London: S. & J. Fuller, 1816. Item #05135
Seven Magnificent Hand Colored Etched Plates Depicting 'Pitiful Situations'
ALKEN, Henry. [Sporting Discoveries, or The Miseries of Hunting in a series of seven plates, being hints to young sportsmen by Ben Tally-Ho]. London: S. and J. Fuller, 2 September 1816.
First edition, first issue with all seven plates dated September 2nd, 1816.
Oblong folio (10 3/8 x 14 1/2 inches; 263 x 369 mm.). Seven superb hand-colored etched plates. Professional marginal repairs to plates , the most significant being to plates 1 & 7 (none of the repairs affecting images). Plates watermarked "J. Whatman 1815"
Bound by Rivière ca. 1920 in three quarter red straight-grain morocco over red cloth boards ruled in blind. Front cover with large rectangular red straight-grain morocco label decoratively bordered and lettered in gilt. Smooth spine ruled and lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers. A wonderful copy.
The plates have extensive engraved captions explaining each pitiful situation, be it waking up to snowy weather, leaving an expensive hat in a tree, clutching on to a bolting horse when the saddle has slipped, experiencing inextricable difficulties with jumps and ditches, or simply being alone and left ‘to lead your horse home, dead lame, strange country, night coming on accompanied with heavy rain.
1. "…you DISCOVER the whole face of the country covered with snow." Published Sept. 2. 1816.
2. "…but DISCOVER when half over the next field that a bough of a Tree has taken your hat…" Published Sept. 2. 1816.
3. "…you DISCOVER that your girts are broken…" Published Sept. 2. 1816.
4. "…you DISCOVER that it would have been prudent to have had a stronger throat lash…" Published Sept. 2. 1816.
5. "…you then DISCOVER if you intend to do the thing well at twice…" Published Sept. 2. 1816.
6. "…you then DISCOVER that the only means you can adopt to preserve him from being drowned, is to hold up his
head by main strength…" Published Sept. 2. 1816.
7. "…"you at length perceive a light which you DISCOVER is determined, if possible to avoid you…
Published Sept. 2. 1816.
"This is a companion set to the "Sporting Discoveries -- Miseries of Shooting. Both bear an early date and are rare in present state. They are well drawn and beautifully coloured. No copy in Brit. Mus." (Schwerdt).
We can locate only two copies of this 1816 first issue in libraries worldwide: Yale University Library (CT) and The National Sporting Library (VA).
The only other copy that we have ever handled was the Spitz copy (Christie's May 27th, 2015, lot 104).
Schwerdt I, p. 22; Bobins IV, 1367; Siltzer p. 69; Tooley, 31 (later issue with plates dated 1 March, 1817); Dixon 9 (later issue with plates dated 1 March, 1817, and three watermarked 1819).