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Italian scenery [i e , Select views in Italy, with topographical and historical descriptions, in English and French]
[London: Printed by W. Bulmer and Co. for J. Smith, W. Byrne, & J. Edwards 4to. [1] f. (engr. dedication), [78] ff. (of letterpress), [72] ff. of plates, illus.. 1817] Smith is remembered in art circles as a very accomplished water color artist and it was that work that attracted the attention of George Greville, second earl of Warwick. The earl became Smith's patron and sent him Italy where he produced such works as "Outside Porta Pia, Rome" (now in the Tate collection) and "Interior of the Coliseum" (now in the British Museum); "his Italian pictures . . . are considered Smith's best" (ODNB). Toward the end of the 18th century (1792?-1799), Smith produced the first edition of this work, laden with => 72 engravings (by various artisans) after his original watercolors. This second edition of his Select Views in Italy was not issued with a title-page, although some copies have a copy (reprinting?, remainder sheet?) of the first edition's; it begins instead with a splendidly calligraphic => engraved dedication leaf reading, "Italian scenery. To the Queen's most Excellent Majesty this Collection of Select Views in italy is with Her Majesty's gracious permission Humbly dedicated by Her most obedient and devoted Servant, John Smith." Dated in text 18 January 1817, the leaf was designed by Tomkins and engraved by Ashby; at its bottom, as on a title-page, is "London[,] J. Smith, W. Byrne, & J. Edwards." The text in this edition, bilingual in => English and French, is the same as that of the first edition; but it was entirely reset and the plates are restrikes of those of the first edition, with the original imprints removed and the numeration moved to the top of the plates. This is, therefore, a particularly interesting object to => set beside an example of its first edition! Provenance: No bookplates or inscriptions, but spine with initials "G.O.B." tooled at base. 20th-century cordovan-color sheep, covers framed in single gilt fillet with gilt-stamped corner fleurons; spine with gilt-stamped leather title-label, gilt-ruled raised bands, and gilt-stamped fleurons in compartments; spine sunned/lightened with darker streaks and patches evident, one spine compartment with small scuff, joints with excellent repairs and corners likewise well refurbished. Text with only an occasional age-stain or instance of foxing; plates remarkably unblemished. Blue silk placemarker. Overall indeed a => very nice copy.
      [Bookseller: Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Co]
Last Found On: 2016-02-04           Check availability:      Biblio    

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