London: R. Ackermann, 1814. Item #03388
One of Twenty-Five Large Paper Copies
ACKERMANN, Rudolph. A History of the University of Oxford. Its Colleges, Halls, and Public Buildings. In Two Volumes. London: R. Ackermann, 1814.
First edition, earliest state of plates, large paper copy. List of Plates (without the 'Founders');
One of twenty-five (of fifty) large paper copies on thick paper with hand-colored plates.
Two elephant quarto volumes (16 1/4 x 13 inches; 417 x 330 mm.). viii, xxv, [1, blank], 275, [1, blank], [xiv, index & list of subscribers]; [2, arrangement of the plates; [iv], 262, [6, index] pp. With the list of subscribers, the dedication to Lord Grenville and the uncolored engraved portrait of Lord Grenville mounted on India paper (portrait a little foxed). Eighty-two plates (bound without the thirty-three portraits of Founders as often the case with the earliest issues), all hand-colored aquatints or stipple-engravings by Bluck, Stadler, Hill and others after Pugin, Westall, Mackenzie and others. Complete with the half-titles. Most plates watermarked "J. Whatman 1811."
Bound ca. 1840 in three-quarter brown morocco over purple cloth boards, ruled in blind. Spines with five raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, top edge gilt, others uncut, marbled endpapers. Portrait frontispiece on India paper a little foxed as usual, otherwise a very fine and fresh copy with superior hand-coloring.
This copy possesses five of Tooley's eight points for "really choice copies": Plate 15, Vol. I signed R. Hills after F. Nash: Plate 50, Vol. I, dated May 1; Plate 78, Vol. II dated June 1; Plate 78 dated June I; Plate 84, Vol II, signed J. Bluck af F. Mackenzie; and Plate 95 dated Decr.
"These two books [Ackermann's History of Oxford and History of Cambridge] are among the finest ever executed. A. Pugin, F. Nach, F. Mackenzie, and W. Westall were associated in the drawings, which are worthy even of the splendid architectural monuments they commemorate, while the engraving was carried out by such masters of aquatint as J. Bluck, J.C. Stadler, F.C. Lewis, D. Havell and others of like reputation. The result was the production of plates of unequaled merit in their particular line" (Prideaux, pp. 125-6).
Abbey, Scenery, 278; Tooley 5; Prideaux pp. 125-6.