London: W. Alard and J. Browne, 1770. First edition. 5 1/4 x 8 1/8. (21 cm) Frontis, (10) Preface, 502, (4) Contents pages + 24 extra leaves of Caslon's ornament specimen. This extra, inserted specimen, printed by T. Wright on rectos only, collates [ ]4, I4, *I4, K-M4. It is printed on heavy weight laid paper with no discernible watermark. Modern marbled boards & quarter calf with leather label. There is a closed tear in the margin of p. 170, and the lower corner of p. 421 is torn away, affecting the border. Near fine. Item #15021
Pages 133-168 are a Caslon specimen of type faces with foreign types, music type, and printer's flowers. Pages 169-174 are a Cottrell specimen including Doomesday type. Despite Luckombe's title, his book is primarily a printer's manual, drawing on Ames, Smith, Moxon, and Fertel. This is the first issue of the first edition, without the author's name. It is probably the prettiest such manual, every page within a border and Caslon's printers' flowers throughout. It is Luckombe's tribute to Caslon "who brought the Art of Letter-Founding to its present perfection."
James Mosely's (JPHS No. 16 ) assignment of 1764 to Caslon's ornament specimen is commonly accepted. Copies are located at Cambridge and The Morgan Library. AAS has a unique Caslon specimen dated 1763 which includes the 24-leaf ornament specimen bearing the collation above. It is thought this 24-leaf ornament specimen was intended as a supplement to Leach's printing of the 1764 type specimen.