ALKEN, Henry (1785-1851)
A Cockney's Shooting Season in Suffolk ... Containing the remarkable adventures that actually occurred to a young Cit on a Visit to His Friends in that County
London: Thomas M'Lean, 1822 [plates watermarked J. Whatman 1821]. Folio. 16pp. 6 hand-colored aquatint plates.
Later red morocco, by Riviere & Son, covers panelled in gilt, upper cover lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers. Neat repairs to hinges.
Lovely English colour plate sporting book.
Accompanied by a narrative in verse, the plates illustrate a six-day shooting trip in idyllically rural Suffolk. Peter Pop, the son of a pawnbroker, and his friend and neighbour Sam Slop, prove a danger to the peace. Popping their guns in every direction except the right one, they hit men, women and dogs, but never birds. On the last day, as illustated on the final plate, a justice orders them to pay an enormous fine and never touch guns again.
These plates show Alken at his best: a master in control of his medium. The fine plates have humour, offer an insightful glimpse into the near-forgotten fashionable world of the 1820s and illustrate why Alken is considered one of the great sporting artists of all time.
Tooley 22; Schwerdt I, p.12; Abbey Life 382; Mellon/Snelgrove p.48.