Rudiments for Drawing the Horse: Sketched from Nature, and Drawn on Stone, by H. Alken.

Extremely Scarce Drawing-Book by Henry Alken

ALKEN, H[enry]. Rudiments for Drawing the Horse: Sketched from Nature, and Drawn on Stone, by H. Alken. London: Published by S. & J. Fuller, at the Temple of Fancy…Printed by L. Harrison, 1822.

First edition. Oblong quarto (8 1/2 x 11 3/8 inches; 214 x 289 mm.). Letterpress title and twenty-four hand-colored lithographed plates. Each plate with guard sheet. Plates printed by C. Hullmandel.

The plates are as follows:
1. depicts six heads of horses, dated Sept. 1 1821;
2. depicts four heads of horses, dated Feb. 1 1822;
3. depicts five heads of horses, signed H. Alken delt. and dated Sepr. 1. 1821;
4. depicts bridles on four heads of horses, dated Feb. 1. 1822;
5. depicts four heads of horses, signed H. Alken delt. and dated Sepr. 1. 1821;
6. depicts a horse’s head, two horse’s legs, and two horse’s hoofs, dated May 1. 1821;
7. depicts one horse’s head, two horse’s rear ends, and one horse’s hoof, dated Sepr. 1. 1821;
8. depicts three horse’s front ends and four hoofs, dated Feb. 1. 1822;
9. depicts two horse’s rear ends, two legs, and three hoofs, dated Feb. 1. 1822;
10. depicts full horse’s head and shoulders, signed H. Alken del. and dated February 1 1822;
11. depicts full profile of a race horse, dated Sepr. 1. 1821;
12. depicts a military horse rearing up, with its rider in uniform standing beside it, signed H. Alken lithog., dated February 1st 1822;
13. depicts a huntsman standing and his horse, signed H. Alken del. and dated Mar. 1. 1822;
14. depicts a gentleman standing by his horse, signed H. Alken del. and dated Mar. 1. 1822;
15. depicts a racehorse in full flight being chased by a dog, signed H. Alken delt. and dated Mar. 1. 1822;
16. depicts a racehorse and foal, signed H. Alken;
17. entitled “The Hackney,” depicts a racehorse being taken to stable by groom, signed H. Alken, dated Jan. 1. 1822;
18. entitled The Hunter, depicts a huntsman on his horse, signed H. Alken and dated Jany. 1. 1822;
19. entitled “The Race Horse,” depicts a huntsman leading a racehorse, signed H. Alken and dated Jany. 1. 1822;
20. depicts a racehorse by the stable with his groom, dated Mar. 1. 1822;
21. entitled “The Charger,” depicts a military horse rearing up with a military man standing holding the reins, signed H. Alken, dated Jan. 1. 1822;
22. entitled “The Arab Horse,” depicts an Arabian horse with an Arab rider, signed H. Alken lithog. and dated Feb. 1. 1822;
23. entitled “The Cossack Horse,” depicts two Cossacks each on horseback, signed H. Alken lithog. and dated Feb. 1. 1822;
24. depicts an horse with a Cossack rider standing beside it, signed H. Alken and dated Sepr. 1. 1821;
25. entitled “The Cart Horse,” depicts a cart horse with a farm worker standing beside it, signed H. Alken and dated Jan. 1. 1822;
26. depicts a pair of cart horses with their drivers, signed H. Alken, undated.

Bound in late nineteenth-century three-quarter red morocco over marbled boards by Tout (stamp-signed on the verso of the front free endpaper). Spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, top edge gilt, others gilt on the rough, marbled endpapers. Head of spine neatly repaired. A little bit of foxing to title. Short (1/2 inch) tear to lower blank margin of the third plate, short (1/4) tear to lower blank margin of the nineteenth plate, and short (1/4 inch) neatly repaired tear to the lower blank margin of the twenty-second plate, none affecting image. Otherwise an excellent copy of this extremely scarce series of plates. There are only two copies located in OCLC (the National Art Library, and the National Art Library Victoria & Albert Museum) with twenty-four plates. No copy has sold at auction in the last thirty years. The last copy that we have been able to locate was at the Alfred B. Maclay auction Five Centuries of Sport: Hunting, Racing, Shooting, Falconry, Riding, Cock-Fighting, Coursing, Angling, Coaching at Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, April 10/11, 1945. ($17.50)
Chemised in a red cloth slipcase.

“From 1816 to 1824, besides the Beauties and Defects, which has hand-coloured plates, [Alken] published several drawing-books, illustrated by uncoloured soft-ground etchings or lithographs. Among these are Illustrations for Landscape Scenery, Sporting Sketches, Sketches of Cattle, and Rudiments for Drawing the Horse (1822)” (Martin Hardie).

Martin Hardie, p. 178. Tooley 45 (not seen by Tooley, and calling for twenty-three lithographed plates). Item #00552

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