SAMUEL IRELAND’S RIVER MEDWAY, WITH 28 FULL-PAGE AQUATINTS
IRELAND, Samuel. Picturesque Views, on the River Medway. London: T. and J. Egerton, 1793. Small quarto, mid-19th-century full brown calf gilt, raised bands, blind-stamped borders and spine decorations, marbled endpapers. $1100.
First edition of this amply illustrated journey along the banks of the Medway, with additional aquatint title page, 28 splendid sepia aquatints of local architecture, map of the region and eight in-text woodcuts.
The love of the English for leisure travel— the Grand Tour— also included explorations into their own native land, which upon return home might be documented in published accounts. Samuel Ireland was no exception. “Ireland was one of the most successful artists who devoted himself to topographic print-making” (Prideaux, 270). In 1790 he published his first travelogue, A Picturesque Tour through Holland, Brabant, and Part of France, with plates after drawings made by the author “on the spot.” Among the finest of his productions, River Medway, was one of his very successful series of six books of travel views produced from 1790 to 1800. The beautifully tinted plates— etched aquatints on copper, made by him from his original drawings— depict various river views and buildings along the river banks. Bound with half-title. A folio edition appeared the same year. Prideaux, 341. See Abbey, Scenery 428.
A fine copy.