Lot 18 of 222:
Boydell's River Thames with 76 colored aquatints  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$3,300
$4,000 - $7,000

An History of the Principal Rivers of Great Britain [An History of the River Thames]

Boydell, John and Josiah, publishers


Printed for W. Bulmer and Co. for John and Josiah Boydell



2 volumes. xiv, [2], 312; [8], 294, [1] pp. With 76 hand-coloured aquatint plates by J.C. Stadler after J. Farington (3 folding, all within grey aquatint borders); uncolored engraved plate of "The Mask of the Tame" inserted facing p.255 in Vol. 1; fold-out double-page engraved map of the plan of the course of the River Thames. (folio) 52x30.5 cm (16½x12"), period calf ruled in gilt, 

The first or early issue of the Boydell's notable work, with the general title pages and dedication to King George not present in the later issues, and the plates are superior. As Tooley notes, "There were early and late issues of this popular work the text of which is by William Combe. First issues have double titles, and these early impressions within aquatint borders are infinitely superior to later pulls. Poor and mediocre copies are relatively common, the work is almost invariably stained with offsets, and even the text is frequently spotted..." The plates of the present copy are clean and brightly colored, with only light offset from the text, much less than is usually the case, and only a few of the text leaves are foxed. Among the plates are two fine folding views of London. The work was intended to form the first part of a wider project to illustrate the rivers Thames, Severn, Forth and Clyde, but the idea was abandoned by Boydell once his celebrated History of the Thames appeared. In the present copy, the engraved plate of Father Tame, sometimes used as the frontispiece, is bound facing page 255 of the first volume; in later issues it was printed directly on text page 256. The plate list for Vol. 1 is bound at the back of Vol. 2. Abbey Scenery 432; Tooley 102.

Lot Amendments

Light rubbing to covers, spines faded just a bit; overall in fine condition.

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