- Tag = The Arts
Anecdotes of Eminent Painters in Spain,
during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; with cursory remarks upon the present state of arts in that kingdom. By Richard Cumberland. In two volumes. Vol. I [-II].
London, J. Walter, 1782.
First Edition. Two volumes, 12mo (156 x 95 mm), pp. [iv], 225, ,  index; [iv], 224,  index, , in contemporary tree calf, spines ruled in compartments and numbered in gilt, red morocco labels lettered in gilt.
A handsome copy of this guide to Spanish art written by the dramatist and diplomat, Richard Cumberland. Public awareness of the art and artists of… (more)
A handsome copy of this guide to Spanish art written by the dramatist and diplomat, Richard Cumberland. Public awareness of the art and artists of Spain was growing as travellers made comparisons with the work of the Italian masters. Collectors and dealers were beginning to look towards Spain as a new source of supply and Cumberland’s detailed work was a great success. It was based in part on Cumberland’s observations made in Spain and in part on Antonio Palomino’s Vidas de los pintores y estatuarios eminentes españoles, which was translated into English in 1739.
In 1780, Cumberland was sent on a confidential mission to Spain in order to negotiate a peace treaty during the American War of Independence that would weaken the anti-British coalition. Although he was well received by Charles III of Spain and his government, the sovereignty of Gibraltar proved insurmountable and Cumberland was forced to return to England empty handed. The government then refused to repay his expenses, even though he was out of pocket to the tune of £4500, a blow to his finances that he never really recovered from. One of the few positive results of his time in Spain was the research that he did for this book.
‘I had already published in two volumes my Anecdotes of eminent Painters in Spain. I am flattered to believe’, Cumberland wrote, ‘it was an interesting and curious work to readers of a certain sort, for there had been no such regular history of the Spanish School in our language, and when I added to it the authentic catalogue of the paintings in the royal palace at Madrid, I gave the world what it had not seen before as that catalogue was the first that had been made and was by permission of the King of Spain undertaken at my request and transmitted to me after my return to England’ (Memoirs of Richard Cumberland, 1806, pp. 298-299).
ESTC t116936.More details Price: £650.00
Ideas for Rustic Furniture;
proper for Garden Seats, Summer Houses, Hermitages, Cottages, &c. on 25 plates.
London, I. & J. Taylor, the Architectural Library, circa 1800.
First Edition. 8vo, (235 x 145 mm), 25 engraved plates including the title, some staining, particularly to the title-page, in slightly later marbled wrappers, binding sprung and partly broken, possibly the result of an early and not very successful restoration project, consequently several of the plates are loose, yellow edges.
A delightful suite of plates showing designs for rustic furniture to be used either in the garden or inside modest country dwellings or cottages. Fourteen… (more)
A delightful suite of plates showing designs for rustic furniture to be used either in the garden or inside modest country dwellings or cottages. Fourteen designs for chairs are included on the first seven plates, two long stools, four sofas (decorative but perhaps rather uncomfortable), three tables, one bason [sic] stand, six mirrors on three plates and three large chimney pieces. The title-page and final leaf, both unnumbered, are captioned ‘Frontispiece’ and represent decorative entrances and exits to a garden. Wright is mostly remembered for his very popular Grotesque Architecture, which was first published in 1767 and ran to numerous editions. A much larger work than the present, it included a number of rustic seats as well as architectural and garden plans.
ESTC t146494, at BL, RIBA, The National Trust, V & A and Massachusetts Institute of Technology only; the Met also has a copy.More details Price: £2,000.00
Memoirs of Maria, Countess d'Alva:
being neither Novel nor Romance, but appertaining to both. Interspersed with Historic Facts & Comic Incidents; in the Course of which are introduced, Fragments & Circumstances, not altogether inapplicable to the events of this Distracted Age, and to the Measures of the Fore-sighted Defenders of Our Holy Faith. In Two Volumes. By Priscilla Parlante. Vol. I [-II].
First edition. 2 vols, 8vo (228 x 135 mm), I: pp. [xvi], 384; II: [iv], 494, [ii], last leaf blank, engraved frontispiece to each volume designed by the author and a third plate bound facing p. 268 of vol. I, uncut throughout, some offsetting from plates, small paper flaw to lower blank margin of one leaf, edges dusty, slight browning, occasional minor spotting, in the original drab boards, white paper spine, printed paper labels on spines, the label to Vol. II chipped with loss of one letter of title, spines a little dusty, with the contemporary ownership inscription of M. Meath on the first page of text in each volume.
A scarce and rather unusual gothic novel, uncut and in the original boards, with three striking plates, in fine and strong impression, after designs by… (more)
A scarce and rather unusual gothic novel, uncut and in the original boards, with three striking plates, in fine and strong impression, after designs by the author. Mary Anne Jeffreys Cavendish, the author of two novels, came to public notice after the ‘criminal conversation’ proceedings (and later divorce) filed against her by her former husband, the Earl of Westmeath, after her adultery with Augustus Cavendish-Bradshaw. The preface of the present novel includes ironic comments on the ‘helpless and defenceless state of our miserable sex’ in addition to references to the ‘absurdities and quaintness of old style’, which she had abandoned in favour of ‘those elegancies, with which the present enlightened and improved state of literature abounds’. The critics praised her ‘marvellous and exuberant fancy’ and narrative skills (’The British Critic’, 1809, p. 300), whilst remaining unconvinced by the length of the work and the characters.
‘There is considerable degree of ingenuity in this production; which, though carried on to a great length, is, generally speaking, supported throughout with vigour, and, to the conclusion, maintains a fast hold of the Reader’s mind. The plan, though complicated, is neither deficient nor perplexed; the characters, though numerous, are sufficiently distinct, and well supported. The heroine and the other principal figures are never obscured by an injudicious mixture of interests; and there runs through the whole such a knowledge of the workings of the human mind, such a discrimination of the moral and active qualities of human nature, as we should hardly have expected from a female writer, for such, from the title-page, we are to presume is the case, though the name is evidently fictitious. The chief error into which Madam Priscilla appears to have fallen is, a redundancy of epithets, and too much amplification in some passages, chiefly descriptive. The work, however, is interesting, and will be very useful to the Playwrights and Melo-dramatists of the present day’ (The Gentleman’s Magazine, Vol. 78, 1808, Part 2, pp. 921-922).
Garside, Raven & Schöwerling 1808:36; Summers p. 410; not in Block.More details Price: £5,000.00
or, Nutshells: being Ichnographic Distributions for Small Villas; chiefly upon oeconomical principles. In seven classes. With occasional remarks. By Jose Mac Packe, a Bricklayer’s Labourer. Part the first, containing Twelve Designs.
London, for the Author, 1785.
First Edition. 8vo, (212 x 121mm), two engraved frontispieces and pp. [iv], 89, with numerous tables in the text and twenty-five engraved plates, each facing its description, the text proper being in the appendix, beginning at p. 51, plate xviii misnumbered xvii, in contemporary calf, red morocco label on spine lettered in gilt, spine ruled in gilt, foot of spine chipped, joints cracking and in need of some attention, but generally an attractive copy, with the early ownership inscription of James McDouall of Lagan.
A charming book written as a guide to the ordinary person wishing to build a house in the country. Peacock had worked as principal assistant… (more)
A charming book written as a guide to the ordinary person wishing to build a house in the country. Peacock had worked as principal assistant to the architect George Dance and as Clerk of Works to the City of London Corporation and therefore had considerable experience, belying the anagrammatic pseudonym ‘Jose Mac Packe’, a ‘bricklayer’s assistant’, as given on the title page. He fears that some might suspect this and reassures them as to his station in life, expressing the hope that ‘the sourest critic will upon the whole allow, that he has acquitted himself as well as might be expected for a Bricklayer’s Labourer’ (Preface). The twenty-five plates give plans of examples with comments and detailed measurements, showing Peacock’s skill with relatively small sites. The appendix (which, written under the guise of bricklayer, includes some advice on how to deal with your architect) is a humorous guide for the layman on how to build his own house: ‘let him procure a design upon paper, of a new House... whether it be from some Fan-painter, Toy-man, Lace-man, Paper-hanger, or Undertaker... if it happens to be the production of a wonderful genius, not of the profession, it will not be unwise in him to consult some clumsy mechanic, or other, who can readily distinguish a brick from a pantile’ (pp. 53-54).
Eileen Harris, British Architectural Books and Writers 1556–1785, 694; Berlin Katalog 2295.
ESTC t42147.More details Price: £650.00
Quinti Horatii Flacci Opera.
Vol. I [-II].
London, John Pine, 1733.
First Edition, second state of vol. II p. 108 with the inscription on the medal of Augustus Caesar in the corrected state of ‘potest’. Two volumes, 8vo, (221 x 130 mm), pp. [xxxii], 176, , -264, , first end final pages blank; [xxiv], 48, , -94, , -152, , -172, , -191,  blank,  explanation of the plates, printed entirely from engraved plates, some light foxing and offsetting, in contemporary crimson morocco, triple gilt filet borders to covers, gilt spines with raised bands and contrasting brown morocco labels, marbled endpapers, gilt edges, some slight wear to the bindings with a little bit of surface abrasion and staining.
One of the most famous engraved books of the eighteenth century: ‘the most elegant of English eighteenth-century books in which text and illustrations alike are… (more)
One of the most famous engraved books of the eighteenth century: ‘the most elegant of English eighteenth-century books in which text and illustrations alike are entirely engraved’ (Ray p. 3). Pine’s work was inspired by French book design and in turn it had a profound effect on English typography. Its magnificent plates, illustration and typography have made it a staple of book collecting ever since. The work was intended only as a deluxe edition and it was not issued in workaday bindings. Here it is in a simple but beautiful red morocco binding. On any other book, this might suggest a particularly special copy but for Pine’s Horace, it was probably a trade binding, for over the counter sales.
The text was first set in type and a proof transferred to the copper plates to be engraved letter by letter, the headpieces, decorated initials, tailpieces and full page illustrations then engraved on the same plates. ‘The brilliancy of this engraved roman text struck a new note, and thus Pine’s Horace may have had a good deal to do with the taste for more “finished” types which waxed as the century waned.’ (Updike II, p. 138.) In this sense, Pine paved the way for Baskerville and Bodoni and, like them, he generously spaced his lines. In his address to the reader, Pine draws attention not only to the brightness (nitore) of his letters but also to the fact that unlike movable type there is no chance of errors being introduced during printing.
A prospectus was issued on 24 February 1731, with a list of subscribers and 67 plates, before the addition of the signature letters (ESTC N39784). The list of subscribers in the first volume, supplemented by that in volume II, brings the total to well over 1000 names, with separate sections for many European countries or capital cities. This must be one of the longest subscription lists in any eighteenth-century book.
See Gordon Norton Ray, The illustrator and the book in England from 1790 to 1914 (1976); Daniel Berkeley Updike, Printing types, their history, forms and use (3rd edition, 1962).
ESTC t46226; Brunet III, 320; Cohen-de Ricci 498.More details Price: £1,600.00
Studien für geübtene Anfänger. Ein Duzend neüe abwechselnde Gegenden in Winterthur.
First Edition, Privately Distributed. 4to, (235 x 175 mm), engraved pictorial title page and 11 further numbered engraved plates, (plate marks between 157 and 151 x 112), the first plate with two landscape engravings one above the other, all the others single portrait landscapes, in contemporary olive green boards, worn at extremities, spine chipped.
A delightful suite of plates for young children which appears to have been produced for private distribution by the artist to friends, pupils or patrons.… (more)
A delightful suite of plates for young children which appears to have been produced for private distribution by the artist to friends, pupils or patrons. Evidently intended for presentation over a period of years, the title-page is dated ‘178-’, with the final digit left blank to be completed in manuscript: in this copy it has been filled in as ‘1782’. Lonchamp cites only examples filled in as ‘1783’ and ‘1784’, making this a fairly early presentation, though there is a known copy dated ‘1781’ (and one undated example, with the title-page left blank).
The title page depicts a woodland scene with a little boy hard at work with his drawing board, accompanied by a thoughtful older girl, who looks out at the reader with a penetrating gaze. The first of the plates includes two scenes, both landscape format, one above the other, and both depicting water scenes with no figures. The other eleven plates are all portrait landscapes, depicting scenes around Winterthur, with mountains, dizzy ravines, farm scenes, rivers and waterfalls. All of these include figures relating in different ways to the landscape, such as little boys playing a game on a bridge over a river, an elegant figure gazing in awe at a distant waterfall and a naked girl who, sitting on a rock in the shallows of a lake, appears to be washing her feet.
This collection, specifically intended for children, may have been born out of the success of Schellenberg’s twelve leaf folio collection of Swiss views, published in 1779. In 1786, the present suite was reprinted in a commercial edition in Augsburg under the direction of Annert.
Lonchamp, Manuel du bibliophile suisse 2633; Rümann, Die illustrierten deutschen Bücher des 18. Jahrhunderts 1016.
No copies traced in America.More details Price: £3,500.00
[The Four Elements.] Earth. Wind. Fire. Water.
Northern Italy, 1787.
Four sheets, (362 x 260 mm), stipple-engraved prints, platemarks measuring 246 x 177 mm, the images presented in elegant slim ovals (198 x 98 mm), double ruled, each plate bearing an English title of one of the elements and signed ‘W. Hamilton delinet’ and ‘Giuseppe dall’ Acqua di Cristoforo scul. 1787’, the first print (Earth) also with ‘no. 343’, two pin-holes at the top of each sheet, with very light creasing and soiling but generally a very fresh, clean set with generous margins.
A lovely set of this rare series of prints depicting the Elements. This is a charming Italian and English collaboration, engraved and printed in Italy… (more)
A lovely set of this rare series of prints depicting the Elements. This is a charming Italian and English collaboration, engraved and printed in Italy from an original by an English artist, using English language headings and presumably sold in Italy to an English market. The combination of the English artist and the use of English titles would have had a particular appeal to the traveller on the Grand Tour. The prints may have originally been published by a London print gallery, to whom Hamilton supplied a number of drawings, but we have traced no other version.
The British painter William Hamilton had initially trained as an architect but was sent to Italy by the neoclassical architect Robert Adam, who employed both Hamilton’s father and the young Hamilton, whose first job was working for Adam as a decorative painter. Hamilton spent two years in Rome where he studied under the painter Antonio Zucchi, who later married Angelica Kauffman. On his return to England Hamilton established a reputation for himself painting theatrical portraits and illustrating scenes from Shakespeare. He was commissioned to create works for Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery and was one of three principal illustrators of Boydell’s illustrated edition of Shakespeare, a massive project which ran from 1786 to 1805. He also contributed illustrations to Bowyer’s History of England and Thomas Macklin’s Bible, many of which were widely reproduced and sold as popular prints. Hamilton’s style was reminiscent of the cult of sentiment prevalent at the time and his work was clearly influenced by Angelica Kauffman and Henry Fuseli. These classical representations of the four Elements are typical of Hamilton’s output in combining sentimental interpretation with distinctively dramatic settings.
Giuseppe dall’Aqua was a northern Italian engraver, son of the engraver Cristoforo dall’Aqua (1734-1787). A native of Vicenza, he began his career as an apprentice in the Remondini press of Bassano, where it is thought he continued to work for some years. In 1791 he became beadle of the Accademia Olimpica in Vicenza and later moved to Verona and Milan. Dall’Aqua is known to have copied many prints from the prolific Italian printmaker Francesco Bartolozzi (1727-1815), who worked in London.
‘[Hamilton’s] pleasantly plump and youthful figures were better suited to the less pretentious format of book illustration than that of history painting. His attractive romantic scenes appear in many editions of 18th century poets ... Hamilton was capable of being an accomplished draughtsman in a variety of styles; his album of drawings (London, V&A) includes work reminiscent of Henry Fuseli and Angelica Kauffman as well as more distinctive compositions nervously constructed with repeated, scratchy strokes of the pen’ (Geoffrey Ashton in Grove Dictionary of Art, online).
We have traced only one copy of these prints, a coloured and framed set appearing at auction in Rome, 28 October 2014. In addition to the V&A album cited above, the Huntington Library has another sketchbook of drawings by Hamilton.More details Price: £3,200.00
The Rudiments of Ancient Architecture,
in two parts. Containing an Historical Account of the Five Orders, with their Proportions and Examples of each from the Antiques; also Vitruvius on the Temples and Intercolumniations, &c. of the Ancients. Calculated for the Use of those who wish to attain a summary Knowledge of the Science of Architecture. With a Dictionary of Terms. Illustrated with Ten Plates.
London, Taylor, 1789.
First Edition. 8vo, (250 x 152 mm), engraved frontispiece (detached) and pp. [iv], vii, [i], 84, engraved portrait by Basire on the title-page, with nine further plates bound after the text, uncut throughout in the original paper-backed marbled boards, spine chipped and largely missing, boards dust-soiled, some spotting in the text but generally good and clean.
A delightful anonymous guide to the orders of classical architecture ‘intended more for the gentleman than the artist’. The work saw considerable success, leading to… (more)
A delightful anonymous guide to the orders of classical architecture ‘intended more for the gentleman than the artist’. The work saw considerable success, leading to further editions in 1794, 1804, 1810 and 1821 but the identity of the author remains unknown. The frontispiece shows the five orders drawn to the same height so that their relative proportions can be easily seen. The first part of the work gives a general introduction, the second adds details of Sacred Buildings by Vitruvius and the work concludes with a dictionary of architectural terminology. The nine further plates include one for each order, Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite, a plate each with details of bases and mouldings, and two final plates in which the individual parts of the columns are labelled.
A second edition, ‘much enlarged’, was pubished in 1794, also for I. and J. Taylor at the Architectural Library in Holborn. The engraved portrait on the title-page is of James Stuart, known as ‘Athenian Stuart’.
ESTC t46905, listing BL, Cambridge, Oxford; Columbia, Getty, Johns Hopkins, Bancroft, Delaware and Nebraska-Lincoln.
Avery 882.More details Price: £450.00
Traité théorique et pratique sur l’art de faire et d’appliquer les vernis;
sur les différens genres de peinture par impression et en décoration, ainsi que sur les couleurs simples et composées: accompagné de nouvelles observations sur le copal; de notes historiques sur la nature des matières et sur les procédés mis en usage par les compositeurs des couleurs et de vernis, et par les peintres vernisseurs et décorateurs, &c. &c. &c.
An XI. (1803).
First Edition, Fine Paper Copy. Two volumes, 8vo, (198 x 124 mm), pp. [iv], xlviii, 326,  errata,  blank; [iv], 351,  errata, woodcut device on each title, with five etched plates (four folding) in vol. 1 and a folding printed table in vol. 2, printed on thick, blue tinted paper, in contemporary mottled calf, flat spines attractively gilt in compartments, with orange and black lettering pieces, a circular numbering piece in contrasting orange on the black label, lettered and numbered in gilt, with red sprinkled carmine edges, liberally applied leading to the partial closure of a couple of pages, a little rubbed at extremities but a handsome set, with the bookplate of the Bibliothèque de Mr. de Barante on the pastedowns.
A lovely copy of this important work on varnishes, printed on thick, blue paper and retaining its attractive contemporary binding. This fine paper copy feels… (more)
A lovely copy of this important work on varnishes, printed on thick, blue paper and retaining its attractive contemporary binding. This fine paper copy feels significantly more luxurious than the standard issue. The British Library copy, which is on thinner, white paper, measures a textblock thickness of only 18.5 and 20 mm compared to the 26 and 25 mm of the present copy.
‘A comprehensive treatise on the preparation and use of varnishes, paints and colors. Tingry gives descriptions and results of his many experiments and, in general, supplies the principles and operations which were missing in Jean Félix Watin’s L’art de faire et d’employer le vernis, Paris 1772, to which there are frequent references.’ (Cole 1287 describing the English edition.)
Neville II, p. 558.More details Price: £1,400.00