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Thomas (1749-1840) and William DANIELL (1769-1837).
Thomas (1749-1840) and William DANIELL (1769-1837).
Thomas (1749-1840) and William DANIELL (1769-1837).
Thomas (1749-1840) and William DANIELL (1769-1837).
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Thomas (1749-1840) and William DANIELL (1769-1837).

ORIENTAL SCENERY. 1847

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Thomas (1749-1840) and William DANIELL (1769-1837).
Oriental Scenery. 1847
DANIELL, Thomas (1749-1840) and William DANIELL (1769-1837). Oriental Scenery. London: 1795-1808 [but 1847].

Elephant folio set of 'the finest illustrated work ever published on India' (Tooley), with the colours bright and fresh. The Daniells, uncle and nephew, spent nine years traversing India, drawing and recording views and sites meticulously. On their return to London in 1794 they set about to produce one of the finest, most ambitious, and most influential series of aquatints: Oriental Scenery. It made 'a completely new contribution to British knowledge of India' (Archer, p.222). In addition to views familiar to early travellers are those made by Europeans for the first time, such as in the Garwhal mountains, and even the views of Madras are the first made by Europeans on the spot. The Daniells tapped a vein of nostalgia among colonial administrators, curiosity among European travellers (both active and armchair), and pride among the British for victorious military campaigns there. Their classical style of composition and use of a camera obscura ensured an unrivalled accuracy, which in turn facilitated the work's influence on other spheres of European art. Scenes appeared on Staffordshire blue-and-white pottery and wallpapers produced by Zuber at Mulhouse and Dufour at Macon. The Daniells inspired architecture either directly or indirectly, ranging from a folly at Melchet Park to the grand country house and landscape gardens of Sezincote, and, through patrons such as Thomas Hope, their influence was also evident in furniture design.

The work was originally issued over the course of 13 years from 1795 to 1808, but after their deaths in the 1840s, the London publisher Bohn bought the remaindered stock from the Daniells' estate. The present set proves that Bohn must have got hold of the original coppers as it is printed on sheets of Whatman wove paper with watermarks dating between 1842-1845; the binding matches Bohn's advertisement, and is thus the publisher's half morocco. Abbey Travel 420, note on p.377; Tooley 172; RIBA 799-804, note on I, p. 446; Archer, Early views of India, passim; Sutton, The Daniells, 1954, p.156.

6 parts, bound in 3 volumes, elephant folio (740 x 540mm). 6 hand-coloured aquatint title-pages and 144 plates (part 5 bound at end of vol. II and part 4 bound at the beginning of vol. III, plates 14, 17, 24, 47 and 48 lightly soiled, pl. 20 with repaired marginal tear just into image). Publisher's green half morocco over marbled paper-covered boards, spines in 8 compartments, second and third compartments with gilt lettering pieces, the others filled with foliate tools, marbled endpapers, gilt edges (extremities a little rubbed, some corners scraped). Provenance: Konrad Prinz von Bayern (1883-1969; bookplates).
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