Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashions, and Politics, The

Four Volumes of Ackermann’s “Repository of Arts,”
with 137 Plates, including Two Plates with Fabric Samples Affixed

[ACKERMANN, Rudolph, publisher]. The Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashions, and Politics. Series 1, Volumes XIII-XIV (January-December, 1815) and Series 2, Volumes I-II (January-December, 1816). London: R. Ackermann, 1815-1816.

First edition. Four octavo volumes. 370, [2, index]; 368, [3, index], [1, “Directions to the Binder”]; 367, [5, index]; 368, [4, index] pp. Engraved title in each of the first two volumes and letterpress title in each of the last two volumes. Bound without the contents leaves (one for each part) and without the Supplement (pp. [373]-388) which was published in March 1816 and the General Index to First Series (pp. [389]-439) at the end of the second volume. Text in double columns. Together 137 plates, mostly hand-colored aquatint views, fashion plates, and furniture designs, but also including two “Allegorical Woodcut” plates, one with three fabric samples affixed and one with four fabric samples affixed, and twenty-one uncolored plates of “Needlework Patterns” and “Muslin Patterns.”

Contemporary red roan. Covers decoratively bordered in gilt, smooth spines decoratively tooled in gilt in compartments with black morocco gilt lettering labels, board edges and turn-ins decoratively tooled in gilt, all edges gilt, light blue coated endpapers. Minimal foxing and offsetting, text slightly browned in places in the second volume (Series 1, Volume XIV), some very minor dampstaining to the lower gutter and the lower edge of the last three volumes (primarily at the beginning and end). Some plates closely trimmed, affecting a few plate numbers and imprints. Overall, an excellent example from this highly important series.

“The name of Ackermann is intimately associated with the ‘Repository of Arts, Literature, Fashions, Manufactures, &c.,’ which at once became so successful that before the end of the first year (1809) it obtained 3,000 subscribers. It regularly appeared until 1828, when forty volumes had been produced in monthly 3s. 6d. parts, under the editorship of F. Shoberl. Wm. Combe was a large contributor, and Rowlandson supplied many of the plates. The illustrations of fashions, mostly by well-known artists, supply valuable materials for the history of costume” (D.N.B.)

Abbey, Life, 212. Colas 2541. Hiler, p. 745. Lipperheide 4598. Martin Hardie, pp. 110-112. Tooley 8. Item #00226

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