Two fore-edge paintings, by different artists, decorate these matching attractive bindings. The ex libris in Merrick's Psalms reveals these volumes were bound for the Earl of Harcourt, George Harcourt. Both might be categorized as religious; Merrick's 1805 edition of his rhyming Psalms (quite beautiful) easily applies as religious, but the second book is a translation "from an Indian Manuscript", titled The Economy of Human Life ("To which is prefixed an account of the manner in which the said manuscript was discovered").
The simpler fishing fore-edge painting decorates The Economy of Life. The second, more detailed fore-edge painting, revealing The Pond and the Tower of London, decorates the Psalms of Merrick. The Psalms were sold by Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme, from whom it is not uncommon to find fore-edge paintings.
The Economy of Life includes 49 engravings.
Ex libris on the pastedown of the Psalms reveals the books were bound for the 2nd Earl of Harcourt, George Harcourt.
Physical Attributes -
The Psalms measures 18 x 11 x 3 cm; there are some gilt fillet borders, the title is in gilt, and the board edges are rolled in a gilt cord. The Psalms has all edges gilt (AEG) and marbled flyleafs. 389 numbered pages.
The Economy measures 18.25 x 11 x 1.5 cm, with a matching binding. 119 numbered pages.
See pictures.Some shelf wear and rubbing at the edges. The Economy has a (hard to see) front joint repair. The Psalms has a line impressed upon front board. Psalms has two ex-libris on pastedown, and a description is pasted in. The Psalms text block looks to be in nice condition with no writing, tears or spots. The economy has some annotations and a 1799 gift inscription on the back of the flyleaf and the blank front endpaper. No writing or tears in text block of The Economy, occasional light spots.
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