London: Charles Tilt, 1839; 1840. Item #03178
"Two of the Exceptionally Rare Hand-Colored Deluxe Issues for 1839 and 1840"
FINDEN, William and Edward. Finden's Tableaux or the Affections; A Series of Picturesque Illustrations of the Womanly Virtues. From paintings by W. Perring. Edited by Mary Russell Mitford [With:] Findens' Tableaux: The Iris of Prose, Poetry, and Art, for MDCCCXL. Illustrated with Engravings by W. and E. Finden, from Paintings by J. Browne. Edited by Mary Russell Mitford. London: Charles Tilt, 1839; .
First Deluxe Hand-Colored Editions. Two folio volumes (14 9/16 x 10 7/8 inches; 370 x 276 mm.).
[vi], 60; -70 pp. Twenty-four hand-colored engraved plates after Perring or Browne, engraved by Holl, Finden, Egleton, Freeman, Scriven, Hollis, Gibbs and others, all heightened with gum arabic.
Publishers red and green morocco, covers elaborately tooled in gilt and blind. Slight rubbing to extremities, otherwise near fine.
Two issues of the exceptionally rare hand-colored deluxe edition
of a noted English Literary Gift annual.
Finden's Tableaux was issued between 1837 and 1844. A publisher's ad reveals that this work was issued in three forms: uncolored on regular paper, uncolored India proofs, or "a few copies with the plates beautifully coloured after the original Drawings". The hand colored deluxe issues, as here, are considerably more scarce than the others, making these among the most desirable of the illustrated English literary annuals of the nineteenth century.
"I do not, I hope, sin against editorial modesty, when in returning my most earnest thanks to the Friends whose Contributions have given to this Volume its literary value, I congratulate myself upon being enabled to offer to the Public Poems of an importance and interest which will far outlast the date of an Annual." (Preface).
Plates in the 1839 volume: The Romaunt of the Page; The Buccaneer; The Treason of Gomez Arias; The Sister of Charity; The Minstrel of Provence; The Baron's Daughter; The Greek Wife; The Cartel; Zulette; A Story of the Woods; The Coronation; The Novice.
Plates in the 1840 volume: The Dream; The King's Page; Legend of the Brown Rosarie; The Proud Ladye; The Maid's Trial; The Roundhead's Daughter; The King's Forester; The Beacon; Venice; The Bride; The Fetches; The Woodcutter.
William Finden (1787-1852) was an English line engraver. He served his apprenticeship to James Mitan, but appears to have owed far more to the influence of James Heath, whose works he privately and earnestly studied. His first employment on his own account was engraving illustrations for books, and among the most noteworthy of these early plates were Smirke's illustrations to Don Quixote. His neat style and smooth finish made his pictures very attractive and popular, and although he executed several large plates, his chief work throughout his life was book illustration.
His younger brother, Edward Finden (1791-1857), worked in conjunction with him, and so much demand arose for their productions that ultimately a company of assistants was engaged, and plates were produced in increasing numbers, their quality as works of art declining as their quantity rose. The largest plate executed by William Finden was the portrait of King George IV seated on a sofa, after the painting by Sir Thomas Lawrence. For this work he received two thousand guineas, a sum larger than had ever before been paid for an engraved portrait. Finden's next and happiest works on a large scale were the Highlanders Return and the Village Festival, after Wilkie. Later in life he undertook, in co-operation with his brother, aided by their numerous staff, the publication as well as the production of various galleries of engravings. The first of these, a series of landscape and portrait illustrations to the life and works of Byron, appeared in 1833 and following years, and was very successful. But by his Gallery of British Art (in fifteen parts, 1838-1840), the most costly and best of these ventures, he lost the fruits of all his former success. Finden's last undertaking was an engraving on a large scale of William Hilton's Crucifixion. The plate was bought by the Art Union of London for £1,470."
Coxhead Thomas Stothard (1906) p. 96; Not in Hammelmann Book Illustrators in Eighteenth Century England; Jaggard p. 287.