London: Thomas M'Lean, 1825. Item #01902
Very Scarce Alken
With Forty-Two Hand-Colored Plates
Engraved by Alken Himself
ALKEN, Henry. Scraps From the Sketch-Book of Henry Alken. Engraved by Himself. Containing Forty-Two Plates. London: Thomas M'Lean, 1825.
Second edition (plates dated 1820), complete; preceded by the oblong quarto edition of 1823, but of equal rarity.
Tall octavo (10 x 8 1/4 in; 254 x 210). Title leaf (verso blank), and forty-two hand-colored engraved plates, twelve with multiple images. Title-page watermarked "1822", plates watermarked "J. Whatman 1822 & 1823".
Contemporary half crimson morocco over pink paper boards. Original red leather title label lettered in gilt to upper board. Smooth spine ruled in gilt. Small bookplate to front free-endpaper. A fine copy of an extremely scarce album by Henry Alken.
This edition of 1825 has not been seen at auction since 1968. The last copy of the first edition of 1821 came to auction in 1970. OCLC records just three copies of the first edition of 1823. There are no copies of the edition under notice in institutional holdings across the globe.
While Siltzer notes an Alken Sketch Book of 1820 (34 plates), and the Scraps... edition of 1822, he makes no mention of an 1825 octavo edition. It is not in found in Tooley or Abbey in any edition.
The "Scraps" include equestrian, hunting, dog, bowling scenes, etc. In short, each print features a sporting tableau.
Of Alken, Siltzer wrote, "It took but a short time for the leading art publishers of London to recognize his genius and to discover that they had 'struck a reef' of both artistic and financial value, and the well-known firms of Thomas M'Lean, S. and J. Fuller, and Rudolph Ackermann were not slow to reaping full benefit... It appears that Alken himself occasionally engraved plates, and thus added to the facility of production..."
Cf. Siltzer, p. 71.