THE NATIONAL SPORTS OF GREAT BRITAIN, WITH 50 HAND-COLORED ENGRAVINGS BY HENRY ALKEN
ALKEN, Henry. The National Sports of Great Britain. London: Printed for Thomas M'Lean, 1825. Royal octavo, 19th-century full red morocco, elaborately decorated spine and covers, raised bands, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt. $5200.
Second edition of this compendium of British sports, with 50 hand-colored engravings (different from those in the first edition) depicting hunting, angling, horse-racing, and other diversion, handsomely bound in full morocco-gilt.
"Henry Alken was the premier sporting illustrator of his time. He worked in colored aquatint in a style akin to that of Rowlandson and the early George Cruikshank" (Ray, 32). Alken's equestrian illustrations "are the result of the most attentive observation during many years entirely devoted to the pleasures of the field" (DNB). While this work has the same title as an 1821 folio by Alken, it is often regarded as a first edition since it contains different plates. These plates include: two plates of angling, six plates of horse racing, six of coursing, 10 of fox-hunting, and 12 of shooting, along with others of poaching and the baiting sports. Tooley 43. Prideaux, 309-10. Bookplate of Edward Motley Weld, a member of the prominent Weld family of Boston and founder of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), part of the United Nations.
Plates bright, scattered foxing and soiling to interior. Very handsomely bound.