Two watercolour books kept by an English schoolboy, Henry Moore (born 1831), between the ages of fourteen and seventeen.more...
They are exceptional not for orthodox artistic merit, though they are fine (and sometimes compelling) examples of British naive art, but for their depiction of some of the minutiae of provincial domestic life. Henry was evidently an observant adolescent, who, in addition to making painstaking portraits of his family and views of his local surroundings, recorded such charming details as the pattern on the bedroom carpet at home, a flycatcher’s nest tucked into an iron gate-hinge and the elaborate icing on a traditional English ‘Twelfth Cake’.
A child of the English Midlands, Henry Moore was son of a canal agent at Stone in Staffordshire, a small town on the Trent and Mersey Canal, just South of Stoke on Trent and the Potteries. Many of the best images in his notebooks are of details of the Stone Navigation Office, suggesting the family lived on site, and he includes a fine study of the red brick and slate roofs of the rear of the office, and views of the cart shed, the cow house, the flower garden gate, the strong room, the check office, canal bridges, factory chimneys and a nearby windmill. There are also full- and double-page images of the town and its neighbouring buildings, among which the imposing red brick workhouse is outstanding. He also takes a boy’s interest in boats and trains, with two typical canal boats and a railway engine.
He makes portraits of his younger siblings, girls and boys in contemporary dress and takes pleasure in recording possessions at home: ‘mama’s opal bottle’, ‘mama’s bread-pan’, ‘mama’s great [Staffordshire] jug’, a piano, a Christmas plum pudding, candlesticks, brushes, a mother-of-pearl bookmark and several domestic fabric patterns. There are also records of trips further afield: with boats on the Severn and Mersey, the organ at Worcester, while an intriguing sequence shows domestic details of a particular house in Calthorpe Street, [Bloomsbury, London], with a parlour and bed, carefully depicted.
He was sent to boarding school at Bromsgrove, another canal town some 60 miles away in neighbouring Worcestershire, where he attended the Free School, then undergoing a tercentenary rejuvenation under pioneering schoolmaster John Day Collis (see Oxford DNB). Here, Moore made views of the new school buildings and of the church from the school playground. According to the school records he seems to have been a model student, winning a prize every year and earning a scholarship to Oxford, where he went up to Worcester College in 1849. He took both a BA and MA, became a fellow in the course of 15 years spent at Oxford. He apparently then became a cleric in London.
Moore also includes numerous imaginative scenes, usually rather more crudely drawn than those from life: many are of soldiers in uniform and several are of circus performers. He clearly had access to books too, and there are copies of scenes from Francis Edward Paget’s Hope of the Katzekopfs; Or, the Sorrows of Selfishness. A Fairy Tale (1846), Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit (1843), Moule’s English Counties (1837), Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Hamlet, Shaw’s Travels (1746 and several later editions) and the ‘Panorama of the Battle of Sabraon’ (exhibited 1846, and perhaps seen either in the flesh or via published engravings). .see full details
A typical Victorian handwriting copybook, devoting a page to each letter of the alphabet, with a single sentence, phrase of word repeated over several lines, the text of varying size.more...
‘All thy commandments are righteousness’; ‘Be ye angry and sin not’; ‘Fulminate’; ‘Knowledge is Power’, ‘Mathematician’; ‘Obrometer’, ‘Vice is attended with sorrow’; ‘X begins no word in the English language’. The sequence is broken in two places, with 2 pages of elementary mathematical exercises, and the last page is signed ‘William Blundell June 29th 1868 in Sussex’..see full details
One of the most popular eighteenth-century English books of poetry for children — more than a dozen editions over the next fifty years. Cotton, a physician by training (at Leiden, under Hermann Boerhaave) ran a private lunatic asylum in St. Albans and he is now best remembered for his kindness and care for Cowper during Cowper's first period of insanity.see full details
A suite of very finely engraved floral arrangements, two or three per plate, that could be used as models for embroidery and decoration.more...
The fine engravings are the work of Nicolas Dufour (1725–c. 1818), although the publisher, Francis Vivares, was himself a celebrated engraver. From around 1750 he kept a print shop in Great Newport Street. He had previously published another pattern book of 6 plates, A new book of flowers. Drawn from nature by August[i]n Heckel [and engraved by Hemerick] (1761) and later A book of different trophies (1769), once again with 6 plates. The note in the National Art Library catalogue (V&A) for the 1761 work could equally apply to the present work: This charming set of six prints has a title page showing two loose posies of flowers and then five more plates each with three different single flower stems on each plate.
The flowers are not named but include tulip, lily of the valley, iris, carnation, rose, poppy, pansy and honeysuckle. This gives some idea of the range of flowers popular in the middle of the eighteenth century. This set of prints could be enjoyed by their owner just as prints or could have been purchased as inspiration for pastimes and trades such as watercolour painting, embroidery, engraving on silver objects or inlaying in wood.
The 1761 work is in the V&A; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, has a suite with the same title and date as the present but larger plates and priced 1s 6d. I have not traced any other copies and only the Trophies is in the Berlin catalogue (no. 270)..see full details
First edition in English, very rare, of this celebrated treatise on inventions and origins, including accounts of the inception of printing, theatre, mathematics, medicine, magic, religion, law, government, prostitution and warm baths.more...
First published in Latin in 1499 (Venice) and augmented in 1521, it digested a huge mass of classical, biblical and contemporary learning and became a Renaissance bestseller with as many as 30 Latin editions alone appearing before the author’s death in 1555. The 1546 English translation, an abridgement by Thomas Langley, did not appear until 1546, by which time the Urbino-born Polydore had been resident in England for several decades. A diplomat, scholar and historian Vergil counted Desiderius Erasmus, Thomas More, Cuthbert Tunstall, Thomas Linacre and Baldessare Castiglione among his acquaintances and correspondents (Oxford DNB).
Issued no less than three times in 1546, this English edition is remarkably rare. We can find only this copy at auction in the last 50 years.
The work is divided into eight books, from which Langley makes succinct abridgements, of which a selection of chapter headings gives a flavour:
I. 9. ‘The begynnyng of Tragedies, Comedies, Satyres, and newe Comedies; 11. ‘Who founde Musyke’; 12. ‘Who found Musicall instruments’; 14. ‘Astrologie’; 15. ‘Who fonde Geometrie, Artihmetike’; 16. ‘Physike’; 17. ‘The inventours of herbes medicinable’; 18. ‘The beginnyng of Magike’; 19. ‘Two kyndes of divination’.
II. 1. ‘The originall of lawes’; 2. ‘Who ordeyned the first gouvernaunces’; 6. ‘Who set furth books fyrst, or made a library, Printyng, paper, parchement, arte of memory’ (which includes the observation: ’Truely the com[m]odite of liberaries is right profitable & necessary, but in co[m]parison of the crafte of printyng it is nothyng, both because one ma[n] may printe more in one day, then many men in many years could wryte: And also it preserveth both Greke & Latine auctours fro the dau[n]ger of corruption. It was found in Germany at Mogunce [Mainz] by one J. Guthenbergus a knight , he found moreover the Inke by his devise that printers used ...)’
Among other entries we find treatments of: war, Olympiades, plays, metals, coins, painting, ‘wyne, oyle, honye, chese, and strange trees broughte into Italy’, labyrinths, theatres, prostitution and brothels, and Christian and Moslem origins and customs.
Provenance: Sotheby’s, June 14th, 1965, lot 231 (Traylen, £55); Blackwell, Centenary Catalogue, 1979, item 27, £450; private collection..see full details
First edition of this important illustrated serial with 250 picturesque views of British country houses and other architectural monuments, containing the earliest engravings after drawings by the young Turner (views of Rochester and Chepstow castles).more...
Working for Walker and The Copper-plate Magazine, for which he was paid 2 guineas per drawing, opened Turner’s career as a professional topographical artist.
‘William Walker ... was a gifted artist responsible for a wide variety of engraved portraits, historical scenes, and views, including landscapes after Paul Sandby, and his neat work graced many of the most handsome illustrated books of the period. John Walker (fl. 1784–1802), engraver, the only son of William Walker, was responsible for The Copper-Plate Magazine, or, Monthly Cabinet of Picturesque Prints (1792–1802), a much esteemed compilation which he engraved and published and which gave employment to the young J. M. W. Turner. Walker had learned his craft under his father, with whom he frequently worked in collaboration (Laurence Worms in Oxford DNB).
A selection from the earlier volumes of this work was also issued in a different form by Walker (completed in 1799), with the title The Itinerant, a title visible in the upper left-hand corner of some of the plates here..see full details
The celebrated life of a colourful swindler and impostor, first published in 1745 and reprinted numerous times.more...
This is one of two editions printed for Buckland, Bathurst and Davies in 1793. The final 5 pages contain a notable cant dictionary.
Carew fell in with a band of gypsies as a wayward young boy. “After a year and a half Carew returned home for a time, but soon after resumed a career of swindling and imposture, which saw him deceive people to whom he had previously been well known. Eventually he embarked for Newfoundland, but stayed only a short time. On his return to England he passed as the mate of a vessel, and eloped with the daughter of a respectable apothecary from Newcastle upon Tyne, whom he later married.
Carew soon returned to the nomadic life, and when Clause Patch, a Gypsy king or chief, died Carew was elected his successor. He was convicted of being an idle vagrant, and sentenced to be transported to Maryland. On his arrival he attempted to escape, but was captured and made to wear a heavy iron collar; he escaped again, and encountered some Native Americans, who removed his shackles. On departure he travelled to Pennsylvania. He was then said to have swum the Delaware River, after which he adopted the guise of a Quaker, and made his way to Philadelphia, then to New York, and finally to Boston, where he embarked for England. He escaped impressment on board a man-of-war by pricking his hands and face, and rubbing in bay salt and gunpowder, so as to simulate smallpox” (John Ashton, rev. Heather Shore in Oxford DNB).
This biography is variously attributed to Bampfylde Moore Carew himself, to Robert Goadby and also to his wife, Mrs. Goadby. .see full details
An attractive Quaritch facsimile portfolio with examples of medieval letter and number forms in manuscript and print, beginning with the eighth-century St. Cuthbert Gospel and including several other British Museum/Library manuscripts, together with early wood- and metalcut initials..see full details
Second edition, a reissue of the 1799 edition with a new title.more...
Middleton’s designs include several cottages ornés, typical of the contemporary Picturesque movement, substantial villas, a public bath, a court house, an observatory, greenhouses, an aviary, a ‘gothick chapel’ and tea houses in the form of a Chinese temple and a Turkish temple. ‘…Middleton adopted a manner of illustration that was peculiarly his own. The designs are etched in a nervous line that obscures smaller details but delineates significant features of the building design and surrounding scenery, but also contributes an uncommon liveliness and animation to the illustration as a whole. The plates are further distinguished by bright, sometimes garish color in in ocher, salmon, pale green, bright green and bright blue tints.’ (Archer, Literature of British domestic Architecture 1715-1842, 1985, 206.4 (1799 edition with identical plates).
Middleton trained in architectural draughtsmanship under James Paine, gaining admission to the Royal Academy in 1779, before being employed by Henry Holland around 1783. He superintended Holland’s works at Carlton House..see full details
First edition in French of Dunallan; or, Know what you judge (1825); the last published (but first written) work of this once much-read Scottish novelist (1782-1825).more...
‘Grace Kennedy's novels (at least eight) were all published anonymously and rapidly in the early 1820s, and met with considerable success, being reissued late into the nineteenth century ...’ (Oxford DNB). .see full details
First edition, a rare and unusual children’s book, with fine engravings after the sixteenth-century drawings by Giuseppe Porta (known as ‘Salviati’).more...
‘Lewis developed into one of the most prolific, skilled, and versatile printmakers of his time. He was commissioned by William Young Otley to reproduce master drawings for the three-volume work The Italian School of Design, published between 1808 and 1823, and he engraved after works by such prominent contemporary artists as Sir Thomas Lawrence, Thomas Girtin, Franz Winterhalter, Sir Edwin Landseer, Richard Bonington, and J. M. W. Turner’ (Oxford DNB)
The subscribers list includes Francis Douce, William Young Ottley, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Samuel Rogers and Dawson Turner. The book was issued in two forms: on large paper with the illustrations as plates on India paper, and, as here, in chapbook form with illustrations and text combined. Both are are..see full details
First edition, Roscoe’s second issue, Fleeman’s fourth state.more...
First published in December 1764 Goldsmith’s philosophical poem is the first of his works to bear his name on the title-page. Taking its cue from from the French philosophes the poem is recounted by a lonely wanderer observing the character of the inhabitants of the nations, noting the effects of climate and the deleterious influence of wealth and luxury.
‘Where wealth and freedom reign, contentment fails, / And honor sinks where commerce long prevails’.
Samuel Johnson contributed lines 420 and 429-38 (and reviewed the work for the Critical Review, Dec. 1764). Goldsmith made numerous early revisions and this copy is an example of the fourth state (Fleeman)..see full details
An abridgement for children of Milton’s account of Adam and Eve, by the celebrated actress Sarah Siddons (1755-1831). Siddons’ admiration for Milton was lifelong: ‘By the age of ten she was already responsive to the poetry of Milton … Perhaps his curious combination of sensuality and austerity gave particular satisfaction to this girl who, as a woman said that she feared to play Shakespeare’s Cleopatra as she should be played’. After her official retirement in 1813, Siddons gave frequent dramatic readings of Milton and Shakespeare – as represented by Lawrence’s portrait of her with works by both authors –and Paradise Lost was her preferred text. Manvell suggests that Milton’s ‘strong dramatic sense and the grandeur of his rhetoric must have excited her’, but Siddons also saw the merits of his material for a juvenile audience. As she describes in the Preface to the present work, she completed her abridgements for the use of her own children that they might develop ‘an early admiration’ of Milton, and now chooses to issue them for public consumption. The work provoked particular invective from the London Magazine, which acknowledged Siddons’ greatness but was aggravated by her Miltonian foray: ‘could she really condescend to become an authoress on the strength of an eighteen-penny copy of paradise lost and a pair of scissors?’ The reviewer accuses John Murray of being blinded by Siddons’ fame in his agreement to publish the work. The Story of our first Parents was issued in the same year under the separate title, Abridgement of Paradise Lost, which is identical in every other respect. Perhaps the variants were intended to appeal to separate adult and juvenile audiences..see full details
A fable in verse by the abolitionist, poet, translator—and creator of landscapes in feathers—Susanna Watts (1768-1842). Watts urges readers not to be misled by the diminutive size of her insect protagonists: ‘The following little fable is not presented to the Public as a mere bagatelle of amusement suggested by the fashionable popularity of Entomology, but under a serious, anxious, and most sincere desire to inculcate respect and tenderness towards all the inferior creatures’. Indeed, animal cruelty was a particular bête noir of Watts, as was slavery, and she published widely on these topics, producing an anti-slavery periodical entitled The Humming Bird (twelve numbers, 1824–5). The Insects in Council encompasses both issues, as when Dragonfly implores his friend the Emmet: ‘Come, free all your slaves, and deserve our / Applause, / And nobly unite in our patriot cause!’. After Watts’ death, the discovery of her scrapbook revealed a remarkable breadth of interests, with entries of poems, mementoes, statistics, portraits (many of women writers), and data on Hindu and Arabic languages, as well as detailed diagrams of the hold of a slave ship. The extraordinary landscapes which she crafted from feathers won a medal from the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce (ODNB). .see full details
First edition, extremely scarce, of this dramatic allegory of Anglo-Irish relations.more...
Trotter’s is a grown-up fairy tale, a masque-like play in which the dramatis personae are given both dramatic and Spenserian allegorical names. The Queen becomes England, Judith is Ireland and the eponymous Cindabright is also the Irish Patriot. A lengthy note explains that Judith’s dialogue references ‘the past state of a country abandoned to all the disadvantages of exclusion from a share in the social and political happiness and prosperity’. Trotter uses to explore a Spenserian world in which Ireland has recourse to question its historical treatment by the English. Trotter believes in the merit of fairies, which here represent Sentiment; she likes ‘their mystified nothings, through which we may detect beautiful wit at times’. In a common refrain over the loss of innocence, Trotter prefixes Cindabright by wondering, ‘Have the wonderful discoveries of modern science put to flight our pleasant fairies, with all their train of fancy play?’ Ultimately, Trotter need not have worried that ‘giant steam, with his real wonders’ would overpowered the products of make believe, for alongside the industrial revolution developed the peculiar Victorian preoccupation with fairies, most obviously articulated in era’s relative profusion of fairy paintings and stories. Seldom however are these corralled into patriotic invective, as here..see full details
First edition, rare, of this book of forty poems for children.more...
The poems herein Include ‘Hymn’ by Amelia Opie (1769-1853), ‘The Angels’ Call’ by Felicia Hemans, ‘The Irish Maiden’s Song’ by Bernard Barton (1784-1849), ‘To My infant Boy’ by the Scottish novelist Leitch Ritchie (1800-1865), and ‘Youth’ by William Howitt, amongst others, as well as works anonymous on devotional themes. In her Preface, Hall explains that she was driven to choose largely devotional material, which ‘is selected (by the kind permission of friends) from various sources, for which [she begs] ‘most respectfully to thank all, as well as for some new contributions’. The first of the charming illustrations is the frontispiece vignette representation of ‘The Orphan’s Prayer’, after a poem in the volume by the Rev. Henry Stebbing..see full details
‘Second state’, expanded from the first edition of 1828 and on large paper.more...
An anthology by the Scottish-Indian poet Catherine Eliza Richardson (1777-1853). Although often referred to as Caroline, Richardson was born Catherine Eliza Scott in Canobie, Dumfrieshire. At twenty-two she travelled to India, whereupon she met and married her cousin Gilbert Geddes Richardson. She lived in Madras for her entire married life and for twelve years after her husband’s death, returning to Scotland in 1827 to take solace in ‘the company of her nearest remaining friends, and in the rural scenes which had been dear to her since childhood’. These ‘rural scenes’ dominate the present work, to the extent that her Indian experiences are eclipsed almost entirely by the Romantic iconography of the borders and minstrelsy. Verses such as ‘Kirk-Maiden of Galloway’ and ‘Lines for the Anniversary of Burns’ pleased contemporary reviewers; Chambers’ Edinburgh Journal praised Richardson’s ‘striking originality of thought’. First, second and third editions of Poems appeared in the first year of publication, each with amendments. This ‘second series’ is a more luxurious production, on larger paper of a superior quality, and with a handful of new poems..see full details