FARINGTON, Joseph (1747-1821), William WESTALL (1781-1850), Samuel OWEN (1768-1857) and others
[An album of views on the River Thames, England]
[No date, but mounts watermarked 1837]. Folio. (23 1/8 x 18 3/4 inches). 92 leaves, window-mounted with 344 prints after Farington, Westall, Owen and others, and 2 original watercolours, all of views on or near the Thames, one plate folding, 28 hand-coloured. (Most plates cut close to the image, some with loss of imprint).
Expertly bound to style in light brown half calf over original red textured cloth-covered boards, spine in six compartments with wide raised bands, the bands tooled in gilt with fillets and zig-zag roll tools, titled in gilt 'Views / of the / Thames' in the second compartment, the others with repeat decoration of a large centrally-placed flower spray tool, marbled endpapers, gilt edges
Provenance: James Frothingham Hunnewell (1832-1910, Charleston, Suffolk County, Mass., bookplate dated 1902)
A very fine series of views mounted and bound geographically: the first leaf has views of Thames Head, the final leaf of the Thames estuary.
Following the tradition established by the Boydell's with their History of the River Thames the present album allows the viewer to follow the course of the river Thames through the countryside of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Surrey before entering London, and then through and out the other side with Essex on one bank and Kent on the other. The prints include aquatints (hand-coloured, printed in two tints, printed in one tint and uncoloured), lithographs, copper-engravings (hand-coloured and uncoloured) and steel engravings. There are images from two main works: J. & J. Boydell's History of the River Thames (London: 1794-1796) with 28 from a total of 76 aquatints after Joseph Farington (with 5 printed in bistre, 1 printed in two tints and 22 hand-coloured) [see Abbey Scenery 432]. There is also a complete suite of uncoloured plates from William Westall's Thirty-Five Views on the Thames (London: 1824) [see Abbey Scenery 434 (a hand-coloured issue)]. Also included are at least 81 uncoloured engravings by William or George Cooke after sketches by Samuel Owen. Neither of the watercolours are signed, but one is of Randall's Mill at Nine Elms and is inscribed 'Nine Elms / Battersea Surrey' in pencil on the verso with a penciled annotation to the mount. The second is inscribed in pencil 'Scene from the Inn at Purflett [sic.] Sept 18/25'. Randall's Mill was a favourite subject for artists in the 1820s, but the present example is reminiscent of the work of John Varley (1778-1842). He is known to have produced at least one other view of the same subject (see Brighton & Hove Museums catalogue: John Varley 'Randall's Mill, Nine Elms, looking towards Vauxhall Bridge' signed and dated 1830, watercolour, 8 3/16 x 12 inches, accession number: 100018), and the penciled annotation beneath the watercolour could be in Varley's hand. If this is the case then he is a possible compiler as a number of the other images are inscribed in pencil by the same hand. The album was subsequently in the library of the well-known Boston book-collector James F. Hunnewell. The author of a number of antiquarian and historical works, he also had a catalogue of his library privately printed in an edition of fifty copies: A Catalogue of Books belonging to James F. Hunnewell of Charlestown, Mass. (Cambridge, Mass: 1873).
Abbey Scenery 432 (Boydell), 433 (Havell); Tooley 102 (Boydell), 255 (Havell, 1812 ed.).