A Voyage Round Great Britain, 1813
A Voyage Round Great Britain, Undertaken in the Summer of the Year 1813, and Commencing From the Land's-End in Cornwall, by Richard Ayton, With a Series of Views Illustrative of the Character and Prominent Features of the Coast.
London,Longman, Orme, 1814-1825. First Edition, Folio (360 x 252mm), 8 volumes, Contemporary Calf Gilt by Staggemeier (with his pink label), sides with gilt and blind roll-tool Etruscan pattern borders, g.e., 4 vols. hinges repaired, with aquatint dedication leaf and 308 hand-coloured aquatint plates with pale grey wash borders, ALL ON CARD AS ISSUED, mounted on stubs, tissue guards, with the folding engraved map, 2 notes to subscribers and one prospectus for Daniell's 'Select Views of Windsor Castle' loosely inserted, without the uncoloured plate as usual. £16000
THE MOST IMPORTANT COLOUR PLATE BOOK ON BRITISH TOPOGRAPHY.
A Magnificent series of plates.
A celebration of the rural coastline of Britain, this eight volume collection of 308 aquatint engravings with accompanying commentary details the sublime and picturesque coastline in the final decades preceding the age of photography. Daniell's aquatint engravings, particularly those of the Scottish Highlands, are widely acknowledged as some of the finest ever produced.
Valuable as a record and exquisite in its presentation" (Tooley). This is "one of a number of sets issued with the plates on, or mounted on, card". Abbey notes that this was published at 96 guineas, as opposed to the regular edition at £60.
The tour took place in stages over twelve years, travelling only in the more clement summer months before returning to the city. During each tour Daniell would take only pencil, paper and a small camera obscura. During the winter months he would produce aquatints from these sketches. The engraving of an aquatint plates was a complicated process, but one at which Daniell was said to have become so skilled he was capable of producing a plate in a single day.
The process of aquatinting was not only laborious but also very expensive; hence the completed work was affordable only by the wealthy. The eight volume set retailed at £60 but 96 guineas on card, when completed in 1825, but was also sold by volume at £7 12s 6d each. Each volume comprised many "parts" detailing different sections of the coast. The prohibitive price, and consequently exclusive target audience, soon led to complications in the production of the work. The resulting disagreements between the contributors, industrial rather than picturesque descriptions, precipitated Ayton's departure, leaving Daniell to complete the tour on his own. As a depiction of the British Coastline in the first half of the Nineteenth Century, this work remains without peer. The aquatint engravings are world renowned for their quality and unparalleled in their popularity.
Abbey Scenery 16; Tooley 177
Provenance: Cowper, Carleton Hall, bookplate.