SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

If you would like to get in touch, please feel free to contact:

The Tournament or Days of Chivalry.

London: Printed for William Sams, bookseller to H.R.H. the Duke of York, 1 St James's-Street, 1823.
Not in Tooley or Abbey.
London: Printed for William Sams, bookseller to H.R.H. the Duke of York, 1 St James's-Street, 1823.

FIRST EDITION, RARE colour plate book. 8vo pp. [ii] 59 [1] imprint; 24 hand coloured aquatints plates have tinted borders and are proof before letters; beautifully bound by Harrison of Belfast; contemporary rose calf panelled in gilt and blind; raised bands to spine; dark title label and the title in gilt to spine; delightful gilt inner dentelles; marbled endpapers; book label of 'Alfred Barmore Maclay' and bookplate of 'Graham M Adee'. Slightly worn and rubbed at extremities and to the spine. An unusual item probably published as a direct result of the wave of enthusiasm for all things chivalric after the publication of Scott's Ivanhoe in 1819. The story has Sir Ethelbert, the hero, the one he loves Adelaide, together pitted against a dark wood, an assassin, a good monk, a castle, the tournament and Gondibert the badie. After lots of kidnappings, misunderstandings, mistaken identify and the descent into madness followed by Gondibert's suicide, all ends happily for the two lovers. The artist still conforms to a Strawberry Hill form of gothic and the poet combines the style of Monk Lewis with Scott. Both author and artist are unrecorded. Although the work has been ascribed to Rowlandson it is more likely to be by William Heath or another artist in the William Sams stable. *Rebinding and restoration work on this book was carried out by Ron Norman of Hartlepool. (Ronnorm@aol.com)* Coloured plates in order: 1. [no caption] Sir Ethelbert preparing to leave his castle for the tournament. 2. [no caption] Sir Ethelbert passing beneath his castle Portcullus. 3. [no caption] Sir Ethelbert with his sweetheart and one true love, Adelaide - with Gondibert in attendance! 4. [no caption] Sir Ethelbert and Gondibert taking their leave of Adelaide. 5. [no caption] Sir Ethelbert and Gondibert seen together on a wild and windswept road. 6. [no caption] Sir Ethelbert lost in the dak woods. 7. [no caption] Sir Ethelbert takes lodgings at an inn for the night. 8. [no caption] An unsuccessful assination attempt is made on Sir Ethelbert at the inn. 9. [no caption] Sir Ethelbert's horse dies on the road. 10. [no caption] Sir Ethelbert comes across a wounded Monk beneath a tree. 11. [no caption] Passing knights and retainers on the road, en-route to the tournament give Sir Ethelbert 'a ride'. 12. [no caption] To much cheering, Sir Ethelbert arrives at the tournament. 13. [no caption] Sir Ethelbert and his fierce rival are seen jousting, Gondibert falling from his mount. 14. [no caption] Sir Ethelbert is seen asking where the fair Adelaide has gone at her father's castle (kidnapped!) 15. [no caption] Sir Ethelbert making further enquiries inside the castle. 16. [no caption] Sir Ethelbert fights with a Monkish assassin. 17. [no caption] Sir Ethelbert and Gondibert fight each other for Adelaide - seen unconscious by her horse. 18. [no caption] With Gondibert beaten and vanquished, Adelaide falls into Sir Ethelbert's arms. 19. [no caption] Gondibert is seen with the Holy Ghost hovering over him. 20. [no caption] Sir Ethelbert and Adelaide are happily together again. 21. [no caption] Gondibert (quite mad in the head at this stage) is seen standing over a dead monk in a forest. 22. [no caption] Gondibert is convinced that Sir Ethelbert is dead, seeks comfirmation of this fact. 23. [no caption] Gondibert is brought before Adelaide's father for justice. 24. [no caption] Gondibert hurls himself from a tower in the castle, thus committing suicide.