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John Sturt engraver

John Sturt engraving of Elizabeth and Mary
John Sturt engraving of Elizabeth and Mary
The Character of Queen Elizabeth, 1693
The Character of Queen Elizabeth, 1693
The Character of Queen Elizabeth, 1693
The Character of Queen Elizabeth, 1693
John Sturt's  Common Prayer engraved on silver plates
John Sturt's Common Prayer engraved on silver plates

 

The Character of Queen Elizabeth by Edmund Bohum

illustrated by John Sturt, 1693

John Sturt (1658–1730) was a well known English engraver in his time and is popularly known as an illustrator of  Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. Much of his work were the frontispieces to publications of the day. Our copy of The Character of Queen Elizabeth by Edmund Bohun, printed in London in 1693, includes a typical example of one such engraving. Signed 'I Sturt Sculp', it seems to be little recorded in library cataloguing. 

John Sturt's speciality was the practise of very fine, often minutely detailed engraving; both decorative and calligraphic. His masterpiece is often considered to be a Book of Common Prayer, not printed, but both text and illustrations engraved in meticulous detail by hand on 188 silver plates.

Other extraordinary works executed by Sturt include; an engraving of the 'Lord's Prayer' within the space of a silver halfpenny, 'The Creed' in that of a silver penny, and an 'Elegy on Queen Mary' so small that it could be inserted in a finger-ring. 

Despite his skills, Sturt died in penury in 1730.