London, J.Pine, 1739, First Edition, Folio(560 x 390mm), contemporary mottled half calf gilt, spine restored, with engraved title with allegorical historiated border, printed dedication, 2 pp list of subscribers, 23pp text, 5 double-page plates each with 2 engraved maps,double-page map of the British Isles showing the track of the Armada,
10 double-page engraved plates of the sea battles printed in green and blue, all within highly decorative allegorical borders, incorporating medallion portraits, and 2 double-page engraved maps of Devon and Cornwall and the Thames(not in the Berlin Catalogue and present in only a few subscribers copies), all engraved by Pine after Gravelot and Lempriere.
Subscribers Copy of one of the finest naval works ever produced.
After the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 Lord Howard of Effingham,
commander of the British Fleet, commisioned Robert Adams to produce a series of charts representing the various phases of the action during the battle.The Dutch artist H.C.Vroom was then commissioned to produce a series of designs for tapestries,based
on the work of Adams.They were woven by Francis Spiring of Haarlem and some years later were purchased by James I, eventually furnishing the walls of the House of Lords in 1616.All the tapestries(except one that was stolen and is now lost) were burned in the fire that destroyed most of the Palace of Westminster in 1834.
Pine’s dramatic work depicting this epic naval battle is therefore now of great historical importance.These are the only examples portraying the scenes in the beautiful tapestries now lost.Apart from the remarkable detail of the engraving and the wealth of invention in the various cartouches, the restrained use of coloured ink to print the plate surface produces a strikingly attractive effect, and represents a very early example of the colour-printing of illustrations.
Berlin Catalogue 1677 ; NMM Catalogue 280.