(BINDINGS - RIVIERE). ROGERS, SAMUEL.
ITALY, A POEM. [with] POEMS.(London: T. Cadell and others, 1830, 1834). 203 x 127 mm (8 x 5"). Two separately published works bound in two volumes.. FIRST EDITION, First Issue, of each work, with proofs of the engravings.
ESPECIALLY LOVELY EARLY 20TH CENTURY GREEN CRUSHED MOROCCO, LAVISHLY GILT, BY RIVIERE (stamp-signed on front turn-ins), covers with single gilt fillet border and ornate scallop-edged cornerpieces containing a large floral spray on a stippled background accented with a number of small tools; raised bands, spines densely gilt in compartments completely filled with flowers and small tools radiating from a central quatrefoil, turn-ins with gilt fillets and floral cornerpieces, all edges gilt. Each volume in a green linen dust jacket inside matching morocco-backed slipcases. With numerous engravings in the text, frontispiece (for "Poems"), and four full-page engravings, all by Finden after Turner, Stothard, and others. Just a hint of wear to the top inch of one joint, inoffensive offsetting from engravings, other trivial imperfections, but AN EXCEPTIONALLY BEAUTIFUL SET, clean and fresh internally, and THE BINDINGS IN ABSOLUTELY SPARKLING CONDITION.
This is a finely illustrated and handsomely bound copy of Rogers' poem inspired by his travels in Italy (for more on the work, see item #107). The success of this edition was perhaps due as much to the artists as to the poet. In his vignettes, Turner (1775-1851) reveals the ability to embody the Romantic spirit in dreamy studies of architecture and landscape, unaided by color. The images made such an impression on Ruskin, then 13, that he felt they "determined the main tenor of [his] life." Like Turner, Stothard (1755-1834) had been a poor boy who rose to eminence through his talent. He illustrated a great number of works, including the novels of Goldsmith, Fielding, and Cervantes, as well as pictures to accompany Rogers' "Pleasures of Memory" in 1793. Apart from content and illustration, the present item is of great interest because of its bindings, executed with outstanding skill by one of the foremost firms in Britain. (For more Riviere, see item #154.) Our bindings have been particularly well served by their protective dust wrappers and slipcases, which have prevented the fading that usually plagues green morocco. While these two works by Rogers are a good distance from being rare, these particular copies are distinctive because of the splendid nature of their decoration and the remarkable state of their condition. (ST11979)