SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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LAMI, Eugène.
Henry Monnier.
Voyage en Angleterre.

Eugene Lami's lively account of his trip to England in the late 1820s. Scenes include rural cottages, a pub, small towns, Billingsgate, a funeral, approaches to London, street scenes etc.

Paris: Publié par Firmin Didot frères, et Lami-Denozan [and] London: Colnaghi Son et Co.?, [1829]-1830
Colas; 1748 (calling for twenty-four plates and four unnumbered leaves). Hiler p. 524 (calling for four leaves and twenty-four plates). Lipperheide 995. Ray; The Art of the French illlustrated Book 139. Vicaire V cols. 1-3. Bobins II 673; Abbey Scenery 34.
Paris: Publié par Firmin Didot frères, et Lami-Denozan [and] London: Colnaghi Son et Co.?, [1829]-1830

Title from front wrapper. Large folio (16 7/8 x 12 1/4 inches; 429 x 313 mm.). Twenty-four numbered hand-coloured lithographed plates, fourteen signed by Lami, nine signed by Monnier, and one signed by Lami and Monnier. Plates lithographed by Villain. All plates are mounted on guards. Complete with the four leaves of letterpress descriptive text. Plate No. 2 is incorrectly numbered 3, plate No. 6 is incorrectly numbered 7, plate No. 17 is incorrectly numbered 7, plate No. 18 is incorrectly numbered 17, and plate No. 22 is unnumbered. Originally published in four parts, each with one leaf of descriptive text and six plates. This copy does not include the four supplementary plates described in Ray as being "in smaller format with the original wrapper imprint reading: Paris Gihaut frères." According to Vicaire these plates were published without descriptive text and are numbered and captioned as follows: No. 6. "Club de Fermiers;" No. 27. "Crescent-Park;" and No. 28. "Un Salon;" and No. 29. "Un Trottoir dans la Cité." Colas and Hiler both call for twenty-four plates. Contemporary three-quarter red roan over marbled boards. Gilt monogram ("E D") on front cover. Spine ruled in blind and lettered in gilt with five raised bands. Marbled endpapers. Original cream-colored printed wrappers bound in. Minor rubbing to extremities. Some occasional minor foxing browning and/or marginal soiling. Plate No. 4 with short tear (2 inches) neatly repaired in the lower blank margin plate No. 5 with short split (3 1/2 inch) in the upper blank margin where affixed to guard plate No. 7 with tiny piece torn from lower blank corner plate No. 9 with short split (2 1/2 inch) in the upper blank margin where affixed to guard plate No. 20 with two small repairs (1/2 inch and 1/4 inch) in the inner blank margin and plate No. 24 with a few short marginal tears. Overall an excellent and very large copy (Michael Sadleir's copy described in Ray measured 16 1/2 x 11 1/4 inches). "This elegant and brilliant painter [Eugène Lami 1800-1890] devoted much of his time to lithography between 1817 and 1833. The son of an Empire bureaucrat, he grew up in Paris. Beginning in 1815, he studied painting with Horace Vernet and afterwards in the studio of Baron Gros. To support himself he made lithographs for several albums including in 1822 a Collection des uniformes des armées françaises de 1791 à 1814. Lami paid his first visit to England in 1826, during which he drew the sketches which resulted in his Souvenirs de Londres. He fell in with Henry Monnier, already an expert in things English, and under his guidance, comprehensively explored London and the countryside. Indeed Monnier provided more than a third of the twenty-eight designs which make up Lami's finest album, the Voyage en Angleterre. It is here that, for the first time, Lami struck his distinctive note in lithography. These precise and sparkling plates which show England in its most attractive aspects brought the lithographic recording of the passing scenes to an unprecedented level of grace and refinement" (Ray The Art of the French Illustrated Book p. 203). "Lami's lithographs in this album have a salience and solidity otherwise unmatched in his work, and the bright yet harmonious coloring with which they were completed makes them hardly distinguishable from watercolors. The series also has the interest of showing English life and customs as seen through the fresh eyes of two shrewd foreigners. They emphasize the freedom and well-being of the people which combine to ensure order in apparent disorder' (text for no. 20). Coachmen turnpike keepers footmen merchants farmers and workmen all behave with ease and confidence. The many glimpses of country and village life exude tranquillity. The social order of which these men and women are a part is fixed but not oppressive. In ?Evening prayer' (no. 17) there is a solidarity about the household at its devotions even if the family takes its ease on one side of the room while the servants are huddled together on the other. The culminating plate of the album in which both artists had a hand shows Parliament Street in London during the evening rush hour (no. 20). It is a microcosm of the city's busy scene of crowded life' soldiers drilling at the rear carriages criss-crossing and all sorts and conditions of men going their various ways in the foreground" (Ray The Art of the French Illustrated Book pp. 204-205). "Monnier [1799-1877] grew up in the Parisian bourgeois world where his father was an employee like those he was later to depict with such mastery in his lithographs? After he finished his education he served as a notary of Justice where he seems to have been valued chiefly for his handwriting?He then studied in the ateliers of Girodet and later Gros where he learned lithography and became the friend of Bonington and Lami. His first lithographs of which the album Modes et ridicules of 1825 is representative are grotesque exaggerations in the manner of Rowlandson that call to mind J-B. Isabey's Caricatures de J.J. [see Ray 101] and Lami's Les contretemps [see Ray 137]. Between 1825 and 1827 Monnier passed much of his time in London where he collaborated with Lami in what was to become the Voyage en Angleterre. On his return to Paris he embarked on a series of albums in which he recorded the manners and humors of the city with unprecedented profusion. Between 1826 and 1830, he satisfied the insatiable demand for his designs with almost 500 lithographs nearly all of which were drawn with a pen and colored by hand" (Ray The Art of the French Illustrated Book p. 199). "The popularity of the paintings of Constable and Bonington, among others, made England attractive to artists in the 1820s. After leaving Gros' atelier Monnier crossed the Channel perhaps with the specific aim of studying aspects of lithography being developed there and almost certainly to make contact with English caricaturists. In 1826 and 1827, he worked for the London publisher Colnaghi on the project Voyage en Angleterre and collaborated with his friend Eugène Lami on the work. In contrast with Lami's attention to the high life, Monnier's subjects focused more on the lives and types of the common people such as the fishmongers of Billingsgate" (Beatrice Farwell The Charged Image p. 114) The coloured plates in order: 1. Un Port du Midi. 2. Auberge et Maison de Poste. 3. Une Chambre d'Auberge. 4. Aspect du Pays. 5. Habitation de Cultivateurs. Vue extérieure. 6. Petite Ville de Province. (Comtés du Midi). 7. Un Pillori. 8. Un Ministre et sa Famille. 9. Un Relai. 10a. Un Cottage. 10b. Woolwich. 11. Une Barrière. 12. Le Retour des Matelots. 13. Approaches de Londres. 14. Marche aux Poissons de Billingsgate. 15. Valets de Pied. 16. Boucher, Marchande de Poissons. 17. La Prière du Soir. 18. Peuple de Londres. Discussion orageuse. 19. Rentree des Watcmen. 20. Londres. Une Grande rue à 5 heures du soir. 21. Un Marchand de Poissons. 22. Officiers des Gardes et Officiers du Régiment des Rifles. 23. Enterrement du Peuple. 24. Livrées du Roi d'Angleterre.