London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1820. Item #03365
"The Finest English Edition"
Large Paper Copy in a Contemporary Binding by J. Mackenzie
DEFOE, Daniel. STOTHARD, Thomas, illustrator. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. Embellished with engravings from designs by Thomas Stothard… London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1820.
Second Stothard illustrated edition, large paper copy. Two large octavo volumes (9 1/2 x 6 inches; 242 x 153 mm.).
[iv], xcii, 429, [1, blank]; [ii], [v], [i, blank], 415, [1, blank], pp. Engraved title-page vignettes and 20 engraved plates (including frontispiece in volume one) by Charles Heath after Thomas Stothard, all printed on India paper and mounted.
Bound ca. 1820 by J. Mackenzie (stamp-signed in black on verso of front end-papers) in full red morocco, covers with a four-line gilt border, spines with five raised bands, decoratively tooled in compartments and with two green morocco gilt lettering labels. Decorative gilt board-edges and turn-ins, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. The plates margins are foxed as usual but the images on India paper are fresh and bright. An excellent copy in a near fine contemporary binding.
This edition includes a long introduction giving an account of Defoe's life and works. The plates here have been re-engraved after the earlier illustrations were judged as poor and inaccurate.
"Thomas Stothard (1755-1834)... completed his studies at the Royal Academy in 1783... [and soon] began to establish a strong reputation as a history painter, in one case attracting comparisons with Correggio and Parmigianino. He was elected ARA in 1791 and RA in 1794... Despite his growing reputation as a painter, book illustration seems still to have been his steadiest form of income. Many of his illustrations were for reissues, as in his celebrated illustrations for John Stockdale's edition of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe in 1790 (a sketch for Robinson Crusoe Building his Canoe is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford) and it is clear that Stothard's images were an important factor in their popularity."
"He illustrated almost the whole range of English literature with a taste that seldom failed and a sympathy that was often remarkable," attaining "a place which is second to none for invention and grace." He was a close friend of Blake, and his work often resembles that of his more famous colleague. (Oxford DNB).
Joseph Mackenzie was a London bookbinder of considerable eminence, known as one of London's finest binders and Bookbinder to the King. Joseph Zaehnsdorf was an apprentice in the shop of Mr. Mackenzie, and remained there until 1844, when he commenced business on his own account at 2 Wilson Street, Covent Garden, London.
Lowndes 1, 614.