Rare John Payne Engraving of Sir Edward Coke | 1629
Here we have an early British engraving of Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634) by John Payne (1607-1647). It looks like this print was created at the same time as Original Sin. Actually this uber rare piece was created in 1629, almost 400 years ago. Now check out the wild Fu Man Chu resting on the huge neck pillow. Outstanding.
The print is based on another portrait by an unknown artist. The engraving represents the book front piece to Coke's "The First Part of the Institute and Laws of England, 1628". The portrait is of Sir Edward Coke, Lord Chief Justice to England. Sounds important. The oval cartouche and lettered Prudens Qui Patiens is the Coke family crest and motto translates to "The Patient Man is Prudent."
Payne had considerable skill in engraving, and many of his portraits and title-pages have great merit. His chief work is the large engraving, done on two plates, of the great ship Sovereign of the Seas, built by Peter Pett at Deptford in 1637. John Evelyn in his Sculptura extols this engraving, as well as Payne's portraits of Dr. Alabaster, Sir Benjamin Rudyerd, and others. Among other portraits engraved by Payne were those of Bishop Joseph Hall, Bishop Lancelot Andrews, Sir Edward Coke, Hobson the Carrier, Sir James Ley, Christian of Brunswick, &c., and among the title-pages those to The Works of John Boys, D.D., 1629, and to Gerarde's Herball, 1633.
Antony Gerard wrote Payne's biography in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and stated in it that "Payne's fifty-three known plates, which bear dates between 1620 and 1639, and most of which are portrait frontispieces or title-plates to books, vary widely in quality. The worst are no better than those of many contemporaries, but the best, such as the portrait of Sir Benjamin Rudyerd of 1632, are outstanding". The National Portrait Gallery has four portraits of Payne, and attributes 55 works in their collection to him although some are "possibly by John Payne."
The Payne engraving measures 6" tall and 5" wide. The print looks to be attached to a paper backing. There are a few losses, creases and discoloration, especially in the corners. Please see all pics as they are part of the description.
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The patient man is prudent indeed. And so super old.