Series of Very Spirited Etchings of Gigs and Their Drivers

Six Fine Hand Colored Plates of Early Nineteenth Century Carriages
Only One Other Copy in Institutional Holdings Worldwide

ALKEN, Henry. Series of Very Spirited Etchings of Gigs and Their Drivers. By Alken. Six Plates.---Price Ten Shillings. [London: 1830].

Oblong quarto (8 1/4 x 10 13/16 inches; 210 x 274 mm.). Six hand-colored etched plates, all heightened with gum arabic, all with captions but no imprints. First plate with marginal soiling and spotting.

Original red paper wrappers with printed white paper title label affixed to upper cover. Expertly and almost invisibly rebacked with red cloth at an early date. Chemised in a quarter red morocco slipcase.

Provenance: purchased from Marshall Field, Chicago, 1 October 1930.

Very scarce. According to OCLC there is just one copy in institutions worldwide at University of Wisconsin, Madison.

There was no copy of this title in the renowned collection of Fitz Eugene Dixon (Philadelphia) which was sold at Anderson Galleries, New York in 1937 and contained 129 items by Henry Alken.

Not mentioned in any of the bibliographies with the exception of Siltzer.

The plates:

1. Simplicity in a Cab
2. A Dun Going Over the Ground in True Style
3. The Royal Patent
4. Style and Docility
5. The Way to do the Thing Genteelly
6. A Hack Going to a Mill

This is a very interesting and rare suite of plates. A Gig is a light two-wheeled carriage pulled by one horse, sometimes used for racing. They were constructed with the driver's seat sitting higher than the level of the shafts Traditionally, a Gig was more formal than a Village cart or a Meadowbrook cart. According to the OED, the first reference to a horse-drawn Gig was in 1791. Item #03345

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