Landmark Books in All Fields
ItemID: #126101
Cost: $19,500.00

Picturesque Tour Along the Rhine... BOUND WITH: Picturesque Tour of the Seine

Rudolph Ackermann


(ACKERMANN, Rudolph) GERNING, Baron Johann Isaac von. A Picturesque Tour Along the Rhine, from Mentz to Cologne. BOUND WITH: SAUVAN, [Jean-Baptiste-Balthazar]. Picturesque Tour of the Seine, from Paris to the Sea. London: R. Ackermann, 1820, 1821. Thick folio (11-1/2 by 13-1/2 inches), period-style full tan polished calf gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers and edges. $19,500.

First edition, first issue, of Ackermann's wonderful picturesque tour along the Rhine, beautifully illustrated with 24 hand-colored folio aquatints by Daniel Havell and Thomas Sutherland after paintings by Christian Georg Schutz (and large folding map), bound together with his equally beautiful illustrated tour along the Seine, with hand-colored vignette title page and 24 beautiful folio aquatint views of the river and surrounding countryside after drawings by Augustus Charles Pugin and John Gendall, for a total of 48 very finely and vividly hand-colored aquatint folio views. A lovely copy.

In the history of book production "there is no more attractive figure than that of Rudolph Ackermann, through whose extraordinary enterprise and spirit of adventure, aquatint was successfully applied to the illustration of books" (Prideaux, 120-23). One of Ackermann's most lucrative projects was his remarkable Picturesque Tours, a series of seven books produced between 1820-28. The present volume brings together two such tours: first, his Tour Along the Rhine, with 24 beautifully hand-colored aquatints by Daniel Havell and Thomas Sutherland after paintings by Christian Georg Schutz, depicting views of Mentz, the Castle of Furstenberg, the Church of Johannes, Pfalz Castle and the town of Kaub, the salmon fishery at Lurley, Coblentz, Bornhofen, Cologne and other sites along the river, with accompanying text by Baron von Gerning describing the history and culture of the area (first published in German in 1819, without illustrations). The folding map shows the course of the Rhine from Mentz to Cologne.

The second is Ackermann's Picturesque Tour of the Seine, first issued in six monthly parts, with 24 beautifully hand-colored aquatints after paintings and drawings by renowned landscape artists Augustus Charles Pugin and John Gendall, with accompanying text by Jean-Baptiste-Balthazar Sauvan. All 48 plates were pulled and hand-colored in the Ackermann studio, whose reputation for producing splendid illustrated publications and disseminating fine aquatint prints spanned over two centuries. Rhine first issue, without plate numbers in the top right corners. Tooley notes that plates 2 and 3 have variants dated either September or October; Abbey argues persuasively that to call either state an issue "must remain doubtful," particularly given that large-paper copies have also been seen with the two plates dated October. At any rate, the quality of plates in either state are the same high standard; Abbey notes that "there are definitely some later issues of the book, and these can be recognized by having plate numbers at the top right-hand corner. The impressions in these plates are poor and the coloring less good" (Abbey 217). This copy has plates 2 and 3 dated October, but most importantly none of the plates bear numbers in the upper right. Text watermarked 1817 and 1818; plates watermarked 1818 and 1819. Seine issued simultaneously with a very scarce large-paper issue of only 50 copies. With hand-colored map and hand-colored vignette on final leaf of text. Abbey, Travel 217 (Rhine); 90 (Seine). Prideaux, 337 (Rhine); 351, 375 (Seine). Tooley 234 (Rhine); 445 (Seine). Old dealer description tipped to rear flyleaf.

Faint vertical crease to Rhine title page; small marginal stain to first plate in Rhine, not touching image. A lovely, fine copy, an impressive volume.

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