WYATT, Sir Matthew Digby (1820-1877) - David BATTEN (binder)
The Industrial Arts of the Nineteenth Century
London: Day and Son, 1851-1853. 2 volumes, folio. (19 3/8 x 12 7/8 inches). 2 chromolithographed titles, 158 chromolithographed or tinted lithographed plates.
Period full green morocco, bound by David Batten, covers with an elaborate overall decoration in gilt, spines with wide raised bands in five compartments, lettered in the second and fourth the others with a repeat overall decoration in gilt, silk endpapers, gilt edges
An important Great Exhibition catalogue, among the most elaborate works illustrated with chromolithography of the mid-19th century: this copy in an extraordinary binding by the London binder David Batten who exhibited at the Great Exhibition and whose work is depicted within the book.
The architect Digby Wyatt was Secretary to the Executive Committee of the Commissioners of the Great Exhibition and executant architect for the construction of the Crystal Palace, responsible for realising the outline design of Sir Joseph Paxton. In his capacity as Secretary he was also charged with the arrangement of the exhibits. He published The Industrial Arts in order to reproduce the best objects in the Exhibition by chromolithography. "The preface gives an account of the production of the plates: 1069 stones were used, the greatest number of printings for any one subject was fourteen, the average number seven" (Abbey). "Shortly after the opening of the Great Exhibition the Publisher called upon the Author, and, stating his desire to demonstrate, upon a great scale, the capabilities of colour-printing as an auxiliary to industrial education, requested him to undertake this Work... The work was ... issued in... forty parts, embracing, in the whole, 160 plates [i.e. 2 titles and 158 plates]. The first number appeared on the 1st October, 1851, and the last will have been published on the 7th March, 1853... The greatest number of printings for any one subject has been 14, and the average number 7. The edition printed has amounted to 1300 copies" (Postscript). Wyatt goes on to acknowledge the contributions to the text by William Burges (the architect), C. Fowler and T. Hayes. The plates are presented under six different sections: I. Sculpture; II. Metal-Work; III. Textile fabrics, Lace, and Embroidery; IV. Porcelain, Glass, and Earthenware; V. Architectural decoration, Furniture, Wood and Ivory Carving, etc.; VI. Objects from India. In addition to India, the work represented comes from Germany, France, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Greece, Albania, Turkey, Russia, China, and of course Great Britain. The present copy, like the copy in the Royal Collection, was bound by David Batten, a London binder who exhibited at the Great Exhibition and whose work is illustrated within the book as plate 52. This fine example with the text and plates re-ordered as per the subject index located in vol. 1.
Abbey, Life in England 85 (incorrectly calling for plates numbered 1-160 [the two titles being unnumbered and the plates numbered 1-158]).