([Twickenham]: Strawberry Hill, 1763). (222 x 173 mm) 8 3/4 x 6 3/4" 2 p.l., 128, 14, 20 pp.,  leaves (index), lacking final leaf of advertisements, found in some copies . FIRST EDITION.
Inoffensive modern half brown morocco over cloth boards, raised bands flanked by gilt rules, with decorative garland and star tools or lettering in each compartment. With nine plates depicting portraits of engravers. Includes the "Direction to the Binder" before the title page. Extremities a bit rubbed but otherwise a perfectly sound binding, some occasional light scattered foxing with slightly heavier foxing on the last few pages and in the margins of one plate, a touch of offsetting from plates, a flat crease to the corner of two leaves, but overall a very pleasing copy without any major defects.
This charming work focuses on the type of artist most frequently encountered by bibliophiles: the engraver. Each of the nine plates contains one or more portraits of well-known engravers of the 16th-18th centuries, including William Faithorne, Robert White, and even the diarist John Evelyn who, although not a professional artist, "loved, promoted, [and] patronized" the art. The text contains brief entries describing the artists' life and work, and is based on the manuscripts of George Vertue (1684-1756), himself a prominent engraver, whose notebooks were purchased after his death by Horace Walpole. The "Direction to the Binder" note suggests that this work was intended as a companion or supplement to Walpole's "Anecdotes of Painting in England," which were also based on Vertue's notes and printed at Strawberry Hill. (ST13533c)
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