YOUNG, John (1755-1825)
YOUNG, John (1755-1825)
YOUNG, John (1755-1825)
YOUNG, John (1755-1825)
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YOUNG, John (1755-1825)

A Series of Portraits of the Emperors of Turkey from the Foundation of the Monarchy to the Year 1815. London: printed by William Bulmer and Co., 1815.

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YOUNG, John (1755-1825)
A Series of Portraits of the Emperors of Turkey from the Foundation of the Monarchy to the Year 1815. London: printed by William Bulmer and Co., 1815.
First edition, a fine copy on thick-paper, with superb impressions of the plates; arguably the greatest colour-plate book on the Ottoman Empire. The twenty-eighth sultan, Selim III, who ruled from 1789 to 1807, commissioned Young to make a series of mezzotints after portraits of the emperors of Turkey based on an album of 19th-century miniatures. Production halted when janissaries assassinated the sultan in 1807 following his attempt to reform the infantry-bodyguard corps along Western European lines. Mahmoud II ascended the throne, and Young resumed work in 1810. It constitutes an unusually expansive example of the Ottoman Empire’s patronage of Western artists. This is the second state of the work with reference to Mahmoud II. The title appeared in two states: the first giving a date of 1808; the second giving a date of 1815 (as here) and including a reference to Mahmoud II; some plates also contain subtitles, which this copy does not. The very fine mezzotint engravings are after a Greek peasant 'who displayed such proofs of natural talent as to enduce the Emperor Selim to patronise him' (Preface). The final two plates appear in the second issue only. Abbey Travel 372; Atabey 135 (second issue); Bobins I, 175; Blackmer 1863 (first issue); Brunet V, 1510; Lipperheide Lb 45; Tooley 516.

Large folio (555 x 403mm). Letterpress title-pages in English and French, additional contemporary hand-coloured engraved mezzotint title-page in French, text in English and French, 30 fine colour-printed engraved mezzotint portraits, finished by hand, by John Young, all but the final 2 oval portraits within lettered oval frames, view within a panel at the foot, all in rectangular frame (plates 10 and 20 are inverted). Modern half red morocco, spine richly gilt, re-use of early endpapers. Provenance: Jay Gould (1836-1892, American financier; Lyndhurst bookplate).
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