Profusely Illustrated with Lake District Views, And in Beautiful, Remarkably Well-Preserved Bindings


(London: A. Fisher, R. Fisher, et P. Jackson, [1834-36]). 286 x 222 mm. (11 1/4 x 8 3/4"). Three volumes. Translated by J. F. Gerard. First Edition in French.

VERY PLEASING CONTEMPORARY DARK GREEN HALF MOROCCO OVER LIGHTER GREEN MOIRÉ CLOTH, covers with gilt fillet and blind-rolled lattice border, spines with gilt-tooled raised bands at head and tail, and with two elongated raised panels elegantly gilt in a gothic pattern, three brown morocco labels, marbled endleaves and edges. Engraved title page with vignette in volume I, frontispieces in volumes II and III, and 213 steel engravings on 108 plates by Thomas Allom, George Pickering, and others, original tissue guards. Bicknell "The Picturesque Scenery of the Lake District" 112 (English edition). Tips of corners bruised, just a small number of plates with easily tolerable foxing or browning, otherwise AN ESPECIALLY FINE COPY, the text and plates unusually clean and entirely fresh, and the very pleasing bindings bright, lustrous, and altogether attractive on the shelf.

This is a particularly clean set--in especially attractive and unusual bindings--of the French edition of Thomas Rose's popular views of the Lake District, first published in English in 1832-35. The present edition differs from the English issue only in the language of the descriptive text. As Bicknell notes of this work, "almost every aspect of Lake District scenery was covered, including views from fairly remote spots high in the fells. . . . The engravers showed considerable virtuosity in handling the delicate line possible on a steel plate to achieve splendid tonal effects." Originally published in parts by subscription as a portion of "Fisher's Picturesque Illustrations of Great Britain and Ireland," the present item was then separately issued in three annual volumes (as here). Thomas Allom (1804-72) was an English architect of some importance: he was a founding member of what eventually became the Royal Institute of British Architects, and he designed, with Sir Charles Barry, plans for the House of Parliament. But he was chiefly known as a topographical illustrator. He executed many hundreds of drawings based on his wide travels, and produced a substantial series of travel books for the publisher Fisher between 1828 and 1850. Our set is uncommonly desirable because of its condition and its distinctive appearance, with design and decoration reminiscent of so-called "cathedral" bindings. Deriving its name from the use of design motifs taken from gothic architecture, the so-called "Cathedral Binding" (or "Cathedral-Style Binding") was fashionable in England and France for about three decades, beginning ca. 1810. In France the design was usually blocked, while in England it was typically accomplished with gilt tooling.

Keywords: Bindings