“ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL ARTISTS”: FIRST EDITION OF SAMUEL IRELAND’S FINAL VOLUME IN HIS SERIES OF PICTURESQUE VIEWS, WITH 21 FINE AQUATINT PLATES
IRELAND, Samuel. Picturesque Views, With An Historical Account of the Inns of Court. London, R. Faulder and J. Egerton, 1800. Tall quarto, contemporary full burgundy morocco rebacked with original gilt-decorated spine laid down, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $2200.
First edition of the last of Ireland’s series of Picturesque Views, issued shortly after his death, featuring 21 splendid full-page aquatints, including views of Temple Church, Westminster Hall, Lincoln’s Inn and much more, handsomely bound by Zaehnsdorf.
The love of the English for travel— the Grand Tour— notably included explorations of their own native land that produced highly prized travelogues. The works of Samuel Ireland are among the most memorable of these illustrated volumes, for “Ireland was one of the most successful artists who devoted himself to topographic print-making” (Prideaux, 270). This scarce first edition of his richly illustrated Picturesque Views, With an Historical Account of the Inns of Court, issued posthumously, concludes the popular series Ireland began in 1790 with A Picturesque Tour through Holland. One of his finest productions, this handsome wide-margined volume contains 21 bistre aquatint plates including views of Lincoln’s Inn, Temple Church, Gray’s Inn and Westminster Hall. With half title and errata. Abbey Scenery 207. Cox III, 287. Allibone, 933-4. Lowndes 1163-4.
Text and plates fresh and bright with only faint occasional offsetting,, minimal edge-wear to boards. An about-fine copy.