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2021-01-05 11:25:10
View of the awful conflagration at the Tower of London, October 31st 1841, and immense loss of national property.
London, J. Fairburn, [1841]. Broadside (485 x 385 mm), with large hand-coloured woodcut at head (285 x 175 mm) and four columns of text below; some closed marginal tears, small holes and creases neatly repaired (without loss), strengthened on verso with archival tissue, a few small marks and stains to recto and verso, otherwise a very good copy.An uncommon broadside, with a striking hand-coloured woodcut, recording the devastating fire which consumed the Grand Storehouse at the Tower of London in October 1841, an event also sketched in watercolour by J.M.W. Turner.The writer describes the event as 'a truly national calamity', destroying 'in addition to an almost innumerable quantity of trophies, and other evidences of British glory, no less a number than 200,000 stand of arms'. Alerted by a sentinel to the outbreak of a fire, the locally quartered Scots Fusilier Guards rushed to help, 'many in a state almost of nudity'. Under the command of Major Elrington, acting governor of the Tower, the troops fetched nine engines but had only enough water to work one of them. Additional engines arrived from local fire stations but were initially refused access and upon entry quickly exhausted the water supply, while floating engines mooring alongside Traitors' Gate arrived too late to prevent the destruction of the armoury. The flames attracted 'to the neighbourhood of Tower Hill countless multitudes' to witness the conflagration, which 'had all the appearance of the crater of some volcano'. The evacuation of the Jewel Tower is described as 'an extraordinary scene', 'the warders carryi … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Bernard Quaritch Ltd ABA ILAB [London, United Kingdom]
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