, and three Hebrew children are praying amid flames. H 2. A winged angel above a victorious Christian (?) is pulled along in a golden chariot by four plumed horses. H 3 [missing] 9. Composition I. Of the Virgin. I 1. In the middle, you see the Blessed Virgin standing in an attitude of prayer with a dove at her feet. To the right, five prudent virgins of the parables waiting to go to the banquet; to the left, the same five virgins now admitted to the marriage feast of the King enjoying paradise. I 2 a - b. the Annunciation and the Blessed Virgin and Saviour in her arms. I 2 c - d. A Bishop seated in a stone chair is seen giving a veil to a Christian virgin and is pointing her attention to the Blessed Virgin (d), who sits at some distance opposite her in a stone chair with the infant Jesus in her arms. 10. Composition K. Of Susanna. K 1. The central figure is Susanna (the church) in an attitude of prayer. On one side of her are two youthful men displaying an attitude of accusation; on the other side, there is a house door opening to a garden with a senior man coming out with an attitude of enquiry on his face. K 2. A Jew and a Gentile place their hands on the head of Susanna, the Church. K 3. Susanna (the church) holds the Scriptures' scrolls as the shield of innocence across her breast while an old Jew and an elderly Gentile spy on her from behind two trees (sepia). 11. Composition L. Of Nabuchodonosor and Herod. L 1a. Nabuchodonosor is seen in the dress of a Roman Emperor with guards standing by (sepia). L 1b. Three Hebrew children are standing before the golden image of the King, to which an officer is pointing. L 1c. The same three Hebrew children are seen in a furnace, praying for God's deliverance. L 2. Herod holds his hand to his breast. The Magi, with their gifts in their hands and the star above, stand before him in an attitude of respect. L 3. The Magi, with their gifts, come to worship Christ in His Mother's arms. 12. Composition M. Of the Ships. M 1. [missing] M 2. The ship of the world with mariners, casting out Jonas out into the sea into the jaws of a monster. M 3. The ship of the world, instead of persecuting others, is itself being wrecked and submerged by the waves. The hand of God is seen saving the elect, who trust in Him and pray to Him, and saves them that they should not perish with the rest of the world. 13. Composition N. Of the Sign of the Prophet Jonas. N 1. At the top is seen Christ raising Lazarus from the dead; below, you see (from right) the shop from which Jonas is being cast out; Jonas under a latticed arbour, covered by the gourd, signifying the refreshment of the souls of the just in paradise; Jonas issuing from the mouth of the monster (resurrection). [There are 2 examples of this plate] N 2. Jonas, under the scorching heat of the sun (persecution). N 3. Jonas reclining in a less thickly covered arbour with fewer gourds, perhaps representing a state between death and resurrection? [2 examples of this plate]. 14. Composition O. Of Baptism and Burial. O 1. The Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. The Holy Ghost descends upon Him from above as a dove. O 1a to l. Assorted religious symbols. [There are 2 examples of this plate]. O 2. How the ordinary niches appear ranged one above the other in the Catacombes. O 3. A representation of the Blessed Virgin and Child. [2 examples of this plate].