His Booke of Divers Devices
and Sortes of Pictures
compiled between 1592 and 1622
This full-size. limited edition facsimile of the unique manuscript in the Folger Shakespeare Library reveals much about everyday life in early modern England. Thomas Fella, born in 1556, was an accomplished writer, illustrator and calligrapher.
Emblems and epigrams were popular literary forms. An emblem consists of an allegorical illustration and a motto, followed by a short poem (an epigram) which interprets the text and image and conveys the emblem's moral message.
This fascinating book of emblems or "diverse devices" by Thomas Fella contains many illustrations like details of a typical period table setting -- square trenchers (wooden plates), knives to spear and bring food to the plate, a covered salt cellar, one fork (for cooking, not eating), and one cup to be shared. The beverage in another cup is being mulled at the fire, and a dog eagerly awaits tidbits -- that reveal many details of typical period activities.
In addition to the more than 160 illustrations, the editors have included a biography, notes on the illustrations and more.
Sanford, Martin and Blatchly, John. Hardcover, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-9564-5841-4. Editions limited to 300.