Flowers From Nature [and] British Proverbs [and] involuntary Thoughts [and] Tutors Assistant; [And other works; a collection of forty-one hand colored caricatures and humorous plates]

A Contemporary Compilation of Some Extremely Scarce Suites
From One of the Most Renowned and Popular of British Sporting and Genre Artists and Engravers

ALKEN, Henry Thomas, and M.E. [Michael Egerton]. Flowers From Nature by Peter Pasquin [and] The Drawing Book [and] Symptoms of Being Amused [and] British Proverbs [and] Involuntary Thoughts [and] Comparative Knights [and] Tutors Assistant, and two other suites; a collection of forty-one hand colored caricatures and humorous plates. London: Thomas McLean, 1823-25.

Oblong folio (10 x 14 inches; 256 x 360 mm). Thirty-six hand colored lithograph plates by Alken and five hand colored lithograph plates by M.E. [Michael Egerton].

Twentieth-century half calf over red cloth boards. An exceptional collection containing quite rare suites, some of extreme scarcity, and two of which are equestrian-themed. All plates in fine condition with only occasional mild soiling to margins.

While primarily known for his sporting prints, the collection under notice provides an attractive overview of the verve suffusing Alken's humorous caricatures. More to the point, however, is that Drawing Book, Symptoms of Being Amused (Second Series), and Comparative Knights are of the utmost rarity in any state of completion or condition with no copies located in OCLC/KVK. Drawing Book and the equestrian-themed Comparative Knights were last seen at auction in 1912. Tooley declares Symptoms of Being Amused (Second Series) "extremely rare." British Proverbs was last seen at auction in 1992.

The last five plates are by Michael Egerton and are most amusing, their captions exhibiting puns, wordplay, irony, and a general sense of humor popular in the British Music Hall that would later be echoed by burlesque and vaudeville comedians in the United States:

Title: A Helping Hand
Caption: "John, I'm going to have to raise your rent."
"Sir, I'm very much obliged to you for I can't raise it myself!" (tacit rimshot).

In addition to the two suites that are specifically equestrian-themed, many of the other suites contain plates with horse imagery.

The Plates By Henry Alken:

Flowers From Nature by Peter Pasquin. 1824. (Six plates complete). (Houfe, p.217) .

1-6. Untitled, each with six images.

Drawing Book. 1824. (Three of six plates). (Not in Abbey, Tooley or Houfe).

7-9. Untitled, each with multiple images.

Symptoms of Being Amused [Second Series] 1824. (Three of eighteen plates) (Tooley 57)

10. Of Drawing a Horse &c. [plate #12]
11. Of Drawing a Horse & Gig &c. [plate #10]
12. Of Drawing the Long Bow. [plate #8]

British Proverbs: 1824. Complete. (Six plates complete) (Tooley 21)

13. The horse thinks one thing and the man that rides him another, &c.
14. He that would have a hare for breakfast must hunt overnight &c.
15. Good to begin well better to end well &c.
16. They who love must at least set by &c
17. All things are soon prepar'd in a well ordered house &c.
18. Life without a friend is death a witness &c.

Involuntary Thoughts: 1824. (Eight plates complete) (Tooley 39)

19. May temptation never conquer virtue &c
20. Involuntary bondage &c
21. Wanted an Housekeeper to a Single Gentleman &c
22. A Man of some Weight in the Parish &c.
23. More Friends, and less need of them &c.
24. A Water Party very Dry &c.
25. May we never want a Friend and a Bottle to give him &c.
26. May we never feel want of want feeling &c.

From an Unknown Suite of Equestrian Color Plates. 1824. (Two plates)
27. Untitled, military equestrians and horses.
28. Untitled, military equestrians and horses.

Comparative Knights. 1824. (Not in Tooley, Abbey, of Houfe). (Two plates)

29. Knights as they were.
30. Knights as they are.

Tutors Assistant: 1823. (Six plates complete) (Tooley 59)

31. A diphthong is the meeting of Two Vowels U and I perhaps &c.
32. Letters are divided into Vowels and Consonants &c.
33. The feminine gender Signifies Animals of the female kind &c.
34. The Glittering Prospect charms my eyes &c.
35. A Verb Neuter expresses neither action nor passion &c.
36. Imperative Mood, or do you die &c.

The plates by M.E. (Michael Egerton):

From an Unknown Suite. 1825. (Five plates)

37. A Helping Hand.
38. New Way To Pay Old Debts.
39. A Morning Call.
40. The Feeling Heart.
41. Killing No Murder.

Tooley 21 and Hardie, p. 320. (British Proverbs). Tooley 39 (Involuntary Thoughts). Tooley 59 (Tutor's Assistant). Item #01178

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