SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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BOYS, Thomas Shotter.
Original Views of London as it is.

London: Published by Thomas Boys, Printseller to the Royal Family, 11 Golden Square, Regent Street, 1842.
Abbey Scenery 240; Bobins 836.
London: Published by Thomas Boys, Printseller to the Royal Family, 11 Golden Square, Regent Street, 1842.

Drawn from Nature expressly for the work and lithographed by Thomas Shotter Boys. Exhibiting its Principal Streets and Characteristic Accessories, Public Buildings in Connexion with the Leading Thoroughfares &c. &c. &c. With Historical and Descriptive Notices of the Views by Charles Ollier. Folio, title printed as above, lithographed dedication to the Rt. Hon. Lord Francis Egerton, first Earl of Ellesmere, each one page with verso blank. Twenty-six hand-coloured lithographed plates mounted on thick card, including frontispiece, each with one accompanying leaf of text in French and English. Each leaf with verso blank, original morocco-backed cloth boards with information regarding title and illustrations on upper cover. Each of these plates is reputed to have been coloured by Boys himself. This has been called the Deluxe edition and is the rarest and finest edition of what is regarded as the finest lithographed work showing views of London. “A book of considerable importance apart from the beauty of its plates. The work recorded London at a period when good pictorial records were few. The London of the 1840s is probably more difficult to reconstruct than any other period in the 19th century. High production costs and changing fashion was causing the aquatint to die out, a medium familiar to Boys; photography was still in its experimental stage, and the art of chromo-lithography was still to appear in 1850” (Abbey Scenery). Boys was apprenticed to George Cooke, and his early training in engraving influenced his career. This, combined with his ability to lay aquatint washes and to apply hand colour to prints, was important in his lucid style of watercolours and landscapes. Boys engraved for Turner and Hakewell and his own views of the Thames, as seen here. Boys subsequently established a reputation for his lithographed volumes of scenic tours. He went to Paris, where he met Parkes Bonington, the Fielding brothers, and William Callow (France and Belgium being the early centre of lithography, after Germany). Lithography became a popular medium when Godefry Engelmann opened his Imprimerie Lithographique in 1816. “Boys’ Original Views of the Thames, 1842, is among the most splendid of such albums,” according to Groves. Boys used lithography for an excellent account in this work. Groves continues by commenting on “His [Boys’] large format with its sequence of townscapes, startling for their combination of the familiar with provocative vistas.” Rebinding and restoration work on this book was carried out by Ron Norman of Hartlepool (Ronnorn@aol.com) Coloured plates in order: 1. Frontispiece. Doorway, Temple Church. 2. Mansion House, Cheapside. 3. The Tower and Mint from Great Tower Hill. 4. The Custom House. 5. London Bridge &c. from Southwark Bridge. 6. London from Greenwich. 7. Blackfriars from Southwark Bridge. 8. Westminster from waterloo bridge. 9. Westminster Abbey, Hospital &c. 10. Board of Trade, Whitehall &c. from Downing Street. 11. Buckingham Palace from St. James's Park. 12. North front to St. James's Palace, from Cleveland Row. 13. The Club Houses &c. Pall Mall. 14. The Horseguards &c. from St. James's Park. 15. Hyde Park Corner. 16. Hyde Park, near Grosvenor Gate. 17. Piccadilly, looking towards the City. 18. Regent Street, looking towards the Quadrant. 19. Regent Street looking towards the Duke of York's Column. 20. Entry to the Strand from Charing Cross. 21. The Strand. 22. Temple Bar from the Strand. 23. St. Dunstan's &c. Fleet Street. 24. St. Paul's from Ludgate Hill. 25. Guildhall. 26. The Bank, looking towards the Mansion House.