SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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PEAKE, Richard Brinsley.
French Costumes.

A lively book not only of characteristic French costumes, but typical scenes, trades and sights of the day for English travellers from Calais & Dieppe and on to paris and her environs.

London: Fitzroy Square & Cockspur Street, 1816.
Abbey Scenery #351.Cf. Abbey Travel I 87; cf. Colas II 2297; Bobins II 544; Lipperheide 1155.
London: Fitzroy Square & Cockspur Street, 1816.

SCARCE. 4to - (10" x 18"). FIRST EDITION. Title page +18 colour plates. Contemporary half calf with raised bands in gilt; gilt lettering and motifs to spine. Slightly rubbed but overall very good. Tight and complete, some light foxing mostly to text. A removable tissue guard protects each plate. This work was first issued in six parts in 1815-1816 under the title 'French Characteristic Costumes.' It was subsequently re-issued under the present title in a slightly different order as a single volume in 1819. The book does live up to the promise of its title, showing both men and women from various economic strata in both rural and urban settings. The artist and illustrator Richard Brinsley Peake worked for the engraver James Heath from 1809 to 1817 and pursued a successful career as a dramatist and author. The text and the plates form a pleasing whole: the images are charming and lively, while the insightful text also offers a historical perspective on an early 19th-century Englishman's view of the French. Coloured plates in order: 1. Title page. Landing of English Travellers at Calais. Low Water. 2. Fishermen & Women of Dieppe. 3. A Paris Diligence &c. 4. Introduction of English Travellers to a French Inn. 5. A Group at Calais. 6. Peasants returning from Abbeville Market. 7. Figures at St. Denis. 8. Itinerants on the Boulevards. 9. Le Grimacier. 10. Interior of a Coffee House. 11. Parisian Promenaders. 12. Street Characters. 13. Palais Royal. 14. Rouge et Noir. 15. Water Carrier &c. 16. Catacombes. 17. A trip to Versailles. 18. Market Characters. 19. La Morgue.