Title: Illuminated Address. Presented to Henry Thomas Mills, Deritend, 1908
Author: Frank Steeley
Condition: Very Good
An early 20th century illuminated, and handwritten address produced by Frank Steeley, presented to Henry Thomas Mills, the former Superintendent of St. John the Baptist’s Church Day and Sunday School, for nearly 50 years of service, as well as his other roles and services, including being chairman of the Day School Managers, representative of the Deritend Chapel Estates Trust, and trustee of Dowell’s Charity.
The address comprises of 6 hand painted and illuminated pages mounted on boards, with illuminated gilt initials, text in red and black, and decorative compartments with different scenes to the margins.
The opening page contains views of St. John’s Church, and the Schools and Chapel House. There is also a celestial crown and rays, as well as the coat of arms displaying the crest and motto of Birmingham. The scrolls coming from the large initial letter T end in laurel leaves spreading throughout the entire page.
The second page is decorated with blue bells, suggesting church bells in memory of John Rogers, whose portrait bust is shown in the middle panel. The emblem of the Trinity is present as well, surmounted by the lamp of learning and knowledge. There is a winged hourglass underneath the words “50 years”, indicating the flight of time.
The third page displays a view of old St. John’s Church in the 14th century, at the top panel with the golden cross and the monogram of the Society of Jesus, with the Mirror of Truth below. The central panel has a view of the old Georgian table and church plate. The second church of St. John’s in 1730 is at the lower panel, where a fruitful vine-indicating the tree of life, is arranged above and below.
The fourth page features forget-me-nots, which form the theme of this page. There are views of Warner Street Retreat, a portrait of Reverent T. Cox, as well as D.D. and Aston Church, with the flaming heart with the word “Caritas”, or Charity. There is also an open book with the words “Biblia Sacra”, representing Mr. Mills’ prize for scriptural knowledge.
The fifth page has a view of St. Martin’s Parish Church, with the Mural Crown above referencing the emblem for some town or city. The Rose of England has reference to the church. There is also a monogram of H.T.M surrounded by branches, signifying honor to Mr. Mills.
The final leaf has a view of St. Philip’s Cathedral Church in an architectural panel, with additional panels containing instruments which would be used by an architect or surveyor
The last two pages are signed by various past and present faculty, and other members of the church.
Enclosed is a finely handwritten description of the address, explaining the illuminations and details to every page.
Of Frank Steeley, he was a graduate of the School of Art at Birmingham and became a graphic designer.
This illuminated address has been bound in a beautiful red crushed morocco by E Worral of Birmingham, with gilt edges, and floral designs and a gilt border to the front board.
One finely bound illuminated address in folio (38 x 34 cm), 6 illuminated leaves mounted on boards
On note of condition, this illuminated address is in very good shape, with minimal rubbing to the binding. There is very light foxing to the pages, and slightly heavier foxing to the mounted boards. Several letters and designs are faded. The mounted boards have curved slightly.