Z is for…

Zodiac Planet Man

The ‘Zodiac Planet Man’ from Hore beatissime Virginis Marie ad legitimum Sarisburiensis Ecclesie ritum (1534)


A volume for the spiritual begins with the corporeal, the temporal, in this beautifully illustrated Sarum Book of Hours: meet ‘Zodiac Planet Man’. A truly splendid example of the continuing desire to own private devotional literature in the handpress era, this edition, printed in Paris for the English market, is one of just three known copies in existence today.



Image of the Dodo from Historia religionis veterum Persarum, eorumque magorum (1700)


Secreted away in a large, illustrated history of the religion of ancient Persia, authored by the gifted orientalist and librarian Thomas Hyde, is Dodo avis. The poor creature gracing Plate VII was barely extinct at the time of publication (1700) and is here engraved by the Dutch artist Michael Burghers. The engravings of Burghers can also be found in the devices, initials, head- and tailpieces of several Oxford printings from that period, such as the W initial used here in this exhibition.