(London: Printed by C. Hullmandel for Rodwell & Martin, ca. 1830). 145 x 110 mm. (5 3/4 x 4 1/4"). 100 leaves, printed on recto only.
Pleasing dark red crushed morocco by Bayntun for C. E. Lauriat (stamp-signed on front turn-in), covers with gilt-rule border, three gilt dots at corners, blind-tooled lances extending onto boards from raised bands, spine gilt in frames like the cover design, gilt titling, gilt-ruled turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. With a total of 100 PLATES (including title page vignette), drawn on stone by George Scharf and HAND COLORED. Colas 1808; Hiler, p. 533; Lipperheide 1080. ◆A FINE COPY, with only the most trivial signs of use, the plates carefully painted with pleasing colors.
This is a delightful little book of historical French costume, composed entirely of hand-colored lithographs tastefully presented in a lovely binding. According to Hiler, these "plates are reduced and reversed copies of those in [Hippolyte Lecomte's] 'Costumes civils et militaires de la monarchie française,'" first published in 1820 in four volumes. The present work was published as a single volume and in a smaller format by the renowned London-based printer and lithographer Charles Hullmandel (1789-1850). According to DNB, "Most of the major improvements made to lithography in Britain in the 1820s and 1830s can be attributed to Hullmandel, and in this period he was also the most prolific printer of pictorial lithographs in the country."
In addition to earning his living through printing, Hullmandel also worked with scientists like Michael Faraday in search of new ways to perfect the art of lithography. Images for the present work were actually executed by Hullmandel's friend George Scharf (1788-1860), a Bavarian-born artist who was among the vanguard of lithographers operating in London. We do not know who did the hand coloring here, but the work is refined and delicate, adding a great deal of appeal to an already charming book. (ST16372c)