London: Published by R. Ackermann.…Printed by L. Harrison, 1820. Item #04831
One of the Great Nineteenth-Century Color-Plate Books,
with Twenty-Four Hand-Colored Aquatints
GERNING, J.J. [Johann Isaac] von. A Picturesque Tour Along the Rhine, from Mentz to Cologne: With Illustrations of the Scenes of Remarkable Events, and of Popular Traditions. Embellished with Twenty-Four Highly Finished and Coloured Engravings, from the Drawings of M. Schuetz; and Accompanied by a Map. Translated from the German by John Black. London: Published by R. Ackermann… Printed by L. Harrison, 1820.
First English edition, early issue. (The original German edition was published in Wiesbaden in 1819 as Die Rheingegenden von Mainz bis Cölln.)
Large quarto (13 1/4 x 10 3/4 inches; 336 x 273 mm.). xiv, [xv, xvi], 178 pp. Complete with the list of subscribers (pp. [v]-viii). Large folding engraved map with color highlights and twenty-four fine hand-colored aquatint plates by D. Havell and T. Sutherland after C.G. Schutz, with tissue guards. Text watermarked 1817 and 1818, plates watermarked 1818 and 1819. In this copy, the plates are unnumbered and the Mentz plate is dated “Octor. 1 1819” and the Biebrich plate is dated “Septr. 1 1819.” Minimal offsetting from plates to text.
Contemporary plum diced morocco, covers richly bordered in gilt and blind. Spine with five shallow raised bands ruled in gilt and elaborated gilt and title in compartments. Decorative gilt board edges and turn-ins, pale gray endpapers, all edges gilt. With the armorial bookplate of Sarah Marie Turnor on front pastedown. Spine slightly faded. A fine copy.
“The original [unillustrated] German edition was published in Wies-baden in 1819 as Die Rheingegenden von Mainz bis Cölln, and it is clear from the…‘Vorerinnerung’, which is dated 14 June 1819, that Ackermann’s edition was already planned; it seems possible in the circumstances, in fact, that the text was commissioned by Ackermann, as were the views for the plates…Another German edition, this time containing twenty-four views, was published in Frankfurt in 1822” (Abbey).
“Containing a complete History and Picturesque Description of a portion of Country so full of curious and interesting circumstances, as well as so resplendent for its landscape, grandeur, and beauty. The Work will be embellished with Twenty-four highly finished and coloured Engravings, from Drawings expressly made by an eminent Artist, resident near the Banks of the Rhine, and habitually familiar with every part of it…The romantic, beautiful, and ever-varying Scenery of this River forms a distinguished feature of every modern foreign Tour; and no one can consider himself as an accomplished traveller who is not more or less acquainted with it…Baron von Gerning, whose literary character is so well established in Germany, has undertaken to write the Historical Part; and Mr. Schutz, so well known as an artist, will furnish the Drawings” (Ackermann’s prospectus for the completed work, printed on the rear wrapper of Part I and others).
“There are definitely later issues of the book…and these can be recognized by having plate numbers at the top right-hand corner. The impressions in these issues are poor and the colouring less good” (Abbey).
Abbey, Travel, 217. Martin Hardie, pp. 107-108 and 312. Prideaux, pp. 337 and 375. Tooley 234.