London: Printed for John Murray… by W. Bulmer, 1814. Item #04958
With Fifty Hand-Colored Engraved Plates
ALEXANDER, William. Picturesque Representations of the Dress and Manners of the Austrians. Illustrated in fifty coloured engravings. With descriptions. London: Printed for John Murray… by W. Bulmer, 1814.
Octavo (9 5/16 x 6 1/2 inches; 238 x 165 mm.). [iv], xv, [i, blank],  pp. Fifty hand-colored engraved plates, each with a leaf of descriptive letterpress. Plates with imprint: Pub'd June 1, 1813, by J. Murray, Albemarle Street.
Contemporary half black straight-grain morocco over marbled boards, smooth spine ruled and lettered in gilt, expertly and almost invisibly rebacked to style. Minimal foxing and very slight offsetting from plates to text only. Early ink signature on front blank. An excellent copy with the plates watermarked J. Whatman 1811.
The plates are copies in reduced size of those in Bertrande de Moleville's Costume of the Hereditary States of the House of Austria (1804). Cf. Hiler.
William Alexander (1767-1816) was an English painter, illustrator and engraver. The hallmarks of his work, usually executed in watercolors, were clearness and harmony of color, simplicity and taste in composition, grace of outline, and delicacy of execution. He accompanied the Macartney Embassy to China in 1792. His other principal works were: Views of Headlands, Islands, etc. taken during the Voyage to China (1798); drawings based on Daniells' sketches, for Vancouver's Voyage to the North Pacific Ocean (1798); and the descriptive plates to Sir John Barrow's Travels in China (1804), and Voyage to Cochin China (1806). In 1804 he published Picturesque Representations of the Dress and Manners of the Austrians, and in 1805 The Costume of China, illustrated by 48 colored engravings. These works were so well-received that in 1814 he re-published these books in small format.
Colas 78; Hiler, p. 16; Lipperheide 832.