London: Ackermann & Co.,, 1833. Item #03346
The Most Complete Issue With Sixteen Hand-Colored Aquatint Plates
[BURY, T. T., Illustrator]. Coloured Views on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, With Plates of the Coaches, Machines, &c. from drawings made on the spot by Mr. T. T. Bury. With descriptive particulars, serving as a guide to travellers on the railway. London: Ackermann & Co., 1833.
Third edition, with the additional three folding plates.
Large quarto (13 5/16 x 11 inches; 339 x 279 mm.). [ii], 8 pp. Sixteen hand-colored aquatint plates (13 by S.G. Hughes or H.Pyall after T.T. Bury, three folding by S.G. Hughes [2 after I. Shaw, one unsigned]). Text watermarked 1831-1832; plates watermarked 1832. Folding plates with folds reinforced on verso with linen (as issued), third folding plate with small marginal tear at top (just touching image) invisibly repaired.
Bound ca. 1840 by Thomas Cross of Holborn Hill, London (stamp-signed "Cross, Binders to the King" on front paste-down) in three-quarter crimson straight-grain morocco over pink cloth boards, ruled in gilt. Front cover with gilt bordered red morocco label lettered in gilt. Spine with two raised bands, lettered in gilt. Bookplate of Joel Spitz on front paste-down. Housed in a fleece-lined red cloth slipcase.
A wonderful copy of the most complete edition of this fine work.
Provenance: purchased from Button, 15 June 1946.
An eye-witness account of travel on the world's second practical railway line, with plates after Bury "an outstanding architectural designer" (Abbey) and a detailed report of the difficulties overcome during the railways construction.
“A later edition with the plates re-engraved [many of them with significant changes] was issued in 1833… Copies occur with 2 extra folding coloured aquatint plates by I. Shaw, engraved by S.G. Hughes viz. "A Train of First and Second Class Carriages with the Mail" and "Trains of Waggons with Goods, Cattle &c… This [edition] may have a further additional [folding] plate "Bridge on the line of St. Helen's and Runcorn Gap Railway." (Tooley).
“This book was first published with six plates in 1831. It proved popular, and other editions followed, of which this is the msot complete. This classic record of the beginnings of the railway age was also one of the last significant books illustrated with aquatints. Lithography was already sweeping the field for pictorial records of this kind” (Ray, The Illustrator and the Book in England).
Thomas Bury, 'a pupil of Augustus Pugin, was an outstanding architectural designer, and engaged with Pugin, in designing the details of the Houses of Parliament. He was the artist responsible for the best-known views of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. He Published as hand-colored aquatints in paper covers by Ackermann in February 1831 [titled Six Coloured Views of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, with a plate of the coaches, machines, &c], Bury's work went through many editions covering a period of about three years. There were seven views in the first edition and thirteen in the second. A reissue appeared in 1832 followed by Spanish and French editions, while the prints were reproduced separately in France and Germany. After re-engraving, new editions appeared in England in 1833 and 1834. Ackermann clearly realized the potential of the British and European markets for railway prints as no other work passed through so many editions' (Rees). The present copy includes the first state of one of the two folding plates of carriages and engines: before canopies were added to the lower set of carriages. The view of the interior of the Wapping to Edge Hill tunnel is in a later state (possibly the fifth) dated 1833 and after the removal of the steaming train (the train was a mistake as no train under steam was allowed in the tunnel).
The inspiration for the project to build the railway was the success of the Stockton to Darlington rail line and the urgent commercial need for faster links between the docks of Liverpool and the factories of Manchester ("goods have been known to make the transit from New York to Liverpool in less time than from the latter town to Manchester.") The route was proposed in 1824 and, under the direction of George Stephenson and with parliament's blessing, the immense work was completed by 1830: the line being opened to the public on the 15th September of that year. Despite the tragic death of the Liverpool member of parliament Mr. Huskisson (the first fatality attributable to the Railways) and the huge cost of the work (£740,000 by 1830), the railway was an immediate popular and financial success. Speeds in excess of 30 m.p.h. were recorded for the 31 mile journey and as the author predicted in the final paragraph "The success of this experiment... has been... so complete, as to justify the anticipation of the speedy introduction of railways throughout the country..." The plates include three plates of the train and rolling stock employed on the railway, and 13 others of views of the railway in operation.
Abbey Life 400 (1834 edition); Tooley, 121; Ray, 45; Gareth Rees Early Railway Prints (1980) p.21 and see plates 5-9 & 13.