Direct Comparison


1777 copy (Left) 1672 Copy (Right)
12th ed. 3rd ed.

1. One of the obvious differences whilst looking at the two books is that the 1672 has an outer layer rectangle which is proof that it was pressed down heavily at the printing press. This is one of the main differences in understanding why the 1672 copy is done in metal work and the 1777 in woodcuts.  In addition metal work can achieve cross-hatching and have smaller forms of shading whereas the woodcuts are more spaced out because if wood were to be carved so thinly it would break.  To be specific the metal work is “Copper” cuts. Some sources suggest that the first version of this book was first illustrated with woodcuts, then copper and then woodcuts again.

2. As mentioned the 1777 copy is 2 cm thick whereas the 1672 copy is 4 cm thick. Thus, the pages differ for the same exact content page.

3. A main difference between the two, and the reason why the thickness is a huge difference, is due to the fact that in the 1672 copy the illustrations are on a different page from the words/definitions. In the 1777 copy however, the words and illustrations are fit in the same page.

4. As is evident from this photo, the two copies are opened at the same section. As we can observe the image itself in content for “Air” is different in the two copies.

5. In addition, on the 1672 version of the book, the words in Latin appear in Gothic/Old English writing font, different from the 1777 which maintains the same font throughout.

Bellow is another comparative photograph so one may see the difference in size between the two:

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