SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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CROSS, Thomas.
The Autobiography of a Stage Coachman.

A beautiful edition of Thomas Cross' fascinating memoir about his life working as a stage coachman in the nineteenth century, illustrated with beautiful hand-coloured aquatint plates. An interesting book about the era of horse-drawn stage coaches being used for travel, written by Thomas Cross. As a stage coachman, Cross was able to observe his contemporaries in a different light while they were travelling. As a result, this work offers a fascinating insight into the people and society of the nineteenth century.

London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. 1904.
London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. 1904.

Royal 8vo. In 2 vols.; beautifully bound by Bayntun of Bath in full red morocco, the upper boards with elaborate panels of gilt and black lines intersected by a lozenge at each corner of the panel is a frame containing gilt tools of either coaches or post-horns gilt paneled spines decorated with post-horns. With marbled endpapers and all edges gilt; with a portrait and 41 hand-coloured plates after Thomas Rowlandson, Henry Alken, James Pollard, and others. 2 illustrations in the text; the upper board of Vol. I has been re-jointed the same joint of Vol. II has been repaired at the top, some minor surface damage to the lower cover of Vol. II but a nice and attractive copy overall. Spine, with gilt raised bands, in six compartments, lettered in the second and the fourth compartments. This handsome illustrated edition was limited to 500 copies. The first edition of this book which appeared in 1861, had a frontispiece only. Tipped in on the reverse of the frontispiece in Vol. It is a small envelope bearing an original watercolour of a coaching scene with a caption in ink "Sudden stoppage of the bank." beneath the envelope is a pencil note stating that this is "A rare essay - 1841". Coloured plates in order: Volume 1. 1. Frontispiece. The Taglioni Windsor Coach, driven by the Earl of Chesterfield. 2. Royal Mails starting from the Post Office. 3. Arrival of the Stage Coach. 4. Stage Coach traveling. 5. A London Mail and Stage Coach. 6. London, Dover, & Deal Coach. 7. Putting-Up a Cock-Fight on the Road, a private Cocking Match in a Country Barn. 8. Stage Coach Passengers at Breakfast, Redbourn. 9. The Reading Telegraph Coach, distant view of Eton College & Windsor Castle. 10. The Allied Sovereigns attending a Review, 1814. 11. Extraordinary exploit during the Frost. 12. The Snow Storm - delay of the Mail. 13. The Mail Coach in a Drift of Snow. 14. The York Highflyer Coach. 15. Four-in-Hand at "The Roebuck." 16. Southampton Coaches - The Telegraph. 17. The Plymouth Fly. 18. "The Age" Brighton Coach at The "Bull and Mouth" Regent Circus, Piccadilly. 19. The Opposition Coaches. 20. "The Blenheim" Coach, leaving The Star Hotel, Oxford. Volume 2. 21. Frontispiece. Tandem. 22. Leeds Royal Mail Coaches Saluting Half-Way. 23. Highgate Tunnel. 24. A Passing Remark. "I thought you'd pull the wrong Riband in springing round the corner." 25. The Liverpool Umpire. 26. The Oxford and Opposition Coaches. 27. The Duke of Beaufort Coach driven by the Marquis of Worcester. 28. North-Country Mails at "The Peacock" Islington. 29. A Horse Sale at Hopkins's Repository, Barbican. 30. Quicksilver Royal Mail passing Kew Bridge. 31. The Birmingham Tally-Ho! Coaches passing the "Crown" at Holloway. 32. The Mail changing Horses at "The Falcon" Walthamstowe. 33. Cambridge Coach. 34. Cottager's Hospitality to the Travellers or the coach fast in the snow. 35. Changing Horses at "The Bull." 36. The Mail Coach Changing Horses. 37. The Cambridge Telegraph, starting from the 'White Horse,' Fetter Lane. **Henry Villebois Esq -1842. (of Marsham House, Norfolk) [sepia print]** 38. Hyde Park Corner -Derby Day. 39. Kennington Gate -Derby Day. 40. A Resolute Team. 41. Meet of the Four-in-Hand Club. Hyde Park.