SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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LOFTIE, William John.
Kensington Picturesque & Historical.

London & New York: Field and Tuer [and others in London], Scribner & Welford [in New York], 1888
London & New York: Field and Tuer [and others in London], Scribner & Welford [in New York], 1888

4vo. 56pp. list of subscribers (pp.iii-lviii) to this work; 6pp. list recording the subscribers to Falkner's History of Kensington 1820" (pp.lix-lxiv) 7pp. Publisher's advertisements. Half title with imprint and manuscript limitation notice of the verso. Manuscript notes on prelims. 3 maps on 5 lithographic sheets. Publisher's brown morocco covers with gilt fillet at outer border containing the title in gilt and a small gilt crown symbolising Kensington's status as a royal borough; spine in five compartments with raised bands; lettered in the second; gilt turn-ins; marbled endpapers; gilt edges the fore edge with two original watercolour vignette drawings on one surface: the upper image of a young girl in a white dress standing in a sunset-lit landscape the lower a view of 25 Silver Street Kensington (a version of the image to be found on p.89 of the present work) (neat repairs to joints). Bookplate of: Charles Plumptre Johnson (1853-1938) with hand written "Jane Clair Nixon, from Connie Cartier, Christmas, 1948". The bookplate is dated 1889 subscriber see p.xxviii; Jane Clair Nixon (various inscriptions). Number 8 of 50 proof copies. A subscriber's copy of this lavish piece of late 19th-century book production with original fore-edge paintings. A beautifully-produced work and a very rare example of a publication being offered for sale by the original publisher with an original fore-edge painting. Field and Tuer's Advertisement at the rear notes that "For the curious a few Proof copies of Kensington: Picturesque and Historical at five guineas bound in full morocco have been painted in water-colours on the front under the gilt edges of the leaves a couple of Kensington views which until the leaves are bent back at an angle are invisible." "This sumptuous work contains full descriptive accounts of the parish of Kensington and the adjoining Palace and Gardens with the changes and improvements of the past century or more; notices of Kensington celebrities and of the great national institutions which have sprung up at Kensington Gore and Brompton Park; and a fund of discursive matter of local and historical interest. In regard to the ... illustrations two years have been spent by the artist in making original drawings of old and modern Kensington. They include artistic exteriors and interiors; glimpses of Kensington gardens; the Palace in which the Queen was born; the park; the people streets houses churches and ruins; and pretty and quaint illustrations of Kensington scenery. All edges gilt. Coloured plates in order: 1. Frontispiece. A Dance in Kensington Square, 1815. 2. The Row, 1793. 3. Street Travelling in Sedan Chairs. (3 vignettes) 4. Kensington Palace, 1744. 5. Kensington Palace, 1793. 6. The Serpentine, 1744.