Poems On Several Occasions
Birt and Feales, London, Vol. 3, 1733.
Binding: 10 x 16.5 x 2 cm. Calf binding, banded spine, decorated with gilt florets and acorns, two coloured title labels, gilt binding edges, red paper edges, illustrated
The unsigned portrait frontispiece is very nice, and, following a life of Prior by Samuel Humphreys, there is a full page engraving, signed by ‘G.V. dr Gucht’. Gerard Van der Gucht (also Vander Gucht or Vandergucht) (1696/7-1776) was a son of the Flemish engraver Michael Vander Gucht (1660-1725).
By adopting the French method of combining precise engraving with etched tones, he became one of the leading engravers in London, concentrating on the book trade. Matthew Prior (1664-1721) was a diplomat on behalf of William of Orange, rising to become under-secretary of state. His personal loyalties led him to join the Tory side, and he fell out of favour. Thackeray described his work as ‘amongst the easiest, the richest, the most charmingly humorous of English lyrical poems.’