SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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ROWLANDSON, Thomas, [bound with Thomas Lord Busby].
Characteristic Sketches Of The Lower Orders, Intended As A Companion To The New Picture Of London [BOUND WITH] Busby, Thomas Lord: Costume of the Lower Orders of the Metropolis.

Published in 1820, Rowlandson's Characteristic Sketches of the Lower Orders contains 54 hand-coloured plates showing lively, raucous scenes of London street life – many of which have now disappeared. Caricaturist Thomas Rowlandson captures people hawking their wares, flirting, shouting – even fast asleep, snoring. The advertisement at the front of the book describes Rowlandson’s work as containing ‘great variety of countenance, expression, and situation, evinc[ing] an active and lively feeling.’ Rowlandson reveals the jobs and wares that were essential to running 19th-century Britain - such as coal - and contemporary fads and fashions like rhubarb powder thought to ward off minor illnesses. Other figures include the ‘poor sweep’ and ballad singers, who sang out the day’s news. [AND] First edition of this attractive series of plates depicting the costumes worn by itinerant vendors and labourers during the early part of the 19th century. Thomas Lord Busby (baptized 10 November 1782, buried 5 May 1838), sometimes spelled Busbey, was an English portrait artist, etcher, and engraver. A Londoner, Busby exhibited at the Royal Academy and published collections of costume engravings, but little is known of his life outside his work.

Printed by L. Harrison for Samuel Leigh & Published for T.L. Busby, London 1820
Tooley 424 for Rowlandson; Tooley 123 for Busby; Bobins II 626 for Busby; Bobins III 894 for Rowlandson.
78. [54 + 24]
Printed by L. Harrison for Samuel Leigh & Published for T.L. Busby, London 1820

FIRST EDITIONS. 14 1/2 x 9 cm. 2 pages of text in "Sketches" however, no text for Busby plates. "Lower Orders" with fifty-four hand-coloured plates by Rowlandson: a panoply of city life containing the costumes of street vendors through Rowlandson's colourful, often affectionate delineations of human character. Busby plates without title page: the frontispiece depicts a man with a trumpet. a poster draped from his right shoulder reads "Costume Of The Lower Orders of The Metropolis." It appears to be a variant of "Costume of the Lower Orders of London" noted by TOOLEY 123 with the exact plate count and similar street characters. See TOOLEY 424 for Rowlandson. Bookplate [Rene Choppin] plates are bright and clean, with slight rubbing to corners. Binding: leather-bound 19th-century full black morocco front cover and spine lettered in gilt. Near fine in good matching black morocco pull-off case by Riviere & Son, the latter with raised bands and gilt spine lettering. Coloured plates in order: Rowlandson "Characteristic Sketches..." 1. Frontispiece. Menagerie. 2. Drayman. 3. Cooper. 4. Last dying Speech. 5. Itinerant Musicians. 6. Raree-Show. 7. Old Clothes. 8. Pray Remember the Poor Sweeper. 9. Chairs to Mend. 10. Door-Mats. 11. Butcher. 12. Images. 13. Earthen-Ware. 14. Cucumbers. 15. Postman. 16. Milk. 17. Poodles. 18. Shoe Black. 19. Hot-Cross Buns. 20. Great News. 21. Sweet Lavender. 22. Gardener. 23. Roasting Jacks &c. 24. Oysters. 25. Coal Heavers. 26. Curds & Whey. 27. Baskets. 28. Flounders. 29. Past One O'Clock. 30. Saloop. 31. Hackney Coachman. 32. Walnuts to Pickle. 33. Billet Doux. 34. Buy My Sweet Roses. 35. Fire Men. 36. Ballad Singer. 37. Placard. 38. Band Boxes. 39. All Hot. 40. Cherries. 41. Dogs Meat. 42. Rhubarb. 43. Wine Coopers. 44. Tinker. 45. Baker. 46. Grinder. 47. A Peep at the Comet. 48. Roasted Apples. 49. Bagpipes. 50. Strawberries. 51. Singing Birds. 52. Sweeps. 53. Matches. 54. Distressed Sailors. Busby "Costume of the Lower Orders of the Metropolis." 1. Title page. 2. Watchman. 3. Milk. 4. Matches. 5. Water Cresses. 6. Waterman. 7. Raree-Show. 8. Kettles to Mend. 9. Mackarel. 10. Onions. 11. Door-Mats. 12. Chickens. 13. Scavenger. 14. Ballad Singer. 15. Dray Man. 16. Coal Heaver. 17. Scissors Grinder. 18. Dogs Meat. 19. Post-Man. 20. Sweep. 21. Rabbits. 22. Beggar. 23. Old Clothes. 24. Pedler.