EDWARD ORME’S DRAMATIC COLLECTION OF 40 SUPERB HAND-COLORED AQUATINTS ILLUSTRATING EVENTS OF THE NAPOLEONIC WARS
(NAPOLEON) ORME, Edward, editor. Historic, Military and Naval Anecdotes of Personal Valour… in the Last Long-Contested War, Terminating with the Battle of Waterloo. London: Edward Orme, [circa 1835]. Folio (11-1/2 by 14-1/2 inches), contemporary three-quarter red straight-grain morocco, marbled boards, uncut. $7800.
First edition, second issue, of this vivid visual documentation of notable British victories, with 40 beautifully hand-colored aquatints, including extraordinary views of the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon’s Russian campaign and the Battle of Trafalgar. Attractively bound.
"The victory of Waterloo, obtained by the Duke of Wellington… is beyond a doubt one of the most glorious ever achieved by this, or any other country." "Edward Orme was, after Rudolph Ackerman, the most important publisher of illustrated books during the short golden age of the colored aquatint" (DNB). Born in Manchester, Orme moved to London and shortly after his first engraving was published was appointed print-seller by King George III and subsequently editor-of-prints by King George IV. Orme soon began work on "the publication of a series of colored aquatint books, ending in 1818 with Historic, Military and Naval Anecdotes" (DNB). Beautifully illustrated, this is "a handsome volume containing 40 colored aquatints, chiefly by Dubourg after Atkinson, Manskirsch, Clark and others," including the work of "William Heath, an ex-Captain of Dragoons, who made many of the original drawings" (Prideaux, 224, 305). First published in 1819. This second-issue copy with second-issue title page, with two rules below "Battle of Waterloo" on undated title page; plates watermarked 1835; second-issue text, with pages 95-98 numbered. Abbey, Life 376. Tooley 353. Prideaux, 346. Publisher's printed paper label "Naval Achievements, Coloured Plates, Thirteen Guineas" retained on front pastedown.
Plates and text generally fine, with vivid hand-coloring; expert reinforcement to front inner hinge and first few pages of text block; corners gently bumped. An excellent uncut copy.