London: Thomas Pulser, 1817. Item #05113
A Set of Four Magnificent Hand Colored Aquatint Plates by Henry Alken, Engraved by T. Sutherland
ALKEN, Henry. [Shooting]. London: Thomas Pulser, 1 June 1817 [i.e. 1820].
Four Magnificent Hand Colored Sporting Engravings by T. Sutherland after Henry Alken.
Elephant folio (16 5/8 x 21 7/8 inches; 423 x 556 mm.). Four magnificent hand colored aquatint plates (image size: 13 x 16 1/2 inches; 330 x 420 mm.). All plates with imprint "Pubd. Jun 1, 1817, by Thos. Pulser, Surrey side Westminster Bridge.' Interleaved with card, some light soiling of margins. The first plate with a tiny inner-margin tear, the second plate with a tiny tear below the imprint, both with almost invisible repairs. The third plate with a two-inch marginal tear (not affecting image) repaired on the verso with tape. The first three plates are watermarked 1820.
Mid-to-late nineteenth century half brown morocco over green pebble-grain cloth ruled in gilt. Smooth spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt, green marbled endpapers, top edge gilt. Light wear to spine extremities. With the bookplates of Clarence S. Bemens, Joseph Widener and Joel Spitz on front pastedown.
A set of large, highly attractive aquatints, closely related to the series published by S. and J. Fuller in 1813, with aquatints by R. Reeve. While two of the plates show top-hatted sportsmen in action, another depicts the shooting party and their dogs taking refreshments under the trees, and in the last they can be seen packing up and 'going-home'.
Provenance: Clarence S. Bemens - Joseph Widener - Joel Spitz (purchased from Sessler, Philadelphia, 1954).
"Set of four. Aquatints by T. Sutherland. Published, June 1, by T. Pilser (sic), Westminster Bridge Road." (Siltzer).
Henry Thomas Alken was born into what became an artistic dynasty. He studied under the miniature painter J.T. Barber and exhibited his first picture (a miniature portrait) at the Royal Academy when he was sixteen. From about 1816 onwards he "produced an unending stream of paintings, drawings and engravings of every type of field and other sporting activity. He is best remembered for his hunting prints, many of which he engraved himself until the late 1830s ... To many, sporting art is 'Alken', and to describe his work or ability is quite unnecessary" (Charles Lane British Racing Prints, pp. 75-76).
1. Pheasant Shooting.
3. Cock Shooting.
4. Going Home.
Snelgrove Mellon, 46 (p. 21); Siltzer, p. 57; Not in Bobins or Schwerdt.