London: Collected and Published by Thomas M'Lean, 1824. Item #05127
Excessively Rare 1824 Henry Alken Compilation from the Library of Sir Walter Gilbey
ALKEN, Henry. A Collection of Sporting and Humorous Designs, Comprising A Variety of Entertaining Works, by Henry Alken, Illustrative of the Manners, Customs, Sports and Pastimes of England. [Volume II only]. London: Collected and Published by Thomas M'Lean, 1824.
Elephant folio (21 1/2 x 14 3/4 inches; 546 x 374 mm.). General title and sixty-nine hand colored soft-ground etchings (on thirty-five leaves), all trimmed and inlaid on gray wove paper, all with gilt borders. Interleaved throughout with white paper, several extra and ten blank leaves at end.
Contemporary red straight-grain morocco gilt. Covers elaborately bordered and decorated in gilt. In the center of both covers the sporting crest of Sir Walter Gilbey. Expertly and almost invisibly rebacked with the original smooth spine laid down, elaborately tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, white endpapers, all edges gilt. Binding a little worn and scuffed but absolutely sound.
Excessively Rare. This 'Large-Paper' Deluxe format was originally published in three three volumes, 1824, with 318 colored prints.
Book Auction Records show a 1904 Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge record "318 coloured prints of Alken's work, including 10 plates from the "Sporting Repository," inlaid within gilt borders, with manuscript titles a t foot where necessary, 3 vol., original morocco gilt, g.e., a fine and interesting collection, Collected and published by T. M'Lean, 1824, folio." [John Herbert Slater sale] March 21st and 22nd, 1904, lot 3587 (Robson £181).
In 1992 the Henry Arthur Johnstone copy (two volumes only with 208 hand colored plates) was sold for £12,100 (Christie's London, May 19th, 1992, lot 9).
and in 2011 the same copy was sold for $21,250. (Christie's New York, June 22nd, 2011, lot 90).
"Sporting and Humorous Designs. Manners, Customs, Sports and Pastimes of England. Over 300 plates. Three volumes folio. Published by McLean. (Walter Gilbey sale [Christie's June 11th, 1915 this copy])" (Siltzer, p. 72).
Provenance: Sir Walter Gilbey, 1st Baronet (1831-1914) was an English wine-merchant and philanthropist. He became well known as a breeder of shire horses, and he did much to improve the breed of English horses (other than race-horses) generally, and wrote extensively on the subject, including the encyclopedic Animal Painters of England From the Year 1650: A brief history of their lives and works. He became president of the Shire Horse Society, of the Hackney Horse Society, and of the Hunters' Improvement Society, and he was the founder and chairman of the London Cart Horse Parade Society. He was also a practical agriculturist, and president of the Royal Agricultural Society. He was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Essex in 1906.
Symptoms of Being Amused. 42 hand colored plates - complete
Involuntary thoughts. 8 hand colored plates - complete
Humorous Miscellanies. 2 hand colored plates (of 6)
Tutors Assistant. 2 hand colored plates (of 6)
Specimens of Riding Near London. 16 hand colored plates (of 18)
Siltzer, p. 72 (this copy); Not in Abbey, Bobins, Dixon, Schwerdt or Tooley.