SALT, Henry (1780-1827). Twenty Four Views taken in St. Helena, the Cape, India, Ceylon, Abyssinia & Egypt. London: William Miller, 1809.
Atlas volume, broadsheet (approximately 760 x 545mm). Aquatint title incorporating dedication, printed in sepia, 24 hand-coloured aquatint plates by D. Havell, J. Hill and J. Bluck, supervised by Robert Havell, after Salt, on thick paper watermarked 'J. Whatman 1805', mounted on guards and interleaved throughout, these watermarked 'Ruse and Turners 1805', the two Egyptian plates still with good margins. (Occasional light marginal soiling, plate IX with some spotting and a short marginal tear with an early repair, light spotting in a very few others.) Contemporary half roan and marbled boards, gilt label on spine, remnants of ties (spine worn, hinges split, extremities rubbed).
FIRST EDITION. A BRIGHT, COMPLETE SET OF SALT'S VERY FINE LARGE FORMAT VIEWS. Salt visited the Cape, India, and the Red Sea. In Calcutta, the party was entertained by the Governor-General, Marquis Wellesley (the dedicatee of the present work) and then travelled to Benares, Lucknow, Ceylon and Madras. Salt then explored the Red Sea, returned to Bombay and Poona, to the Red Sea again, before making an extensive excursion into the Abyssinian highlands, here represented by six views. Contemporary advertisements make clear that the work was designed to be similar in size and presentation to the plates of Thomas and William Daniell's great work, Oriental Scenery (1795-1808): the undoubted artistry of Salt and his engravers have ensured that this work is a worthy successor. A quarto text volume, with the same title, was published by Miller in the same year. Cf. Abbey Travel II, 515 (late issue with text volume); Tooley 440 (the text 'is not important and the work is usually to be found without it').
Henry Salt, artist, traveller, diplomat and collector of antiquities, was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, 14 June 1780. He studied to become a portrait-painter, moving to London in 1797 where he became a pupil of Joseph Farington, R.A., and (in 1800) of John Hoppner, R.A. His career path was altered by his appointment as secretary and draughtsman to George, viscount Valentia (later Lord Mountnorris) who left London on 3 June 1802 on a tour of the East. Salt returned to England on 26 October, 1806. His drawings remained the property of Lord Valentia, who also retained the ownership of the copper plates after Salt's death.