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
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, 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
A striking manuscript sample book, made by Joseph de Rosny (1771-1814), who had been a prolific playwright, novelist, journalist and poet of the Revolutionary period.more...
The manuscript opens with designs for inscriptions to the Imperial family (Napoleon, Empress Marie Louise, Joseph Bonaparte and his wife Marie Julie Clary). De Rosny also demonstrates his proficiency in a variety of historic and ethnographic scripts: including gothic, old English, runic, Egyptian, Georgian, Russian, Babylonian and Celtic and gives designs for several engraved inscriptions and cartouches.
De Rosny’s many published works included the novel Le Peruvien a Paris (1801) and a melodrama Adonis, ou le bon Nègre (1798). He settled at Valenciennes, where he edited a progressive journal and was part of a liberal circle..see full details
A CAPACIOUS AND OUTLANDISH FRENCH LIVRE DE RAISON (COMMONPLACE BOOK), DENSELY WRITTEN IN IDIOSYNCRATIC FRENCH WITH A SERIES OF NAÏVE AND HIGHLY-COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS OF HISTORICAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL FIGURES.more...
Anonymous in its surviving form (it has lost 44 preliminary pages through accident or deliberate removal) it still represents a rich and surprising store of contemporary popular culture. It combines practical wisdom (medical and household recipes, a calendar and a formulary of letters) and history (accounts and memorials of the events of the Revolution and Revolutionary Wars), to which are added an abundance of oracles, popular songs, verses, maxims, puzzles, jokes and a wonderful dictionary for the interpretation of dreams. A brief sampling of the many texts suggests that this will become a rewarding resource for the reconstruction of a particular vein of popular culture. Detection of political bias or intention is no easy matter: though the writer clearly regrets the bloodthirsty acts of the Revolution, celebrates the successes of Napoleon in the subsequent wars, and reproduces a republican hymn to George III of England, a dialogue between Napoleon and King George and poem on Waterloo. Quite who compiled this remarkable manuscript and where is a matter for research. The relatively neat and regular script is countered by chaotic grammar and spelling — words and phrases are frequently phonetic, perhaps bringing the reader close to contemporary speech patterns. The maker’s literacy is certainly pragmatic, suggesting he was perhaps an official or clerk, capable of making effective records but remaining refreshingly untouched by high literary culture. The bold and naïve illustration is in keeping with this. Colour, ornamentation and visual impact are to the fore, while proportion and perspective are in short supply and if we need to seek parallels or comparisons for the style, then they are best found in contemporary popular woodcuts and broadsides produced by printers such as Pellerin of the Imagerie d’Épinal. It is quite possible that a regional location will be revealed through study, but for now, all that can be said is that the manuscript s very unlikely to be Parisian or metropolitan. Subjects for the images include numerous memorial portraits of victims of the Revolution (including the princesse de Lamballe, those drowned in the Nantes massacre of 1793/4, the duc de Berry and Louis XVII) plus a series of character sketches of selected inhabitants of the world. Among the latter are found English peasants and burgers, natives of African Guinea, Egypt, Castille, Rome, Gascony, Brittany and Paris; stilt-walking shepherds of the Landes, a Dover housewife, a pair of hairy savages and a depiction of house in America (‘habitation de la merique’). Other images are emblematic and include two misogynistic portraits of ill-tempered women, tempered by some rather touching heart-shaped emblems of love, wisdom and marriage..see full details
First and only complete collected edition, a superb and handsome set completed with 2 volumes of Cook’s ‘Life of Ruskin’ (1911) uniformly bound (41 vols in all).more...
‘The edition was the outcome of twelve years work by Edward Tyas Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, although Cook completed the bulk of the editing. The aim of The Library Edition was to provide the complete works of Ruskin, both literary and artistic, in uniform volumes. The edition was undertaken by Messrs. George Allen, Ruskin's publishers. Illustrated by 820 wood blocks and 990 full-page plates with 120 facsimiles of MSS., the edition includes 269 plates of Ruskin's own drawings of which 200 had never before been published. Portraits of Ruskin are used as frontispieces to some of the volumes. The press work was carried out by Messrs. Ballantyne of Edinburgh, and the weight of type amounted to nine tons, whilst the printing ink weighed 1800lbs. Printed on hand-made, linen rag paper (about 87tons) with a double watermark of Ruskin's monogram and seal. The edition consisted of 2062 sets, of which 2000 were available for sale to subscribers for the full set. The first volume was published on 27 March 1903. George Allen did not live to see the completion of the edition dying on 5 September 1907, his children taking over the firm ... Cook and Wedderburn provide the standard reference work for Ruskin studies.’ (from the University of Lancaster’s Preface to their electronic edition).
‘The apogee of Ruskin's immediate influence was marked by the decision to publish a monumental Library Edition of his complete works in thirty-nine volumes, edited by E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, which appeared between 1903 and 1912. Although biographically reticent and presenting a liberal version of Ruskin (as did Cook’s entry in the Dictionary of National Biography), this became the foundation for future Ruskin scholarship’ (Oxford DNB)..see full details
A DELIGHTFUL BOOK, CERTAINLY ONE OF THE MOST CHARMING FRENCH MANUSCRIPTS WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED, A COLLECTION OF FAMILY SONGS AND ENTERTAINMENTS COMPOSED OVER A PERIOD OF 20 YEARS to 1808, memorialising a deep and sentimental friendship between two families with young daughters.more...
The compiler, Césaire Delaplanche and his wife Marie Adelaïde (Adèle), produced three daughters: Virginie, Heloïse and Pauline and father Césaire encouraged them to mark family occasions in song, a tradition which lasted at least the 20 years charted by the manuscript. The hundreds of original songs here were composed by the girls (presumably with their father’s help) for birthdays, New Year celebrations, feast days, weddings, visits, reunions and suppers and for recording gifts (an embroidered purse and tobacco case are mentioned), in honour of tutors, or in memory of deceased relations and friends. Each verse is transcribed in full, headed with the name of the popular tune to which they were sung: Femmes, voulez-vous éprouver?, Femme Sensible Entendre-tu le ramage, Pauvre Jaques, Sous les auspices de l’Hymen, to name but a few.
The story told by the manuscript is not without sadness. The death of the Delaplanche girls’ mother in 1805 drew the remaining family closer to their friends M. and Mme Loiseau and their daughter Julie. Indeed the book seems to be largely a homage to the kindness of the Loiseaus to the bereaved Delaplanches around that time, beautifully expressed in the allegorical frontispiece. Three young girls, Amitié, Estime and Reconnaissance (corresponding to Virginie, Heloïse and Pauline Delaplanche) offer a red book, La Clef des coeurs, to a bird (Loiseau) perched in a tree, who accepts it and takes the girls to a marble pavilion, the Temple du Bonheur & de la Vertu.
The verses are simple, sentimental and affecting, extolling the virtues of familial love and respect and reflecting the proverbial strength of filial respect in French society. One particular entertaiment, Hommage à la Reconnaisance. Ou Combat entre l’amitié & l’amour filiale, is emblematic of the manuscript as a whole, in expressing the gentle tension between friendship and family love. The songs are in no way pious, and the relative absence of religious imagery is striking. In fact, the impingement of the outside world on this subtle family drama is only lightly felt, and then only in ghosts of the French Imperial presence. The orderliness of the manuscript is disturbed in two places, tellingly. Seven leaves are cut out after p. 232, with the Index indicating that these contained a Chanson en l’honneur de l’Empereur (the Index entry itself is erased at an early date), while two further leaves (pp. 433-436) are on different paper, clearly substitutions, which bear another version of a chanson dedicated to Napoleon.
The implied narrative of the collection is brought to a close in 1808 with the engagement of Julie, the Loiseau daughter to a M. Dupézard. The two are married in October, accompanied by family songs and verses, in which the young groom is expected to participate (several of the last songs are his), and the manuscript closes with a valedictory poem by Césaire Delaplanche: ‘Il est fini mes bons amis...’.see full details
Not found in any of the usual online or printed sources, a delightful juvenile almanac, containing ten moral verses each with a vignette, engraved throughout.more...
Though the publisher Maillard de Bresson produced several other almanacs, and this one is quite typical of the genre, it seems to have eluded bibliographers, including Grand-Carteret. The Journal historique et littéraire (January 1756) gives a useful account of the publisher’s business: ‘M. Maillard de Bressan continue a vendre des caractéres, des desseins & vignettes, des armes à jour, des papiers peints, des sentences, des devises, & forme avec succès la suite de ses fables morales, & instructives pour la jeunesse de l’un et l’autre sexe. It fait des envois auc Communautés Religieuses & à toutes personnes chargées de l’éducation des enfants, ou à des Marchands qui s’adressant à lui. Il demeure actuellement au Collége de Cambray, pres de la rue Saint Jacques, à Paris’..see full details
First edition, complete, of this rare suite of Pillement’s oriental designs based on imaginary flowers; a characteristically whimsical and ethereal extension of the fashionable chinoiserie style.more...
Jean-Baptiste Pillement (1728–1808) was a key figure in the dissemination of French rococo style and was well-known in England, counting David Garrick among his patrons (Oxford DNB). ‘Perhaps the most astonishing facet of his work, besides its far-reaching dissemination, was its easy translation into almost all media. Pillement declared his engravings suitable “à l’usage des dessinateurs et des peintres,” but in fact they received much wider application. Cabinet-makers in France and abroad copied his images for marquetry and for painting on furniture, and J. B. Réveillon printed a number of wallpapers based on his designs. In England, where his ornaments were particularly popular, they were adopted by enamellers at Battersea and by transfer-printers at Liverpool and decorators at Worcester...’ (Banham, Encyclopaedia of Interior Design, p. 960).
The NYPL catalogue suggests that the plates for Recueil de nouvelles fleurs de goût were probably made by Johann Heinrich Hess as part of Pillement's series of Ornaments, published 1758-1774 (cf. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Katalog der Ornamentstichsammlung der Staatlichen Kunstbibliothek, Berlin. no. 449)..see full details
A SPECTACULAR AND ECCENTRIC BRITISH ANTIQUARIAN COLLECTION WITH NOTICES OF OVER 100 HISTORIC INDIVIDUALS OR MONUMENTS, EACH WITH A WATERCOLOUR AND ILLUMINATED TEXT, the latter in quasi-historical style evoking original manuscripts.more...
With a very few exceptions (Ignatius Loyola and Marie de Medici included) the subjects are British historical figures, beginning with William de la Way who came to England at the Conquest. Leveland provides watercolour portraits of each in an engagingly naive style, together with short biographies and armorial devices. Other figures include Robert Despenser, John de Pelham, William de la More, Henry Courtenay, Thomas Howard, Henry Howard, Anthony Woodville, Francis Villiers, William ‘Alderman’ Beckford (father of the novelist and collector), Nicholas Carew and Robert De Vere, among many others. The work is dedicated to Queen Charlotte, though probably without permission: ‘This Volume of Miscellaneous Antiquities is Humbly presented for her Gracious Patronage’ with her arms; the second volume contains an incomplete dedication to Charles Howard, Duke of Norfolk (1746-1815) following his full-page arms.
At the end of the first volume several pages are devoted to contemporary hero, Admiral Lord Nelson, with examples of his arms granted after the Battle of the Nile (1798) and the commemorative medal struck in the same year by Alexander Davison. The second volume is more diverse. While continuing the biographies of the first, it also contains entries on specific monuments, notably the churches at Fairford (Gloucs) with its celebrated early stained glass, St Michael (Crooked Lane, London) and Stoke Poges (Bucks.); a calligraphic facsimile (with seals) of the death warrant of Charles I and copy of the Institution of the Baronets of Nova Scotia (1629).
The style is certainly idiosyncratic, the highly-coloured figures rendered with limited attention to proportion or perspective accompanied by naturalistic illuminated borders of leaves, fruit and flowers sometimes inhabited by insects and a range of historical scripts and other apparatus (armorial devices, seals and frames). The coloured portraits of the artist in wig and cravat bound at the front of each volume are etchings with aquatint and were presumably privately commissioned; an uncoloured version with full margins is in the print collection of the British Museum.
Little is known of Clifford (1736-1815) but he was baptised at St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden on 19 October 1736, second son and fourth child of Gervase Leveland, a London woollen-draper, and his wife Mary [Nutting]. He was a longtime Suffolk resident and created several antiquarian manuscripts; one (‘Auncient seles affixede to Charteres’) is now in the National Art Library (Victoria & Albert Museum), three more are in the William Salt Library (Stafford) and another is in a private collection. A book bearing his inscription, Barclay his Argenis, or, The Loves of Poliarchus and Argenis (1625) is at UCL and his will is preserved in the National Archives (it makes specific provision for the inheritance of Leveland’s painting materials). He managed at least one foray into print with The virtuous Wife: a sentimental Tale (Sudbury, privately printed, 1812)..see full details
A delightful fin-de-siècle devotional manuscript illuminated with great skill by a Miss Maury of Nice, reputedly when in her nineties.more...
Each day of the week is provided with prayers and devotions written in her neat calligraphic hand and almost every page bears at least one example of her minutely-rendered illumination. About the maker we know nothing else. She signs and dates the manuscript at the end..see full details
Folio (335 × 210 mm), pp. , plus several blank leaves at end. Text in manuscript, full-page illustrations in crayon or pastel. Lightly browned throughout, fragile at edges with minor fraying, all the result of poor quality paper. In original cloth backed notebook. Binding rather worn. A handsome chanson manuscript, anonymous but for the decorative initials 'J.B'. The songs include: 'Le Pigeon blessé', 'Sous les Platanes', 'Carmen', 'Chagrins d'Amour', 'Juanita', 'La Femme est un jouette' and 'Mort pour la France'.
II. Émile LEBLOND. Dijon, c. 1904.
Manuscript, 4to (214 × 170 mm), pp. 1-12, 17-98, 101-102, 105-270, 280-320, several blanks at rear. Evidence of 3 leaves removed, perhaps by the maker. Numerous drawings in ink and crayon, decorative headings. Original cloth notebook. Rather rubbed. An illustrated chansonnier made by a soldier of the First Artillery, stationed at Dijon. This is an especially full example which gives some unusual details as to its making: Leblond occasionally records the number of weeks he has been in service and there is evidence of carbon tracing, demonstrating the use of illustrations from popular journals in making these chansonniers. The songs include: 'Berceuse militaire', 'L'Africaine', 'Chapeai bas devant la Marseillais', 'Vous êtes si jolie', 'Four frou' and 'Ma Ninette'.
III. Yvan LOREAU. Chemillé-sur-Seine, c. 1909.
Manuscript, small 4to (216 × 175 mm), pp. , 88, ruled paper. Drawings in ink and crayon. Original limp wrappers. Yvan Loreau writes on his title-page that this manuscript was made 'Sur le tour de France' and begun on 11th December 1909. Songs include: 'Voila la Parisienne', 'Le petit coeur de Ninon', 'Ah! Ma p'tit Lili', 'Le ruban bleu de l'hirondelle' and 'Pas sur la bouche'.
IV. Alexandre MOULLET, 'le gros bâtarde'. Valence, 1913-14.
Manuscript (on squared paper), 4to (222 × 170 mm), pp. . Drawings in ink and crayon, partially unfinished. Some thumbing and fraying, one leaf loose. Original half cloth notebook. An illustrated chansonnier made on the eve of the Great War for one Alexandre Moullet, picturesquely nicknamed 'le gros bâtarde', of the 5eme Régiment d'Artillerie lourde, 8ème batterie, at Valence (Drôme). Songs include: 'Les petites Toulonnaises'; 'Soldat vierge', 'Marins de Marseille', 'Coeur Crise', 'Sur la Riviera' and 'Le dernier Tango'.
V. REDON. Valbonne (Ain), 1921.
Manuscript on paper, small 4to (216 × 170 mm), pp. , plus numerous blanks at rear, numerous drawings in pencil, ink and crayon (a couple cut from newspapers or journals, decorative headings. Original half cloth notebook. Songs include: 'Tu voudrais me voir pleurer', 'La vals du pastis', 'Vous rendez tous les hommes fou' and 'Le train fatale'. One verse is subscribed 'Fait a la Valbonne le 12-12-21 une soiré de grand froid'. .see full details
In two parts: the first (which contains the illustrations) describes the lines of the palm and fingers and the second describes their interpretation and their connection with the planets. This second part also contains a table of planetary influences on character and an interpretation of letter forms (A, C, D, E, F, G & O) which may appear among the lines of the palm
Several times reprinted in the seventeenth century (this is the second edition) the book was first published in Lyon in 1653. All the early editions are very rare. The dedication is signed by one ‘Rampalle’ who purports to be the translator, but who is perhaps the real author, with ‘Ronphile’ being a variant or pseudonym. The sixth illustration is clearly pasted to p. 13 (the others are printed direct), probably a cancellation of another illustration below..see full details
A splendid display of early nineteenth-century Chinese trades including craftspeople, a bookseller, purveyors of foods, medicines, fans, kites, toys and even a lion dancer, each drawing on one side of fine double-folded paper, captioned in ink in Chinese.more...
Albums such as these were produced in Chinese studios for the export market and were especially popular with Europeans for their exact portrayal of various aspects of Chinese life of the period: customs, costumes, occupations, flora and fauna. They ‘depicted those phases of Chinese life which fascinated the Westerner but defied descriptions to friends and family at home. Before the advent of the camera, this medium played an extremely vital role in revealing Oriental culture to the West.’ (Crossman, The China Trade, 1972). Though marketed to curious Europeans these albums represent important interpretations of Chinese life by indigenous Chinese artists. The present example is notable for being dated 1843, at the very end of the First Opium War just as five ports in China were being opened to the British.
These albums were luxury products, each one individually produced, and therefore priced beyond the means of any but the wealthy. Individual artists were never identified.
Lady Churchill, the original owner of the album, was born Lady Frances Fitzroy, the fifth daughter of Augustus Henry Fitzroy, third duke of Grafton. In 1801 she married Francis Almeric Spencer, youngest son of the fourth Duke of Marlborough and created first Baron Churchill of Wychwood in 1815. It is unlikely that the elderly Baron Churchill and his wife were in China at the time she received the album, and much more probable that it was presented to Lady Churchill in England as a gift, possibly by one of her military sons such as George Augustus Spencer, who was an officer in a regiment serving in China. .see full details
A commemorative volume (’Not for Publication’) issued to accompany the Nepalese Prime Minister’s visit to HMS Dreadnought on exercise in the English Channel.more...
The superb photographs depict: The Dreadnought, a submarine (4 plates: beached; on the surface; in the act of diving; submerged), a torpedo boat destroyer (2 plates: ‘going 30 knots’, ‘going 36 knots’). The Nepalese deputation witnessed a demonstration of firing from the Dreadnought and of the deflection of torpedoes with its safety nets. Dreanought, pride of the British navy, launched in 1906 was a revolutionary battleship which stimulated the Anglo-German arms race and gave its name to an entire class of heavily armoured craft. It was widely publicised as part of British naval propaganda and shown-off to numerous foreign visitors. The Nepalese Prime Minister was the Maharaja Sri Teen Chandra Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana (1863–1929), one of three nephews who had ordered the assassination of their uncle Maharaja Ranodip Singh Kunwar in the Nepali coup of 1885.
Two years later, Dreadnought was at the centre of an embarrassing episode in which several members of the Bloomsbury Group (including Virginia Woolf) led by Horace de Vere Cole masqueraded as an Abyssinian royal party on a similar state visit, inspecting the ship in full costume, talking among themselves in Latin and Greek and exclaiming ‘Bunga Bunga!’ at every appropriate opportunity. They narrowly escaped arrest..see full details
A handsome Romantic reinterpretation of Vignola’s classic Renaissance manual of perspective, Due regole della prospettiva pratica (1582, with many later editions).more...
Elements of Vignola’s diagrams are adapted for the oblong format of the book an often updated with figures and buildings in contemporary style. Bossi, about who we have been able to discover almost nothing beyond this manuscript, also adds a fine sequence of 4 coloured illustrations depicting furniture designs in the French Empire style by Percier and 17 superb monochrome views and interiors, 13 of which are in a sequence with their own decorative title-page ‘Aggiunta di alcune prospettive ricavae da classici autori’.see full details