Item #05695 Alken's New Sketch Book. Henry ALKEN.
Alken's New Sketch Book
Alken's New Sketch Book
Alken's New Sketch Book
Alken's New Sketch Book
Alken's New Sketch Book
Alken's New Sketch Book
Alken's New Sketch Book
Alken's New Sketch Book
Alken's New Sketch Book
Alken's New Sketch Book
Alken's New Sketch Book
Alken's New Sketch Book
Alken's New Sketch Book

Alken's New Sketch Book

London: Published by S. and J. Fuller, 1823. Item #05695

Exceptionally Rare Alken Title
With Forty Finely Hand-Colored Soft Ground Etchings
Depicting Equitation, Hunting and Other Sports

ALKEN, Henry. Alken's New Sketch Book. London: Published by S. and J. Fuller, [1823].

First edition. Oblong quarto (8 5/8 x 11 3/8 inches; 220 x 289 mm.). Printed title-page and forty finely hand colored soft-ground etched plates, heightened with gum arabic. The plates depict equitation, hunting and other sports. Thirty of the plates are single-scene illustrations, ten have multi-scene images.

Contemporary quarter purple calf over marbled boards, decoratively ruled in gilt, green leather label on upper cover lettered in gilt. Smooth spine with two raised bands at top and bottom, ruled in gilt in compartments, later end-papers. Engraved bookplate of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester on font paste-down. Some rubbing to spine and corners.
A near fine copy of this exceptionally rare Alken title.

Very rare, Siltzer p. 71; Not located in Biscotti; Not in Dulles (Anderson Galleries NY, Dec 10-12, 1912). We know of only on other copy - and that one is not colored. According to OCLC there is just one copy in libraries and institutions, worldwide: HUV, Huntington Library, Los Angeles, CA. (not colored). Our copy (the only one we could find at auction) was sold at The Duke of Gloucester sale, Christie's, London, January 2006, lot 614 - £1,440).

"Henry Alken, senior, was a genius in every respect; his style was admirable and his colouring delightful… [he] was a first-class sportsman who drew from his own experience in field and cover and in fact in every branch of sport excepting hawking. His artistic talents alone could scarcely have produced the charm with which his drawings and prints are imbued, if he had not possessed a practical knowledge of horses and hounds going, harness and craftsmanship, while a gift for composition and a ready appreciation of a comical situation crown his remarkable qualities… It is unfortunate that Alken's value as an artist was not fully recognised sooner, because most of his sets of coloured prints, in brilliant state and in the original wrappers, are now introuvable. Atmospheric dampness and exposure to strong light, combine to ruin framed prints within a very few years; in fact, all those which have been exposed on walls for any length of time will be found to be more or less bleached and to retain very little of their original colouring. Probably the work of no other sporting artist has been imitated so much as that of Henry Alken, senior." (Schwerdt. Hunting, Hawking, Shooting. Volume I, p. 11).

Bobins V, 1624; Siltzer. The Story of British Sporting Prints, p.71; Not in Biscotti, Dulles, Schwerdt, Tooley or Widener.

Price: $4,250.00

See all items in Caricatures, Color-Plate Books, Sports
See all items by