SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

If you would like to get in touch, please feel free to contact: email hidden; JavaScript is required

Ancient Theatres of London. Bound Collection of Excerpts from Londina Illustrata Pertaining to Theatre.

The London Illustrata was a book published in two volumes by Robert Wilkinson in 1819 & 1825, that had initially been released with William Herbert as groups of engravings between 1808 and 1819 which featured topographical illustrations by some of the foremost engravers and illustrators of the day, of the cities of London and Westminster, the county of Middlesex and some areas south of the River Thames, then in Surrey, such as Southwark. This volume includes many views of the theatres of London including the Globe, the Theatre Royal at Drury Lane, and others.

London: 1819-1825.
London: 1819-1825.

Folio, 34.5 x 28 cm. Unpaginated. 59 hand-coloured plates and plans with 54 pages of text about the theatres depicted. The excerpts come from the second volume of Wilkinson's 'Londina Illustrata,' which concerned theatres primarily. In the original publication, one doesn't find these copper-engraved plates hand-coloured! The plates show both interiors and exteriors. They are watermarked as early as 1809, and the last one is watermarked in 1822. (The articles are not in the order of these watermarks.) Theatres discussed include the Bear Garden, the Globe, the Swan, the Red Bull Playhouse, the Fortune, the D'Avenant's, the Lincoln's Inn Fields (the Duke's), the Dorset Gardens, and on and on, covering most of the theatres at the time. Also, there is a map plate, and some of the plates contain small maps. The articles give a history of the theatre, with sometimes a lot of detail and trivia about it, its performers, etc. Modern half morocco binding over cloth boards. Raised bands in blind, gilt letters to spine, top edge gilt. Good copy. Coloured plates in order: 1. A 'curious' plan of Bankside. 2-3. The Bear Garden. 4-6. The Globe Theatre. 7. The Swan Theatre on the Bankside as it appeared in 1614. 8. Inside of the Red Bull Playhouse [Clerkenwell]. 9. The Fortune Playhouse, Golden Lane / [Plan] Site of the Theatre and the Adjoining Avenues. 10. A South View of the Falcon Tavern, on the Bankside in Southwark, as it appeared in 1805. / Plan of the site and its Vicinity. 11. South View of the Theatre Royal in Portugal Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields. 12. The Duke's Theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields, as it appeared in the reign of King Charles II. 13. Inside of the Duke's Theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields, as it appeared in the reign of King Charles II. 14. Internal View of the Old Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, as it appeared in 1792. / North West View of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, from Great Russell St. 15. The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane [plan of the theatre below]. 16. Interior of the Late Theatre Royal Drury Lane, destroyed by Fire in 1809. 17. Drury Lane Theatre, taken from Westminster during the Conflagration on the night of 24th Feb 1809 / The Ruins of the Theatre from Bridges St, after the Fire. 18. Rich's Glory or the Triumphant Entry of into Covent Garden. 19. Theatre Royal Covent Garden, as altered previous to the opening on 15th Sept1794; destroyed by Fire 20th Sept 1808 / The Original Entrance from the Piazza to the late Covent Garden Theatre... 20. East, North East View of Covent Garden Theatre from Bow St / A Plan of the Theatres of Covent Garden & Drury Lane with the Adjacent Streets. 21. Interior of the Little Theatre, Haymarket / Front of the above. 22. Interior of the New Theatre Royal, Haymarket, as it appeared on the night of its opening, 4th July 1821. 23. View of the New Theatre Royal, Haymarket [...] also shows the Old Theatre's relative situation previous to its demolition. 24. Proscenium of the Opera House / Entrance to the Haymarket. 25. The King's Theatre, Haymarket... 26. South East View of the Theatre in Ayliff St / [Plan] Goodmans Fields and its Environs. 27. The Painted Ceiling the performance of William Oram, formerly over the Pit of the Old Theatre in Ayliff St, Goodman's Field, in which Mr. Garrick first performed on the 19th Oct 1741. 28. Arena of the Royalty Theatre, Well St, Wellclose Square; built by John Palmer Esq... / Proscenium. 29. Remains of Gibbon's Tennis Court as it appeared after the Fire, 17th Sept 1809... 30. Interior of the Olympic Theatre near Drury Lane / Exterior of the above. 31. South West View of Sadler's Wells / View of the Theatre in its former state. 32. Inferior of the Pantheon Theatre / Proscenium. 33. Interior of the Sans Pareil Theatre / Entrance to The Strand. 34. Arena of Astley's Amphitheatre, Surrey Road / Front of the above. 35. Interior of the Regency Theatre, Tottenham St, Tottenham Court Road / Exterior of the above Theatre. 36. Royal Coburg Theatre, Surry. 37. Royal Coburg Theatre Surry, as it first appeared, 11 May 1818. 38. North East View of The Surrey Theatre, formerly The Royal Circus, near the Obelisk, Great Surrey St [plan beneath.] 39. The Proscenium of the English Opera House in The Strand (Late Lyceum), as it appeared on the evening of the 21st March 1817, with Walker's Exhibition of the Eidouranian / Front Boxes and Gallery. 40. Theatre in Tankard St, Ipswich, where Garrick made his first public appearance, 21st July 1741. It was still standing till about 1800 when the present Theatre was built upon the same site. 41. Elevation of the Theatre Royal Liverpool.