SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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LYSONS, Samuel.
A Collection of Gloucestershire Antiquities.

London, printed forLondon: T.Cadell and W.Davies 1804 (but issued in parts 1791 onwards
London, printed forLondon: T.Cadell and W.Davies 1804 (but issued in parts 1791 onwards

A volume of handsome engravings and soft-ground etchings of mediaeval castles churches tombs stained glass windows and manor houses in the county of Gloucestershire all personally engraved and drawn by the volume s author Samuel Lysons (1763-1819). Lysons one of the two antiquarian-minded sons of a Gloucestershire clergyman initially practised as a barrister but he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London as early as 1786 and he devoted his energies and his skills as a topographical draughtsman to the study of Roman and mediaeval antiquities particularly in his own native county. He was subsequently to become Director of the Society of Antiquaries (1798-1809) and Keeper of the Records in the Tower of London. Production of the present volume began in 1791 and its text and plates were issued in fifteen parts between then and 1803. The principal buildings featured are Bristol Cathedral Gloucester Cathedral Berkeley Castle Sudeley Castle Tewkesbury Abbey and Thornbury Castle but Lysons also illustrates a wide range of mediaeval parish churches and manor houses and his perspective views of these often show a real feeling for the aesthetic quality of the buildings concerned (there is a pleasing view of the exterior of Rodmarton Manor House in the parish where his father was Rector). His plates are also a useful record of the appearance of all these buildings before they attracted the attention of nineteenth century or subsequent restorers ; this is as much true of the castles and manor houses as it is of the churches for Sudeley Castle and Thornbury Castle are shown as they appeared before their subsequent partial reconstruction by nineteenth century landowners. The volume s hand-coloured plates chiefly illustrate stained glass windows but include a coloured view of stalls in Tewkesbury Abbey and a plate with coloured illustrations of mediaeval floor tiles. The bibliography of the volume is complicated by the fact that thirty-six of the plates originally issued were cancelled and replaced by better re-engraved versions ; copies such as ours with an 1804 title leaf have all the plates in their final version but copies bound up from the part issues may retain some of the plates that were subsequently cancelled. Our copy in common with a copy recently in the stock of the Quaritch firm is without a four-page printed listing of the plates present in the copy described by Upcott (vol i pp 259-63) but the Upcott copy was of an early state with a title leaf dated 1803 rather than 1804 and without the printed advertisement leaf that appears in our copy. BAL Cat 1983 (with the plate list but with fewer coloured or partly coloured plates than in our copy). Large folio. Engraved title leaf printed advertisement leaf 38 + (4)pp 110 engraved plates numbered I-CX (plate CIX bound as frontispiece plates XI XIII XIV XV XXXI XXXXIX XLI XLII LVI LXVI LXXIV LXXVI XCIII XCIV XCVIII C CIX hand-coloured partly hand-coloured or with tinted backgrounds). Nineteenth century quarter calf marbled boards rebacked using remains of original spine the corners of the binding worn with some loss of surface. Title leaf rather browned occasional light spotting or browning elsewhere but the plates generally in good condition. Mid nineteenth century bookplate of Rev.George Streynsham. Coloured plates in order: 1. Ancient Stained Glass in Cirencester Church. Plate CIX 2. Tomb in Rodmarton Church. Plate XI 3. Stained Glass in the East Window of the North Aisle of Siddington Church. Plate XIII 4. Stained Glass in Siddington Church. Plate XIV 5.. Portrait on Glass in Cirencester Church. Plate XV 6. Figure on Glass in Gloucester Cathedral. On Glass in Iron Acton Church. Plate XXXI 7. Stained Glass in the East Window of Buckland Church. Plate XXXIX 8. Tomb of John Fortey in Northleach Church 1458. Plate XLI 9. Tomb of Thomas Fortey, William Scors & Agnes their wife, 1447. Plate XLII 10. Stone Stalls in Tewkesbury Abbey. Plate LVI 11. One of the Windows in the Choir of Tewkesbury Abbey Church. Plate LXVI 12. Ancient Tiles in the Vestry of the Mayor's Chapel at Bristol. Ancient Tiles in Berkeley Caste. Plate LXXXIV 13. Part of the Nave of Tewkesbury Abbey. Plate LXXVI 14. Ancient Stained Glass in the Choir of Bristol Cathedral. Plate XCIII 15. Specimens of Ancient Stained Glass. Plate XCIV 16. Arms on the Tomb in the Vestry of Bristol Cathedral. Plate XCVIII 17. Tomb of one the Abbots of Tewkesbury. Plate C