1672 Third Edition ~ First Glance

The spine and front cover. Photograph taken at the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books.

John Amos. Orbis Sensualium Pictus. 3th ed. London: 1672. Print.

The front and back cover of the book is dark brown and worn has been rounded at the corners which once used to be square. It is leather.  There is a lighter brown along the edge between the spine and the cover due to frequent opening.

The book is 16 cm long, 10cm wide and 3.1 cm thick. The leaves of the book however, are slightly smaller than the book as they are measured as 15.4 cm in Length and 9.4 cm in width.

The paper is clearly laid paper and has vertical chain lines. It is clearly an octavo.

The spine (more intact than the private copy 1777).

The spine itself is completely intact and dark leather brown as the two covers are. When the book was picked up at the Osborne Children’s Library it was safely placed inside a box.  All pages and gatherings are glued remaining in the codex.

Neither on the cover nor on the spine is there an inscription or ornaments in any form of tooling or engraving, however on the spine there are 4 ridges evenly spaced out. 

Pages worn out in, particularly around the corners. Picture taken at the Osbore Collection of Early Children’s Books.

There are no end papers as the book goes straight from the leather pages to the inside of the cover being a light gray with parts of the brown leather around it and then straight to the title page.

The page numbers are at the top centre page in brackets. Unlike the other two versions of the same work, this earlier version has an illustration on a separate page than the writing, whereas the other two contain an illustration on every page.

On the back of the title Page there is a quote from Genesis 2:19, 20 written at first in English and then in Latin beneath it. Each time the word “and” appears in English in Latin it is a symbol similar to an older stamp of an ampersand.


  1. There are no end pages
  2. The words within the work appear in Gothic as well as regular.
  3. In much better shape than the 1777 versions.
  4. The word “ORBIS” which appears on the title page appears to have been punctured in small dots as on the back of the title page leaf it appears to be slightly raised as if it was Braille yet it is not. It looks as if someone took a needle and did that to the word “ORBIS” only.

    Outer rectangle clearly demonstrates a pressing and the hatch crossing work shows it is metal work and not a woodcut. Picture taken at the Osborne Library.

  5. No cover tooling or ornaments in any way.
  6. There are random inscriptions throughout the book including right on the title page, yet it is not exactly marginalia. It looks more like a little child trying to get the letter “b” right by repeating it, and at some points there are actual signatures (will discuss at length in the “Marginalia/Inscription” category.


In this 1672 copy of the Orbis Pictus the illustrations are in fact pressed on the sheet with metal as one can see from the outer rectangle surrounding the image itself. By reading about Comenius’ grand work we can find that it is in fact copper that is used, though it is not a first glance observance.

The one obvious way the copper work stands out as different from the woodcuts is through the hatching work done on some illustrations which will be discussed in the “Illustrations” category.

 As mentioned previously each illustration takes place on a different page than the text.

This book contains circular illustrations as well and the first few pages also have elongated pictures however, they are different in content (how they are drawn).

Inside cover (both look similar light gray colour) Does not have endpapers the next page is directly title page.

Corner of front cover


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