London: Samuel Bagster, 1815. Item #04632
A Superb Early Twentieth Century 'Cosway' Binding by Rivière & Son
COSWAY-STYLE BINDING. RIVIÈRE & SON, binders. WALTON, Izaac. COTTON, Charles. The Complete Angler; or, Contemplative Man's Recreation: Being a Discourse on Rivers, Fish-Ponds, and Fishing. In two parts. London: Samuel Bagster, 1815.
Second Bagster Edition.
Octavo (8 13/16 x 5 5/8 inches; 224 x 143 mm.). [xi] 12-514 (including seventeen-page appendix), [20 index] pp.
Fifteen full-page plates; eight after Wale, two music plates, two of fishing tackle, the cartouche of the title-page of the 1653 first edition on half-title, all engraved by Philip Audinet; a portrait of Walton after Huysmans engraved by C. Hayter; a portrait of Cotton after Lely engraved by J. Linnell. In addition there are seventeen silver engravings of fish; a map of the River Lea and one of the River Dove; a facsimile of Walton's autograph and one of Cotton's; and seven engravings in the text, all by Audinet. There are six engravings in the text by G. Greig after Linnell and also two large woodcuts in the text.
Inserted facing p. 472 is a fine pen & ink drawing signed 'Piscator' (watermarked J. Whatman 1824).
Bound by Rivière & Son ca. 1910 (stamp-signed in gilt on front turn-in). Full olive green crushed levant morocco. Both covers elaborately decorated in gilt with fish, flowers and intricate pointillé. The front cover with a fine oval miniature painting of Izaac Walton under curved glass within a gilt pointillé frame. The rear cover with a fine oval miniature painting of Charles Cotton under curved glass within a gilt pointillé frame. Spine with five raised bands, decoratively paneled, tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments. Double-ruled gilt board edges, elaborate gilt turn ins decorated with fish, fish baskets and floral pointillé. Green watered silk liners and endleaves, top edge gilt, others uncut. Spine lightly sunned. Housed in its original green morocco edged, chamois lined, faux aligator over board slipcase, a little rubbed at extremities.
A truly spectacular and early example of a Cosway Binding. Although unsigned, both 'miniatures' are almost certainly the artwork of Miss C.B. Currie, whose name was never mentioned on any Cosway-Bindings prior to 1911.
Piscator, the fisherman, in the course of a five-day expedition, teaches his friend how to bait a hook and catch several species of freshwater fish and then how to cook them. The majority of the book is comprised of a dialogue between Piscator, the fisherman, and Venator, the hunter, in which the former attempts to persuade the latter of the practical and spiritual merits of angling. Piscator reminds Venator that Saints Peter, Paul and John "were all Fishers" before quoting verses from other keen anglers: Montaigne, George Herbert and John Donne. The conversation takes place over several days on a fishing trip in the Lea Valley, during which they journey from Tottenham to Ware in Hertfordshire.
After the Bible and Shakespeare, The Complete Angler remains one of the most reprinted books in the English language.