[ALKEN, Henry (1785-1851)]
Comparative Meltonians, As They Are and As They Were ... by Ben Tally-Ho
London: Thomas Mclean, 1823. Oblong folio. 6 hand-colored etched plates by G. Hunt after Alken. Plates 4 and 6 with repairs to short marginal tears.
Original printed pink wrappers, upper wrapper with title, motto and imprint, lower wrapper with publishers advertisements, rebacked and recornered. Housed in a black morocco backed clamshell box.
Provenance: Joseph Widener (morocco label; his sale, Parke Bernet, 28 November 1944, lot 21); Joel Spitz (collection stamp and bookplate; his sale, Christie's London, 27 May 2015, lot 110)
The Widener-Spitz copy.
The large magnificently coloured plates contrast the excellent riding of past Meltonians and their consideration for their horses with the brutality of fashionable newcomers in dandified dress. The publication price of two guineas is given on the front wrapper. "A very rare series, among the largest and finest of Alken's plates" (Tooley). "One of Alken's most brilliantly coloured hunting sets and one which is very rarely found in its original wrapper" (Schwerdt).
Mellon/Snelgrove 18; Schwerdt I:13; Siltzer 59 & 71; Tooley 23; Dixon 53 ("beautiful and excessively rare").