London: , 1860. Item #03283
The Complete and Scarce 1860 Hand-Colored Reprint
ROWLANDSON, Thomas. The Comforts of Bath. [London, 1860].
Reprint edition, complete and scarce. Oblong quarto (10 5/16 x 12 5/8 in; 261 x 322 mm.). No text or title, as issued. Twelve hand-colored aquatint plates with gray wash borders after Rowlandson, each one aperture mounted onto a paper sheet. Average plate size including gray wash borders 6 3/8 x 8 11/16 inches; 162 x 221 mm.).
Bound ca. 1900 by Rivière & Son (stamp signed on lower turn-in) in full crimson morocco. Covers with double gilt rules, front cover lettered in gilt, spine with two raised bands lettered and bordered in gilt, gilt board edges and turn-ins, all edges gilt, dark green coated end-papers. Ex libris S.P. Lohia with his circular bookplate on front paste-down. Short tear (neatly repaired) on top margin of sheet containing plate 6. A very fine set, the plates as fresh and clean as one could hope for.
The first edition of 1798 was designed to illustrate Anstey's New Bath Guide, and according to Tooley, is "one of the rarest of Rowlandson items."
This reprint in excellent facsimile was published about 1860; apart from difference in the texture of the paper they can be recognized by the absence of the Fores imprint. Never issued with text." (Abbey, Scenery, 40, note).
This series of watercolor drawings gives us Rowlandson's visual satire on the activities at Bath, whether bathing, gaming, dining, sitting for a portrait, enjoying a concert, dancing or romancing. In each drawing, the figure of the rotund visitor to the Bath, reminiscent of Humphry Clinker's fussy Mr. Bramble, provides one point of view from which to view the scene, while Rowlandson gives us an outsider's view as well.
Abbey, Scenery 40 (1798 edition); Tooley 408. Prideaux, p. 350. BM Satires 9321.
The plates: [titles taken from the 1798 edition].
1. The Physicians
2. The Concert
3. The Pump Room
4. The Fish Market
5. A Day Out Riding
6. The Portrait
7. The Baths
8. The Games
9. The Dinner
10. The Dancing
11. Public Breakfast
12. Bath Races
Abbey, Scenery, 40 (note); Tooley, 408 (1798 first edition).