THE LIBRARY OF A GENTLEMAN
Including Fine Colour Plate, Caricature,Costume, Travel and Sporting Books.
'Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions have great pleasure in presenting an auction of works by some of the most celebrated book illustrators, including Henry Alken, George Cruikshank, James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson, as well as illustrators Joseph Crawhall and Edward Gordon Craig. This single-owner collection comprises over 340 rare and wonderful fine colour plate books from the Library of a Gentleman. The sale will take place on Thursday 7th November 2013.
A selection of humorous caricatures include an extremely rare complete set of the important satirical magazine La Caricature (Paris,1830-35). Established in 1830 by Charles Philipon La Caricature was a fundamental part of the fight against the power of King Louis-Philippe of France, a battle that won Philipon six months in prison for "Contempt of the King." Illustrated by famous artists of the time (Daumier and Grandville to name but a few) and including c.100 hand-coloured plates and an additional proof of plate 122, this set is expected to fetch £15,000-£20,000.[Lot 230].
La Caricature is in very good company with another rarity found in The Attorney-General's Charges Against the late Queen , a collection of caricatures aimed at Queen Caroline. The lot includes 49 hand-coloured etched plates, a few by brothers George and Robert Cruikshank, but the majority by Theodore Lane, one of which is pictured above. This highly collectable work carries an estimate of £4,000-£6,000. [Lot 42].
George Cruikshank is particularly well represented throughout the sale and was clearly of great interest to the collector who amassed this outstanding library. A British born caricaturist and book illustrator, Cruishank was apprenticed to his father Isaac Cruikshank, a leading caricaturist in the late 1790s. He was well known in his early life as a social caricaturist of English life for mainstream publications but later became renowned as being the illustrator of the first English translation of Grimms' Fairy Tales in 1823.
His political prints of the Royal family packed a satirical punch and in 1820, he reportedly received a bribe of £100 to ensure he did not depict King George IV in an immoral situation. In later life, his notoriety grew further when he was Charles Dickens illustrator for Sketches by Boz (1836), The Mudfog Papers (1837—38) and Oliver Twist (1838). In 1871 Cruikshank wrote to The Times claiming, as did several others, he wrote much of the plot of Oliver Twist, and the letter generated much debate.
The Wits Magazine, and Attic Miscellany (1818) is one of only a few works illustrated jointly by both George Cruikshank and Thomas Rowlandson. This copy is a complete set of the first and only edition and is the rarest item in the Cruishank collection. Only one copy has appeared at auction since 1923, set to fetch £3,000-£4,000. [Lot 100]. Also illustrated by Cruikshank are Albert M. Cohn's bound collection of 12 songsheets, estimated at £3,000-£4,000 [Lot 93], and a set of his Comic Almanacks for 1835 to 1839 with a very reasonable estimate of £600-£800 [Lot 144].
Thomas Rowlandson is unquestionably the most prominently featured artist in this library. According to R. V. Tooley, author of reference work English Books with Coloured Plates 1790 to 1860, one of the rarest of his books is the complete set of the first edition of The Comforts of Bath (1798) [Lot 256].. This exceedingly scarce item carries an estimate to match its exclusivity at £8,000-£12,000. One of the most important by Rowlandson, is Comparative Anatomy. Resemblances between the Countenances of Men and Beasts (1822). It is one of three known albums of original drawings and watercolours by Rowlandson, titled as such. This piece demonstrates the interest that Rowlandson had in the scientific developments of physiognomy and comparative anatomy, and how his humorous engagement with contemporary scientific thought influenced his drawings and watercolours. It is estimated to sell for £10,000-£15,000. [Lot 317].
Of interest for City collectors is, Laroon's Cries of the City of London Drawne After Life (1711) which depicts some of the earliest studies of 18th century street traders and performers of and is valued at £4,000-£6,000 [Lot 210]. Vernet's Incroyables et Merveilleuses (Paris, c.1815), a volume containing a magnificent suite of 33 hand-coloured engraved plates featuring the flamboyant costumes of the dandies and fashionable ladies of the Empire, is estimated to achieve £8,000-£12,000. [Lot 337].
One of the most prevalent artists in the sporting books selection is the famous English painter and engraver Henry Alken. A number of excellent pieces are included within the sale, such as A Cockney's Shooting Season in Suffolk (1822) [Lot 5]., a clean copy in its original printed wrappers, and Ideas, Accidental and Incidental to Hunting and other Sports; Caught in Leicestershire (1829) [Lot 11]., the rare first issue in book form, set to fetch £3,000-£4,000 and £4,000-£6,000 respectively.
An extensive collection Joseph Crawhall literature includes several of the author's own personal copies with additional sketches, watercolours and manuscript material, some inscribed by him. A presentation copy of The Compleatest Angling Booke... (1859), from the author, is bound in tan calf with relievo panel of two fish swimming amongst waterlilies by Fazakerley of Liverpool and estimated at £3,000-£4,000 [Lot 56]..
The sale is on view at Bloomsbury House, Maddox Street, on Tuesday 5th November 9.30am - 5.30pm, Wednesday 6th November 9.30am - 7.30pm and on the day of sale from 9.30am and will commence at 1pm Online bidding with no additional premium will be available via www.bloomsburyauctions.com.
Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are a UK 'top 5' auctioneer of fine art and collectibles. As part of Noble Investments (UK) PLC we are the only UK stock-exchange listed firm of auctioneers and occupy the same stable as coin specialists Baldwin's, and Apex Philatelics. Established in 1759, we have the broadest and most regular calendar of specialist catalogued sales in the industry, numbering over 150 per annum, and provide vendors and buyers alike access to market-leading specialist advice in any number of collecting fields. We operate from salerooms in Donnington Priory (near Newbury), London's Mayfair, Bristol and Godalming.
Dreweatts - 23rd October 2013