In the Contemporary Binding of Edward Jackson Barron
“ Citizen and Armovrer of London ”
The Chase –
Bestseller of a Whole Century
Somervile, William. The Chase; A Poem. With prefaces by Somervile + Bulmer plus Critical Essay (by Aikin). With
14 large hunting vignettes in wood engraving
by the brothers Thomas & John Bewick. London, W. Bulmer, Shakespeare Printing Office, 1802. Large 8vo. XXIII, 105 pp., 1 l. Dark blue half morocco with broad leather corners and colored marbled boards and fly leaves, gilt title on spine & boards. (1872.) Two sides uncut. Gilt head edge.
Rümann, Das Illustr. Buch … 1790-1860, pp. 41-50 together with 5 ills.; Thieme-Becker III, 561 f.; Schwerdt II, 166 f. (various editions); Podeschi, Books on the Horse and Horsemanship (Mellon Coll.), 73 (edition 1796) with 3 (1 full-page) ills. – New issue of the edition of 1796 as the first one accompanied by Aikin’s essay on Whatman paper of 1801.
Main work of Somervile’s (1677 Ederston 1742), distinguished by expert knowledge (Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., XV, 22). Its original edition was published in 1735.
“ ‘The Chace’ was his best poem, and was highly approved of by the first literary characters of his day. It went through a large number of editions … ”
with the Bewick illustrations published for the first time in 1796
in Edward Jackson Barron’s privately bound copy
with his different armorial exlibris bound before and after resp.
CITIZEN AND ARMOVRER OF LONDON
together with device
as well as autograph library no. 624 & encrypted note on purchase and binding costs of August 1872 on end fly leaf.
The Armourer’s (today & Brasiers’) Company harks back to 1322 and protected the City of London since 1346. Still today it resides in Armourer’s Hall, that “superb and unique location for any function, which is stunning blend of 16th and 17th Century armour”. Barron’s library i. a. also adorned by a presentation copy of the great George Cruikshank of February 14, 1874, comprising 20 etchings.
Binding a bit rubbed, the boards slightly faded and a little used at the back. Title + fly leaves slightly foxing, otherwise quite isolated spots only. As a whole an opportunity.
Thomas Bewick (Cherryburn at Ovingham/Northumberland 1753 – Gateshead/Tyne and Wear 1828),
“ famous English wood cutter
… reviver of the artistic woodcut in England … and raised the woodcut not only to a profession, but to an artistic power. He was one of the first, if not really the first, who cut into the cross-cut wood, not into the longitudinal grain, thus by this introduced the ‘wood engraving’ – “by which one can achieve all gradations of the inks even in the woodcut ” (Nagler 1835) – …
(A)s artist and naturalist, who copied nature with that love which dreads to wrong her by the slightest deviation from the truth, — as humorist and satirist who looks at life with the clear look of free reason, he was
in his bearing unique ”
(Thieme-Becker 1909). And
“ Only recently by the watercolor designs to the animal representations also Bewick’s talent as aquarellist was recognized, especially with respect to
the unerring power of observation
which stands out against the idealizing tendencies of most of his contemporaries ”
(Peter Wiench, Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon X , p. 322).
“ One of the most charming books of Bewick’s
is William Somervile’s ‘The Chase’ .
Except for one the illustrations were drawn by John Bewick (Cherryburn 1760 – Dec. 1795) giving by these chief proof of his talent; nine of these he cut himself, Thomas the others with all skilled delicacy. The figurative is placed into a nice landscape setting that finely that woodcuts emerged which grew beyond the vignette-like
to an autonomous painterly image effect ”
(Rühmann 1930). And so the present work combines once again, so Hope 181,
“ the best characteristics
of John Bewick’s talents as draughtsman ”
Somervile — Bewick — Barron :
indeed a copy fallen out of the everyday life of buying books .
Offer no. 10,961 / EUR 445. / export price EUR 423. (c. US$ 511.) + shipping
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(Mrs. H. J. G., October 19, 2008)