Sporting Notions. Henry ALKEN.
Sporting Notions
Sporting Notions
Sporting Notions
Sporting Notions
Sporting Notions
Sporting Notions
Sporting Notions

Sporting Notions

London: T. McLean, 1831-33. Item #02047

The Rarest Alken In Color
The Comic Story of Men On Steeds At Unsafe Speeds

ALKEN, Henry. Sporting Notions. London: T. McLean, 1831-33.

First edition. Oblong quarto (10 1/4 x 14 1/8 in; 261 x 358 mm). Thirty-six hand-colored soft-ground etchings and aquatints with tissue guards, as issued without title page, watermarked 1831-1833.

Contemporary half black morocco over pebbled paper boards with gilt-stamped vignette to upper board signed "Knight Sc." (Charles Parsons Knight). Some bubbling to cloth. Two plates with small margin tears professionally closed. , Schwerdt l, p.23. Occasional very light smudges to margins. A really fine copy of one of the finest and rarest Alken color plate books.

Only one colored copy has come to auction within the last thirty-six years - the Jeanson copy sold at Christie's in 1987… and sold again at Christie's in 2012.

The Plates:
1. All he is fit for Sir, now is to be cut up...
2. I have a Notion that the Brute is going to make the best of his way out...
3. I had not the most distant Notion that my Horse was going to stop.
4. I had a Notion that Timber jumping was quite an easy thing.
5. I begin to have a Notion that my Horse is Dead.
6. I have a Notion that this is what is called a Bog.
7. I have a Notion that this may be called "Riding to the hounds at a Smashing rate."
8. This gives me a Notion that its better to "Look before you leap."
9. I have a Notion you must pull him over or persuade him to pull you back again.
10. I have a Notion that this will a Bridge my Sport.
11. I had no Notion of the Comforts of Hunting by Water.
12. My good fellows have you any Notion...
13. My dear fellows I have a Notion...
14. My Notion is we shall get him up pretty shortly...
15. Its my Notion that this is the only way...
16. I have a Notion that my Horse looks like 40 Guineas to the Pound.
17. Hav'nt you a Notion...
18. I have a Notion that I don't look like Mazeppa.
19. Hallo you ditchers...
20. I have a notion however hard work it is...
21. I say my fine fellow...
22. I had a Notion that that there was room for two to go through at a time.
23. I have a notion that Ducrow could not excell this.
24. I have a Notion that that even Chiffney...
25. I have a Notion that anything is acceptable...
26. I have a Notion that you are going the wrong way, don't you see our party out yonder.
27. I have a Notion that I have made a Bull.
28. I have a notion you've made a damn near shot.
29. I have a Notion he's pinn'd him...
30. Woo - Woo- I have a notion that I shall lose him...
31. I have a strong Notion...
32. A Gad I had no Notion...
33. Well I have a very strong Notion...
34. I have a notion that that I am not quite up to this riding in Surry.
35. I have a Notion that this is about the hardest mouthed Horse in England.
36. I now have a Notion that yo should always Look before you Leap.

"First edition. The plates are a fine example of Alken's work at the height of his career" (Dixon)

Tooley 54; Bobins IV, 1381; Siltzer p. 73. Dixon 95, Mellon/Snelgrove 34, Schwerdt l, p.23.

Henry Alken worked in both oil and watercolor and was a skilled etcher. His earliest productions were published anonymously under the signature of "Ben Tallyho", but in 1816 he issued The Beauties & Defects in the Figure of the Horse comparatively delineated under his own name. From this date until about 1831, he produced many sets of etchings of sporting subjects mostly colored and sometimes humorous in character, the principal of which were: Humorous Specimens of Riding 1821, Symptoms of being amazed 1822, Symptoms of being amused 1822, Flowers from Nature 1823, A Touch at the Fine Arts 1824, and Ideas 1830. Besides these he published a series of books: Illustrations for Landscape Scenery and Scraps from the Sketch Book of Henry Alken in 1823, New Sketch Book in 1824, Sporting Scrap Book and Shakespeare's Seven Ages in 1827, Sporting Sketches and in 1831 and Sporting Notions (1831-1833), Illustrations to Popular Songs and Illustrations of Don Quixote, the latter engraved by John Christian Zeitter.

Alken provided the plates picturing hunting, coaching, racing and steeplechasing for The National Sports of Great Britain (London, 1821). Alken, known as an avid sportsman,is best remembered for his hunting prints, many of which he engraved himself until the late 1830s. (Charles Lane British Racing Prints pp. 75–76). He created prints for the leading sporting printsellers such as S. and J. Fuller, Thomas McLean, and Rudolph Ackermann, and often collaborated with his friend the sporting journalist Charles James Apperley (1779–1843), also known as Nimrod. Nimrod's Life of a Sportsman, with 32 etchings by Alken, was published by Ackermann in 1842. In many of his etchings, Alken explored the comic side of riding and satirized the foibles of aristocrats, much in the tradition of other early 19th century caricaturists such as Thomas Rowlandson and James Gillray. One of his best known paintings, "The Belvoir Hunt: Jumping Into And Out Of A Lane", hangs in the Tate Britain and shows one of the oldest of the great foxhound packs in Leicestershire. A collection of his illustrations can be seen in the print department of the British Museum.

Price: $27,500.00