Fores's Hunting Accomplishments. Henry ALKEN.
Fores's Hunting Accomplishments
Fores's Hunting Accomplishments
Fores's Hunting Accomplishments
Fores's Hunting Accomplishments
Fores's Hunting Accomplishments
Fores's Hunting Accomplishments
Fores's Hunting Accomplishments

Fores's Hunting Accomplishments

London: Messrs. Fores, 1850. Item #03003

"Hunting Accomplishments"
Six Magnificent Hand Colored Aquatint Plates

ALKEN, Henry. Fores's Hunting Accomplishments. Set of Six Plates Drawn by Henry Alken [Engraved by J. Harris]. London: Messrs. Fores, 1850.

First edition. Oblong folio (12 3/4 x 19 3/16 inches; 325 x 488 mm). Specially printed title-page which also include a listing of the plates. Six hand colored aquatint plates in thick card mounts, each image size approximately 8 1/8 x 11 1/8 inches and each plate size approximately 10 x 13 1/4 inches. All plates window framed in 1/8 inch thick card, mounted on stubs. The fourth plate "In and Out Clever" has an expertly repaired, four inch tear at the top, plates one, two and six also have expertly repaired short marginal tears.

Finely bound by Aquarius of London (stamp-signed on front turn-in) ca. 1990 in full red morocco over boards, front cover decoratively lettered and bordered in gilt. Spine with five raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt, decoratively gilt board edges and turn-ins. Fine. With the exception of the aforementioned expertly repaired tear to plate 4 this is a fine and clean copy in a very attractive binding.

Dudley Snelgrove in The Paul Mellon Collection asserts "These are copies of the first six plates (of seven) of Qualified Horses and Unqualified Riders, 1815, which is in the collection". However we beg to disagree. We actually have an uncut copy (in the original wrappers) of the 1815 Qualified Horses and Unqualified Riders and whilst the titles are similar - the plate image sizes are not! The earlier book has seven hand colored aquatints with an average image size of 7 1/4 x 10 1/2 inches on a plate size of 10 11/16 x 14 5/8 inches.

The Plates: All headed "Fore's Hunting Accomplishments. Pl. 1" [through 6]
and "Drawn by H. Alken; Engraved by J. Harris; Published Novr. 1st, 1850."

1. "Going Along a Slapping Pace"
2. "Topping a Flight of Rails and coming well into the next Field"
3. "Swishing a Rasper"
4. "In and Out Clever"
5. "Charging an Ox Fence"
6. "Facing a Brook"

Rare: The renowned Fitz Eugene Dixon collection (sold at Anderson Galleries, NY, 1937) did not contain this rare suite of plates.

"The aquatint process was developed to give the appearance of a water-colour and was used increasingly for over fifty years for large plates of grand views or small book-illustrations and for practically any subject, but it came to be used almost exclusively as the ideal medium for the best result in sporting prints. The sharp outlines and clear colouring gave them a briskness which sport required; horses seem to gallop and jump with greater verve in aquatint, while farm-horses munch more contentedly in mezzotint. Many engravers devoted themselves to the medium and, together with draughtsmen and colourists, enjoyed a steady livelihood with employment from such flourishing publishers as Rudolph Ackermann, Thomas McLean and Mesrrs. Fores. The method of soft-ground etching successfully simulated pencil-drawing and was used extensively for instructional drawing-books, but it was Henry Alken who used it constantly over many years in his albums with their countless cameos of sporting and comic incidents. Lithographs in hand-coloured form, although cheaper to produce, did not replace aquatints in popular esteem. Later in the century, the invention of chromolithography brought a high standard to colour printing, but initially it was to costly a process for the publisher of sporting prints." (Snelgrove, p. viii).

Siltzer, p. 64
Snelgrove, British Sporting and Animal Prints 1658-1874 The Paul Mellon Collection, 42
Not in Schwerdt.

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