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New Matrimonial Ladder, A
, [c. 1840-1860]. [c. 1840-1860]. first edition. Scarce Hand Colored Scenes From A 19th C. MarriageFrom Courtship To CatcallsCONCANEN, Edward. ONWHYN, Thomas (illustrator). A New Matrimonial Ladder. With Twenty Illustrations, Designed by Onwhyn - Engraved by Charles Hunt. London: Read & Co… Ackermann & Co., n.d. [1849-1860]. First edition. Quarto (10 1/2 x 7 3/4 in; 268 x 198 mm). Unpaginated. Twenty hand-colored lithographed plates, including extra title, heightened with gum arabic, with fifty accompanying verses.Full brown hard-grained morocco with gilt rules, gilt-rolled raised bands, gilt ornamented compartments. A fine copy.Quite rare, with OCLC/KVK recording only six copies in institutional holdings worldwide. ABPC notes only one copy at auction within the last thirty-seven years, in 2004.There is some question regarding the correct date of publication. A penciled note to the title page declares 1853; the English Catalog of Books suggests 1840-1849; the DNB c. 1850; COPAC notes the copy at Oxford c. 1860. We throw out the ECB low of 1840; it is far too early.Little is known about Edward Concanen beyond that OCLC records five books authored by him, all, as here, published by Read & Co."Thomas Onwhyn (1814–1886), illustrator, was born in Clerkenwell, London, the eldest son of Joseph Onwhyn, a bookseller and newsagent at 3 Catherine Street, the Strand, London, and his wife, Fanny..."Thomas Onwhyn came to public notice by his contribution of a series of ‘illegitimate’ illustrations to works by Charles Dickens. He executed twenty-one of the whole series of thirty-two plates to The Pickwick Papers, which were issued in eight (though intended to be in ten) monthly parts by E. Grattan, 51 Paternoster Row, London, in 1837; they are for the most part signed with the pseudonym Samuel Weller, but some bear Onwhyn's initials. From June 1838 to October 1839 Grattan issued a series of forty etchings by Onwhyn, illustrating Nicholas Nickleby. In a letter of 13 July 1838 Dickens referred to ‘the singular Vileness of the Illustrations’ (Letters of Charles Dickens, 1.414). He objected to piracy but not to imitation and was friendly with Charles Selby, the author of Maximums and Specimens of William Muggins (1841), which was also illustrated by Onwhyn (ibid., 2.332). After his death an additional set of illustrations to The Pickwick Papers made by Onwhyn in 1847 was discovered and they were published in 1893 by Albert Jackson of Great Portland Street, London."Onwhyn's most lasting contribution was to the ephemeral end of the book trade in the 1840s and 1850s, illustrating the comic side of everyday life. Undertaken for shadowy publishers such as Rock Bros and Payne, and Kershaw & Son, he produced a score of pull-out or panorama books, coloured and plain, lithographed or etched for the popular market. Satirizing tourism, teetotalism, and fashion, they included Etiquette Illustrated (1849), A New Matrimonial Ladder (c.1850), What I Saw at the World's Fair (1851), Mr and Mrs Brown's Visit to the Exhibition (1851), A Glass of Grog Drawn from the Bottle … (1853), Cupid's Crinoline (1858), Nothing to Wear (1858), and Scenes on the Sands (c.1860). "He signed his work T. O., O., or with the pseudonym Peter Palette, as in Peter Palette's Tales and Pictures in Short Words for Young Folks (1856). He sometimes etched the designs of others—for example, Oakleigh, or, The Minor of Great Expectations by W. H. Holmes (1843). He was an indifferent draughtsman but showed real humour in his designs. His talent was somewhat overshadowed by those of his most eminent contemporaries such as George Cruikshank and Hablot K. Browne (Phiz). Onwhyn, who also drew views of scenery for guidebooks and illustrated six novels by Henry Cockton, abandoned artistic work, becoming a newsagent for the last twenty or thirty years of his life" Simon Houfe, Oxford DNB).Engraver Charles Hunt was active 1825-1857.English Catalog of Books, Vol. 1, p. 161.
      [Bookseller: David Brass Rare Books, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2014-03-24           Check availability:      Biblio    

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