HOLBEIN, Hans, the younger (1497-1543, artist) and Edmund LODGE. Imitations of Original Drawings by Hans Holbein in the Collection of His Majesty, for the Portraits of Illustrious Persons of the Court of Henry VIII. With Biographical Tracts. Edited by John Chamberlaine. London: 1792 [-1799; paper watermarked 1794].
2° (540 x 403mm). 84 stipple-engraved portraits on 83 sheets, by F. Bartolozzi (80), C. Metz (3), and C. Knight (1), after Holbein, many printed in colours, those of Henry and Charles Brandon coloured by hand, 52 plates printed on pink paper and mounted, 16 printed on pink and 16 on white paper. (Some occasional light spotting.) Contemporary brown morocco by Sumner of York, tooled in gilt and blind, sides with shaped panels and central lozenge, spine elaborately tooled, gilt turn-ins, gilt and gauffered edges (lightly rubbed).
A FINE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION, rarely found with so many of the portraits in two states. 'This magnificent work is surely the finest example of English color printing.' (Ray). The originals enjoyed varying fortunes until they were rediscovered by Queen Caroline in a bureau of her closet at Kensington Palace, and finally copied and published under the auspices of Chamberlaine. Hardie writes of the copies that 'there are few, if any, results more successfully and adequately achieved than these stippled illustrations'. Edmund Lodge provided the biographical notices. 'In every way a splendid book, the colour printing reproducing with extraordinary fidelity the original designs', Abbey Life 205; Hardie p.62-3; Ray 19.