A Compleat Collection of English Proverbs

Some woodcuts from “A Compleat Collection of English Proverbs Be Your Gods” by John Ray, 1737. John Ray was a clergyman and a biologist and naturalist; he was born on the 29th day of June, 1628, and named John Wray; he changed his name to Ray when he was 42. He died in 1705.

John Ray Initiative

[picture: Title Page]

Title Page

Title Page from John Ray’s book of English proverbs. [more...]

[picture: Chapter Heading Woodcut featuring Neptune and Mermaids]

Chapter Heading Woodcut featuring Neptune and Mermaids

A decorative woodcut from above the Introduction; it is not related to the text. The engraving features Neptune, the God of the Ocean; he is naked, crowned, complete with trident, and rides a chariot with [...] [more...]

[picture: Initial Letter T Woodcut]

Initial Letter T Woodcut

A decorative initial letter “T” used as a drop cap (drop capital). It features palm trees and buildings in the background, perhaps intended to be evocative of the Holy Land. [more...]

[picture: Chapter Heading Woodcut featuring Eagle]

Chapter Heading Woodcut featuring Eagle

This decorative woodcut was at the start of the preface; the woodcuts do not appear to bear any relation to the text, but are purely decorative. This one features an eagle, the symbol of the Roman Empire, and,more recently, or the German [...] [more...]

[picture: Initial letter B Woodcut]

Initial letter B Woodcut

A decorative initial letter “B” used as a drop cap (drop capital) at the start of a paragraph. The woodut (or wood engraving) shows a tree and a building in the background. I have included multiple sizes, including 100x100 and 64x64 pixels, for use as avatars, as well as the [...] [more...]

[picture: Chapter Heading woodcut featuring a flaming heart]

Chapter Heading woodcut featuring a flaming heart

This decorative woodcut was used at the top of the first page of a chapter or section, as a decorative element. It features a heart on a pillar; there are flames bursting out of the [...] [more...]

[picture: Detail: burning heart]

Detail: burning heart

A bad case of heartburn or a romantic metaphor? This heart on a pillar with flames coming out of it is a detail from a chapter head. I also made the heart is also a available by itself, without the flames or ornate pedastal or halo. [more...]

[picture: Detail: engraved heart]

Detail: engraved heart

A wood engraving of a heart, taken from a $ this chapter head woodcut.

[picture: Chapter end decoration: eagles]

Chapter end decoration: eagles

A decoration centered after the text of a chapter. I’ve made lots of sizes so you can use it on Web page. The woodcut was clearly fairly old and damaged, and it is not [...] [more...]

[picture: Chapter Heading Woodcut Featuring Soldiers on Horesback with Spears]

Chapter Heading Woodcut Featuring Soldiers on Horesback with Spears

A decorative woodcut from above the section entitled Proverbs and Proverbial Observsations cocerning Husbandry, Weather, and the Seasons of the Year. It is not related to the text. The engraving features a battle of warriors or soldiers with spears and shields. I suspect it is based on the carved side of an ancient Hellenistic (Greek) sarcophagus thought [...] [more...]

[picture: Chapter end decoration: cherubs]

Chapter end decoration: cherubs

Two cherubs (naked, winged children) sit amongst ornate rococo foliage, apparently discoursing. This decoration was used to fill space at the end of a chapter, and to show that the text had ended. [more...]



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