"A MUCH ESTEEMED COMPILATION" CONTAINING 180 FINELY ENGRAVED VIEWS OF THE BRITISH ISLES AFTER TURNER AND OTHERS: 1799 LARGE-PAPER FIRST EDITION OF JOHN WALKER'S THE ITINERANT, SPLENDID FOLIO VOLUME IN FULL CONTEMPORARY MOROCCO-GILT
(WALKER, John, engraver) (TURNER, J.M.W., et al.). The Itinerant; a Select Collection of Views, in Great Britain and Ireland. Engraved from Original Paintings and Drawings, by Eminent Artists. [London]: John Walker, 1799. Tall folio (11 by 17-1/2 inches), contemporary full red straight-grain morocco gilt, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, all edges gilt. $3900.
First edition of this picturesque itinerary through Great Britain—scarce large-paper issue—with 180 finely engraved views after Turner, Girtin, Dayes, and others, beautifully bound in contemporary straight-grain morocco-gilt.
Publisher and engraver John Walker, the only son of engraver William Walker, engraved most of the images in this lovely volume after paintings and drawings by, among others, J.M.W. Turner and Thomas Girtin at the beginnings of their careers. The Itinerant (also issued under the title The Copper-Plate Magazine) is "a much esteemed compilation which he engraved and published and which gave employment to the young J.M.W. Turner. Walker had learned his craft under his father, with whom he frequently worked in collaboration" (ODNB). "The plates after Turner and Girtin were, in 1854, selected from this work, and republished with letterpress and a memoir by Thomas Miller" (Lowndes). Engraved calligraphic title page. Lowndes, 2813. See Abbey, Scenery 5 (a color-printed issue, though Abbey notes, "this is a special copy; no other is known that is actually printed in color," and Abbey's apparently unique copy only contains 100 engravings). Lewine, 569 (incorrectly providing date as 1789). Bookplate. Penciled annotations in a neat hand on Index leaf.
Some very light foxing, chiefly marginal. Engravings generally quite clean, with crisp impressions. Joints just starting, cords holding firm, binding quite sound. A beautifully bound copy of this lovely illustrated tour of Great Britain, most desirable in contemporary morocco-gilt.