"VAST AND COMPREHENSIVE… THE PLATES HAVE NEVER BEEN SURPASSED": SPLENDID THREE-VOLUME ILLUSTRATED FOLIO HISTORY OF HERTFORD
(HERTFORD, ENGLAND) CLUTTERBUCK, Robert. History and Antiquities of the County of Hertford; Compiled from the Best Printed Authorities and Original Records… Embellished with Views of the Most Curious Monuments of Antiquity, and Illustrated with a Map of the County. London: Nichols, Son, and Bentley, 1815, 1821, 1827. Three volumes. Folio (11 by 18 inches), 19th-century full red morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spines and boards, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $4500.
Folio first edition of this survey of the picturesque ruins and antiquities of Hertford County, England, with fine folding map of the county and 53 other full-page maps and plates (three hand-colored). Splendidly bound in full elaborately gilt-decorated red morocco.
Topographer and antiquary Robert Clutterbuck labored 18 years on this monumental history of his native county. "[An] elegant and complete history… The plates have never been surpassed in any similar publication, whether we consider the appropriateness of the embellishments or the beauty and fidelity of their execution" (Allibone). "Clutterbuck's claim to fame is his monumental work The History and Antiquities of the County of Hertford, published, in three massive volumes, in 1815, 1821, and 1827. Thomas Leman supplied the early history in Volume I; three volumes of Thomas Blore's manuscripts, acquired in 1811, proved invaluable. The subtitle of Clutterbuck's history claimed that the text was 'compiled from the best printed authorities and original records preserved in public authorities'; it is vast and comprehensive… a monumental record of manors, churches, and the landed gentry before the early nineteenth century" (ODNB). Bindings signed in gilt, "Bound for George Rutland, Newcastle-on-Tyne."
Only occasional very light foxing. A magnificent production in fine condition.