London: Printed by C. Hullmandel for Rodwell & Martin, 1830. Item #05470
One Hundred Fine Hand Colored Lithographs Depicting French Costume Between 1200 and 1715
[LECOMPTE, Hippolyte]. SCHARF, George, artist. Costumes Francais, de 1200 à 1715. London: Printed by C. Hullmandel for Rodwell & Martin, ca. 1830.
Small octavo (5 9/16 x 4 1/4 inches; 142 x 108 mm.). One hundred fine numbered hand colored lithograph plates with legends (including pictorial title-page) drawn on stone by George Scharf. Plates nos. 50 & 52 slightly shorter on lower blank margin.
Handsomely bound ca. 1920 by Bayntun of Bath for C.E. Lauriat Co., Boston. Full dark red crushed morocco, covers with gilt-rule border, three gilt dots at corners, blind-tooled lances extending onto boards from raised bands. Spine with five raised bands decoratively paneled and lettered in gilt in compartments, decorative gilt board edges, gilt ruled turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt.
A wonderful example of historical French costume with fine hand coloring. The subjects include Joan of Arc, Bloody Mary, Queen of Scots, Ninon de Lenclos, many French kings and queens, courtiers, mistresses, soldiers, knights, politicians and admirals, from five centuries of French history.
According to Hiler, these plates are reduced and reversed copies of those in [Hippolyte Lecomte's] Costumes Civils et Militaires de la Monarchie Française, which was first published in 1820 in four volumes. The present work was published as a single volume and in a smaller format by the renowned London-based printer and lithographer Charles Hullmandel (1789-1850).
According to DNB, "Most of the major improvements made to lithography in Britain in the 1820s and 1830s can be attributed to Hullmandel, and in this period he was also the most prolific printer of pictorial lithographs in the country." In addition to earning his living through printing, Hullmandel also worked with scientists like Michael Faraday in search of new ways to perfect the art of lithography. Images for the present work were actually executed by Hullmandel's friend George Scharf (1788-1860), a Bavarian-born artist who was among the vanguard of lithographers operating in London.
Bobins II, 551; Colas, 1808; Hiler 533 (1820 edition); Lipperheide, 1074 (1820 edition).