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Views of the British Isles

[ Ireland | Microcosm of London | Oxford ]


Bartholomew Fair
Rowlandson & Pugin. "Bartholomew Fair." From The Microcosm of London. London: R. Ackermann, 1808-1810. Image approximately 8 x 10. Aquatint. Full original hand color.

In 1808, R. Ackermann began issuing his monumental, The Microcosm of London. This work, which ran until 1810, contains some of the greatest examples of English color prints of the nineteenth century. The quality of the prints is top-notch, and their impact on English graphic illustration was considerable. The careful rendering, superb aquatinting and lovely hand coloring combine to make these prints most desirable. The prints provide an unexcelled picture of London at the time, and thus their historic import is equal to their aesthetic quality. Rowlandson, Pugin and Ackermann are three of the most renowned names in the history of British printmaking, and the prints from this series are no small part of the reason for their reputations. $300
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Christ Church Gate
"Gate of Christ Church from Pembroke College." From A History of The University of Oxford, its Colleges, Halls, and Public Buildings. London: R. Ackermann, 1814. Aquatints. All ca. 8 x 10, except as noted. Original hand-color. Full margins. Excellent condition.

After David Loggan's Oxonia, Ackermann's History of Oxford is the best known of works on that great university. The plates from this volume are justly known as perhaps the aesthetically finest views of the city and its colleges, halls, etc.. Their interesting compositions, many showing students, travelers, dons, and so on, are finely depicted with the excellent engraving and vivid, rich color for which these prints are known. Also included are a series of detailed images of various academic costumes. $250
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"Clower-Wall the Seat of Sr. Richard Cocks." From Britannia Illustrata or Views of Several of the Queens Palaces also of the Principal Seats of the Nobility and Gentry of Great Britain. London, [1709]. Drawing and etching by Johannes Kip and Leonard Knyff. Double folio. Image size 13 3/4 x 17. Etching. Hand-coloring. Full margins. Very good condition.

Johannes Kip (1653-1722) was a draughtsman and engraver, who worked first in his native Amsterdam before moving to London at the end of the seventeenth century. He did portraits, views, and book illustrations. His most important work was this lovely and informative series of bird's-eye views of English country seats. Architectural elements are rendered with great care and detail; and the surrounding formal gardens and distant nature are illustrated with luxurious fullness. Incidental figures and horses add delight and visual interest. Charming prints that are also archeologically significant for the information they give us about this great period in British architecture and landscape design. $750
GoGo to complete listing of prints from Kip's Britannia Illustrata.

Tarrershall Castle
H. Stinson. "The South-West Prospect of Tattershall Castle in the County of Lincoln." From Gentleman's Magazine. London, 1759. 4 1/8 x 7 3/8. Engraving by B. Cole. Very good condition.

A handsome view of Tattershall Castle, "Taken from the Road that leads to the Ferry." Gentleman's Magazine contained maps of views of interest to its gentlemen readers. $125

Views of London by Bowles & Carver. London. Engravings. Ca. 9 x 13 1/2. Very good condition.

The firm of Bowles & Carver flourished in London from 1793 until 1832. Upon the death of Carington Bowles (1724-1793), his firm was taken over by his son Henry Carington Bowles (1763-1830). Bowles and (Samuel) Carver published prints and maps from old copper plates and disseminated them throughout the world. That they were targeting multinational markets is evident by the use of two or more languages in the text of the prints they chose to publish. The gracefulness of the lines on these landscapes shows a marked improvement on the primitive vues d’optique that were published in France and Germany in earlier decades.

Sandby: Wakefield Lodge
Paul Sandby, R.A. "Wakefield Lodge in Whitlebury Forest, The Seat of his Grace the Duke of Grafton." From A Collection of One Hundred and Fifty Select Views in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. London, 1782-3. 9 1/4 x 11. Engraving by M. A. Rooker. Hand coloring. Full margins. Some foxing and discoloration, but overall very good impressions and vibrant color.

One image from a series of beautiful prints of English landscapes and country houses by Paul Sandby, R.A. (1730-1809). Sandby, a painter and draughtsman of great fame, was rightly considered by his contemporaries to be one of the key figures in the development of British art in the second half of the eighteenth century. An especially talented topographical artist, he was singled out by Thomas Gainsborough as "the only Man of Genius...who has employ'd his Pencil that way". [L. Hermann, British Landscape Painting of the 18th Century] $145
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Prints from Boydell's History of the River Thames London: J. & J. Boydell, 1794-6. 8 1/8 x 12 3/8. Aquatint by Joseph Constantine Stadler. Full original hand color. Full margins. Very good condition.

John Boydell, a land surveyor in the employment of his father, was inspired by an engraving by W.H. Toms to leave his home in Shropshire about 1750 and walk to London to apprentice himself to Toms. After six years, Boydell set up his own shop and thus began his career as one of the greatest of print publishers. Boydell was much concerned with the French dominance of the European print market at mid-century, and it was mostly by his efforts that by the 1780s it was British engraved prints that were dominant. One of John's later projects, published with Josiah Boydell, was this series of views of the Thames River Valley. These prints, drawn by Joseph Farington, are excellent examples of the art of aquatinting, and they provide an intimate look at the heart of England during the late eighteenth century.

Holland House
C.J. Richardson. "Holland House, Middlesex." From Samuel Carter Hall's The Baronial Halls and Picturesque Edifices of England. London: Chapman & Hall, 1847. Image ca. 7 1/2 x 11. Lithotint by W.L. Walton. Very good condition.

One from a series of lovely images of various country homes, castles, abbeys, and other "picturesque edifices" of England issued in two volumes. The text was written by Samuel Carter Hall, an English critic and journalist. The images are based on drawings by a number of prominent artists and the buildings are all depicted as populated by figures shown in the dress of the period when the edifice was first built. $35
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Pyne: Blue Velvet Room
W.H. Pyne's The History of the Royal Residences. London: W.H. Pyne, 1819. 7 7/8 x 9 3/4. Aquatint. Full original hand coloring. Very good condition.

In the early nineteenth century, Great Britain was one of the most powerful countries in the world, and the British people had a fascination with their country and its society. This resulted in the production of many exquisite color plate works depicting aspects of their world. This series of rich interiors shows the rooms at Windsor Castle, St. James's Palace, Kensington Palace, Hampton Court, Buckingham House (later Buckingham Palace), and Frogmore. With beautiful hand coloring, lush aquatinting, these prints are excellent examples of the fine prints from this era in British history. $300
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Town of Dundee
I. Clark. "The Town of Dundee." London: Smith & Elder, 1824. 15 1/4 x 22 1/2. Aquatint. Original hand color. Very good condition.

A lovely and beautifully rendered aquatint of a Scottish town. "Drawn on the spot" by I. Clark, this print was issued in London in 1824, at a time when Scotland's economy was beginning to thrive and the 'British' were becoming more aware of the beauty and other qualities of the northern part of the country. A rare and exquisite print.

The town is shown from the Firth of Tay, looking north. The pleasantly situated community runs down from the hills in the north to the harbor, which is shown bustling with sailing and steam vessels. $850

Boys' London As It Is

Prints by Thomas Shotter Boys. From London As It Is. London: T.S. Boys, 1842. Colored lithographs by T.S. Boys with some hand highlights. Very good condition, except as noted. Cf. Abbey, Scenery of Great Britain and Ireland, 239.

Thomas Shotter Boys was an artist, engraver and lithographer who was born in England and apprenticed to engraver George Cooke. After living a number of years in Paris, Boys returned to England in 1837 where he initially produced plates for other artists. In 1839, he produced a work of colored lithographs of views of Paris, Ghent and Antwerp, followed in 1841 by a work of views of York and then his most famous volume of Original Views of London As It Is. In twenty-six images, Boys marvelously captures the appearance of early Victorian London. As Abbey states, this is "A book of considerable importance; apart from the beauty of its plates, it records London at a period when good pictorial records were few." (p. 160). Boys lovingly depicts, with considerable accuracy, the physical and social appearance of the city.

Truman, Hanbury, Buxton Brewery
"Messrs. Truman, Hanbury, Buxton & Co.'s Brewery." London: J. Moore, March 1, 1842. 17 7/8 x 23 7/8. Aquatint. Original hand color. Very good condition.

The Truman, Hanbury & Buxton & Co. brewery in Spitalfields (also known as the Black Eagle Brewery) is one of the oldest in London, begun by Thomas Bucknall in 1669. This is an image looking down Brick Lane with the brewery buildings, the earliest of which date to the early 18th century, on both sides, including the clock house on the right. The brewery expanded until it became the largest in London and the second largest in Great Britain. Of note is the fact that Mrs. Micawber, in David Copperfield, makes mention of the firm of Truman, Hanbury, & Buxton. This print, dedicated to the partners, was published by J. Moore, printseller to H.R. H. the Duke of Orleans, "at his Wholesale Looking Glass and Picture Frame Manufactory" on St. Martins Lane. It shows a busy scene on Brick Lane, with draymen, vendors, brewers, and with a locomotive crossing a bridge in the distance. A rare and wonderful print. $1,200

Guard Chamber
Joseph Nash. "The Guard Chamber-Mast of Victory, with bust of Lord Nelson." From Interior and Exterior views of Windsor Castle. London: Thomas M'Lean, 1848. Chromolithograph with hand color. About 13 x 18 1/2. Deluxe print mounted onto boards as issued. Very good condition.

Joseph Nash (1809-1878) was a draughtsman and lithographer of architectural views, trained by A. C. Pugin. The new printing medium of chromolithography was used to make the prints in his excellent series of interior and exterior views of Windsor. This technique, allowing for greater nuance and value gradation than pure lithography, was an ideal means of expression for Nash's historically rich and picturesque depictions. Interested very much in interiors, Nash lavished his attention on detail for these prints, taking care that all furniture, decoration and costume were correct. The skillful lithography allows for maximum warmth, richness and convincing movement, leaving us prints that are excellent examples of mid-nineteenth-century British architectural interiors. $525
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Lakes of Killarney
"The Lakes of Killarney." New York: Mrs. R. Kelly, circa 1860's. 18 x 25. Lithograph. Original hand color. Minor chipping in outside margins. Otherwise, very good condition.

An idyllic view of Ireland, showing the Lakes of Killarney. Along with the influx of Irish immigrants to the United States in the mid Nineteenth Century, came an influx of sentimental depictions of the country targeted to the newly displaced, and homesick, Irish. This particular print was done by a lesser known publisher, Mrs. Kelly of New York City. Every building, island, even the racetracks, are all indicated and numbered. It's a loving reminder of a beautiful part of Ireland. $625
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Crystal Palace DayspacerCrystal Palace, Night

Day/Night or Inside/Outside prints. Mid-nineteenth century. Approx. 9 1/2 x 11 3/4. Lithographs. Original hand color. Very good condition, except as noted.

Pairs of lithographic images, printed and hand colored on each side of a single sheet of paper, intended to present contrasting views, usually of the same place in both day and night. Occasionally, a different scene would be represented in the evening view. These prints would have been a novelty in the mid-nineteenth century. They could be retained in a portfolio or framed with glass on both sides.

"The West-End Railway District, London." From The Illustrated London News. London: April 9, 1859. Double page. 14 1/4 x 20 1/2. Wood engraving. $250


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