MONASTIC RUINS OF YORKSHIRE, 1843, WITH OVER 80 ELEPHANT FOLIO PLATES, MANY HAND-COLORED
RICHARDSON, William. The Monastic Ruins of Yorkshire. York: Robert Sunter, 1843. Elephant folio (18 by 24 inches), early cloth rebacked and recornered in later dark green morocco, all edges gilt. $12,800.
First edition of this monumental production, with two hand-colored title pages, a hand-colored dedication leaf, 34 hand-colored full-page plates, 24 hand-colored half-page plates, 22 uncolored full-page plates (some tinted), and a map.
The dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in the 16th century left Yorkshire with a rich collection of monastic ruins, captured here in a series of plates by artist William Richardson in a work that rivals the great Holy Land by David Roberts. Locations included here are Whitby Abbey, Kirkstall Abbey, St. Mary's York, Rievaulx and Kirkham Abbeys, Fountains, Roche Abbey, Byland and Newborough, Guisborough, Mount Grace, Selby Abbey, Bolton Priory, Bridlington Priory, Old Malton Priory, Joraulx Abbey, Sallay Abbey, Sawley Abbey, Monk Bretton Priory, Coverham Abbey, Eggleston Abbey, Easby Abbey, Grey Friars Richmond, Howden, Kirkham Priory, Marrick, Nun-Monkton, Ellerton and Rosedale Priory. The plates were printed by the lithographic firm of William Day, frequently referred to as "Day and Hague" because of the fine work of Belgian draughtsman and watercolorist Louis Haghe, the foremost lithographer of his time. "The firm of Day and Haghe raised lithography to perhaps the highest point it ever attained" (Abbey, 340). (Perhaps not surprisingly, this is the same firm that printed Roberts' Holy Land.). Issued in two versions, one entirely uncolored and the other with many of the plates hand-colored. This copy without the uncolored plate labeled number 49 by Abbey, not present (or listed) in the uncolored copies and often not present (but in the plate list) in colored copies; in this copy, Abbey's plate number 74, "Howden, Tombs," has been bound in its place. Abbey Life 381.
Scattered foxing to some text and plates. An impressive production.