“HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL, AND HAS MAINTAINED ITS REPUTATION”: NASH’S MANSIONS OF ENGLAND IN THE OLDEN TIME, WITH 106 SPLENDID HAND-COLORED LITHOGRAPHIC PLATES OF THE “STATELY HOMES” OF ENGLAND
NASH, Joseph. The Mansions of England in the Olden Time. London: Henry Sotheran, 1869-72. Four volumes in two. Folio (11 by 15 inches), original full burgundy morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt.
Later edition of this most desirable illustrated survey of the “stately homes” of England—one of the highpoints of English color lithography—with the 106 chromolithographed plates printed in color and finished with beautiful hand-coloring heightened in gum arabic, in beautiful publisher's morocco-gilt.
Between 1839 and 1849 Nash published "his great work, in four series, Mansions of England in the Olden Time, which was highly successful, and has maintained its reputation" (DNB). "To prepare these 100 lithographs of surviving country houses of the 15th to 17th centuries, many of them little known, Nash roamed the country and sketched each one thoroughly on site. He confined himself strictly to reproducing architectural details, exterior and interior, but enlivened them romantically with scenes of Tudor domestic life, feasting, and revels that he researched carefully in the antiquarian works of Joseph Strutt… The Mansions' combination of architectural and antiquarian accuracy with contemporary values was devastatingly effective" (ODNB). Nash's romantic re-imaginings include scenes of Henry VIII wooing Anne Boleyn at her ancestral home and young William Shakespeare being brought before a neighboring landowner on poaching charges, as well as many glimpses of everyday life in the historic mansions of England. The 106 plates are mounted on 104 leaves—two leaves have two plates each—and include the elaborate lithographed title pages for each volume. See Abbey, Scenery 402. Bookplate.
Plates fine, coloring exceptionally vivid and crisp; minor restoration to beautiful publisher's original morocco-gilt. A beautiful production.