“ROWDY EPISODES FOR COMBE’S JINGLING RHYMES”: WITH 26 HAND-COLORED PLATES BY ROWLANDSON
(ROWLANDSON, Thomas) [COMBE, William]. The Dance of Life, A Poem. London: R. Ackermann, 1817. Tall octavo, late 19th-century full marbled calf gilt, brown spine label. $700.
First separate edition, with 26 full-page hand-colored aquatints by famous political caricaturist Thomas Rowlandson.
Thomas Rowlandson was “equally at home realizing in line the characters of a classic novel… or devising a grim or rowdy episode for Combe’s jingling rhymes” (Ray, 26). For many his books, Rowlandson etched the plates himself, and hand-tinted a set of proofs as models for the publisher’s colorists. Combe and Rowlandson first collaborated on The Microcosm of London (1808), and both later gained fame through the three Tours of Dr. Syntax (1812-1821). The Dance of Life was originally issued in eight monthly parts, as a companion work to their popular two-volume English Dance of Death (1815-16). This is the first separate edition under a general title page, with an additional engraved title. Tooley 410.
Faint offsetting from plates, coloring bright. Light rubbing to extremities. A very good, attractively bound copy.