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Naval Chronology of Great Britain, The
, 1818. 1818. first edition. Scarcer Than a Battleship in a Bathtub In the Original Parts The Genuine Hand-Colored IssueRALFE, Mr. J[ames]. Naval Chronology of Great Britain. Or, an Historical Account of Naval and Maritime Events, From the Commencement of the War in 1803, to the end of the year 1816: also, Particulars of the Most Important Court-Martial, Votes of Parliament, Lists of Flag-Officers in Commission, and of Promotions for Each year: The Whole forming a complete Naval History of the above Period. Illustrated with Numerous Engravings. London: Whitmore and Fenn, 1818. First edition, early issue with plates watermarked 1819. Twelve original parts, 1818-1819, in tall octavo (10 1/8 x 6 7/8 in; 256 x 175 mm). Sixty "genuine" hand-colored aquatint plates (with printed inscriptions, i.e. "from a sketch by...," "from a plan by...,"), including frontispiece, with original tissue guards. Original buff printed wrappers, with expert renewal by master restoration artist, Bruce Levy. Vol. 1: facsimile wrappers; Vol. 2: joints and endcaps restored, rear wrapper facsimile; Vol. 3: endcaps repaired, front wrapper re-attached; Vol. 4: plate with loss filled-in, front wrapper fill-in at fore-edge; Vol. 6: Front wrapper reattached; Vol. 7: facsimile wrappers, seven plates re-attached; Vol. 8: facsimile wrappers, six plates re-attached; Vol. 9: backstrip repair, wrappers re-attached; vol. 10: Joints and endcaps repaired; Vol. 11: Front joint and endcaps repaired, 5 plates re-attached; Vol. 12: backstrip repaired, corner restoration. A fine set. Housed in a blue cloth drop-back clamshell box.A book of incredible scarcity in the original parts with only one copy seen at auction within the last fifty-three years, in 1960. This copy was stashed in the 1930s and forgotten in the vault of a bookselling firm until recently. The rare 1820 three-volume first edition in book format is common by comparison.According to Abbey, plates later colored lack the inscriptions as noted above for genuine hand-colored plates, i.e. colored at time of issue. "Genuine colored copies are rare" (Tooley). The rear wrappers state "Price to Subscribers 10s 6d plain, and 15s coloured."The key, invaluable reference on the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars and American War of 1812 with plates based on drawings by officers, many of whom were participants in the naval battles: T. Sutherland, F.C. Lewis, D. Havel and others after T. Whitcombe, J. Beresford, W.A. Armstrong, J. Gore, W. Hill. With List of Subscribers"The object of this work is, more particularly, to perpetuate the names of those individuals who have, by their talents, courage, and professional abilities, increased the honour and reputation of the British Navy, and secured the peace and independence of the Country."It will form a complete Naval History from 1802 (the time at which Captain Schomberg's Chronology terminates) to 1817, under the form generally acknowledged to be the most convenient for an historical work of reference. From the arrangements which have been made, it is expected that the work will answer every purpose of information not only to gentlemen of the Navy, but to those who feel an interest in the naval events of the last fourteen yeas; while the correctness of the drawings, the superior style of the engravings, and the neatness of execution, will render it worthy of the attention of every lover of the fine arts. Indeed, throughout the greatest pains will be taken to make this publication of the utmost utility, and deserving of general patronage" (rear wrapper).Abbey, Life 342. Tooley 392. Sabin 67602. Howes R21. Cf. Prideaux, p. 348 (book edition).
      [Bookseller: David Brass Rare Books, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2014-03-10           Check availability:      Biblio    

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