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Elias Ashmole’s Institution, laws, and ceremonies of the most noble Order of the Garter (1672)

S. 10. 4 (Oversize)

Elias Ashmole (1617- 1692), a collector and antiquary, wrote this volume shortly after the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II in 1660.

As I ever had a great veneration for the most Noble Order of the Garter, so must it needs be imagined, that I was accordingly much concerned, in the late unhappy times, to fee the honor of it trampled on, and it self sunk into a very low esteem among us.  That reflection put me upon thoughts … of doing something, that might inform the world of the Nobleness of its Institution, and the Glory which in process of time it acquired, both at home and abroad.

The elaborate folio was illustrated by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677), an engraver and etcher of complex and florid designs. The lavishness of the volume may have been inspired by contemporary events: Ashmole spent a large part of 1655 working on the book in the country as an escape from the Great Plague that was raging in London.

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