London: T. and J. Egerton, 1793. Item #02662
Scarce With Hand-Colored Aquatints
IRELAND, Samuel. Picturesque Views on the River Medway, from the Nore to the Vicinity of its Source in Sussex: With observations on the public buildings and other works of art in its neighbourhood. London: T. and J. Egerton, 1793.
First edition, the scarce hand-colored issue. Octavo (9 x 6 1/8 in; 229 x 155 mm). xii, 206, [1, adv.],  pp. Extra hand-colored engraved title-page, black and wite map, and twenty-eight hand-colored aquatint plates.
Bound by Root & Son (stamp-signed) in full brown morocco, with multiple gilt-rolled borders and gilt corner-pieces, gilt-rolled turn-ins. Gilt-ruled and ornamented compartments. Top edge gilt. A fine, clean and tight copy of a book generally found with plates in sepia.
"Samuel Ireland (17?-1800) was one of the most successful artists who devoted himself to the career of topographic print-making. In the ten years between 1790 and 1800 he brought out six books of views, containing in all some two hundred and eighty plates, all aquatinted by himself after his own drawings... He began his artistic career as a copier of prints and a dealer in them, and in 1760 gained a medal from the Society of Arts... The success of his first book, A Picturesque Tour through Holland, Brabant, and part of France (1790) encouraged him to other work of the sort, and in 1793 and 1793 appeared to other books, Picturesque Views on the River Thames and Medway, and later again on the Avon (1795) and Wye (1797) and (posthumously) the Severn (1824). His son, William, was the notorious Shakespeare forger.
The London bindery of W. Root & Son consistently turned-out excellent work, both on fine bindings as here, and on trade bindings and sets. Packer lists the firm in business in Red Lion Square in 1899-1901, and the December 1942 issue of The Rotarian notes with regret that W. Root had been bombed out (uprooted?) of their premises on Paternaster Row during the 1941 Blitz.
Abbey, Scenery 428. Prideaux, p. 341.