Melange of Humour, The; a Series of Fifty Coloured Engravings, Comprising a Great Variety of Comic Subjects, by the Most Popular Artists of the Present Day.

Fifty Hand-Colored Plates Caricaturing the English Lifestyle of the 1820s

[ALKEN, Henry, Daniel Thomas Egerton, and others, illustrators]. The Melange of Humour; A Series of Fifty Coloured Engravings, Comprising a Great Variety of Comic Subjects, by the Most Popular Artists of the Present Day. London: Printed by W. Lewis, [n.d., 1835].

First collected edition of this acclaimed series of humorous plates depicting the English lifestyle of the 1820s. Folio (14 1/8 x 10 3/16 inches; 360 x 259 mm.). Letterpress title and fifty hand-colored plates (including frontispiece). Most plates with tissue guards. Plates watermarked 1835, 1824, and 1822.

Contemporary half black roan, ruled in gilt, over brown pebble-grain cloth boards. Spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt with three wide raised bands. All edges gilt. Front joint expertly and almost invisibly repaired, corners and board edges slightly rubbed. Occasional light soiling and browning to margins, a few plates with tiny marginal tears, tissue guard to title worn.

The collection comprises:

Six hand-colored plates after Henry Alken (London: Published by Thos. McLean, Repository of Wit & Humour, 1823): “Learning to drive Tandem”; “Learning to drive A Dennett”; “A Horse! A Horse! my Kingdom for a Horse!”; “Give me another Horse—bind up my wounds—The lights burn blue—”; “The Prospect of Hunting.........all Right”; and “The Reality of Hunting...........all Wrong.”

Six hand-colored aquatint plates [A Day’s Journal of a Sponge] (London: Published by W. Egerton, 1824) captioned: “Was ‘stirring with the lark,’ bent on fixing myself for a month’s sponge on a friend…”; “Feeling one of those pangs ‘which flesh is heir to’…”; “Having returned, & hired a chaise, the only method of conveyance…”; “Former fears confirmed, by being driven, on my return, without orders into the Stable Yard…”; “Sauntering down Bond Street, in the evening, to ‘Lose & neglect the creeping hours of time’…”; and “Being recovered from the effects of the last catastrophe, resolved on making one more effort, to gain a supper…”

Hand-colored engraved title and twelve hand-colored aquatint plates (the first six plates are numbered) “Design’d & Etch’d by D.T. Egerton”: “Fashionable Bores or Coolers in High Life by Peter Quiz” (London: Published by Thos. McLean, 1824); “The Silent Rebuke”; “The Leech”; “The Tables Turn’d”; “The Unfortunate Discovery”; “The Insolence of Office”; and “The Trial of Nerves”; “Vis a Vis”; “The Unpleasant Rencontre”; “The Unwelcome Visit”; “The Disappointment”; “The Pressing Invitation”; and “The Finishing Bore.” Abbey, Life, 287 and Colas 937 (with imprint of W. Sams).

Twelve numbered hand-colored aquatint plates by Daniel Thomas Egerton originally published as The Necessary Qualifications of a Man of Fashion (London: Published by Thomas M’Lean, Repository of Wit & Humour, 1823). The plates are captioned: “Negligence,” “Assurance,” “Confidence,” “Impudence,” “Intemperance,” “Indifference,” “Unfeelingness,” “Forgetfulness,” “Selfishness,” “Intrigue,” “Eccentricity,” and “Inconsistency.”

Six plates by H. Alken (London: Published…by Thomas McLean, 1821): “Perfectly Satisfied,” “Dissatisfied,” “Delighted,” “Surpris’d,” “Displeas’d,” and “Terrified.”

Seven hand-colored lithographed plates by Pigal and L. Boilly captioned: “Phoo! Anglais Pah! Pish!” (Pigal); “The Scratch”; “Nasty Old Fellow you shan’t” (Pigal); “Le petite famille” (L. Boilly); Uncaptioned (L. Boilly); “as it used to be” (Pigal); and “This is mine Heir” (Pigal).

In addition, this copy contains, pasted to the rear free endpaper, an uncolored plate numbered “25” and captioned: “The Farmers Visit To his married Daughter in Town” (London: Publish’d by…G. Thompson, 1796). Item #00006

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