(London: Day & Son, 1863). 438 x 305 mm. (17 1/4 x 12"). Three volumes. FIRST EDITION.
IMPRESSIVE CONTEMPORARY RED MOROCCO, LAVISHLY GILT, covers with wide filigree frame, central panel with very prominent scrolling cornerpieces, upper covers with gilt titling, raised bands, spines gilt in compartments filled with a riot of gilt flourishes and small tools, turn-ins with decorative gilt roll, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt and intricately gauffered. With 304 SOMETIMES STRIKING CHROMOLITHOGRAPH PLATES (comprising the 300 plates called for, plus an additional illustrated title page to each volume and plate "300A"). Facing text in English and French. Front pastedowns with "Carpe Diem" bookplate of James Hall. Corners with slight wear, morocco with one small abrasion, one small spot, and one small dent, the imposing bindings otherwise unusually bright, clean, and well preserved. Top corner of perhaps half the leaves in volume III with small (usually very small) dampstain, one leaf with repaired tear at inner margin, otherwise the text and plates (and even the tissue guards) as clean and smooth as the day the books were published.
This is an illustrated collection of more than 1,000 fine objects presented at the 1862 International Exhibition, pictured here in large-format chromolithography and offered in imposing bindings almost enveloped with gold. Among the many works of fine, decorative, and industrial arts are fabrics, rugs, jewelry, ceramics, glassware, sculptures, furniture, plates, silver, wallpaper designs, and many other (sometimes magnificent) works. The plates were chromolithographed by and under the direction of W. R. Tymms, A. Warren, and G. MacCulloch from photographs supplied by the London Photographic and Stereoscopic Company, taken exclusively for this work by Stephen Thompson. Architect and painter John Burley Waring (1825-75) selected the items for inclusion and has described each (in English and French) as well as provided details about the artists and artisans. Waring was superintendent of the works of ornamental art and sculpture in the Manchester exhibition of 1857, and edited "Art Treasures of the United Kingdom" (1858). The present book is not uncommon, but it is infrequently found so handsomely bound and is almost never encountered in such fine condition. (ST12509)
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PJP Catalog: 73.130