The Looking Glass; or, Caricature Annual, vols. 1-4 (of 7 published), for 1830-1833. London: Thomas McLean, 1831-34. 4 volumes, 2° (398 x 269mm). 196 hand-coloured etched or lithographed plates after William Heath and Robert Seymour, each volume comprising pictorial title and 12 monthly parts of 4 sheets, letterpress preface (one leaf) in vols. 1, 2 and 4. (Very occasional light spotting, more prominent on titles.) Contemporary green half morocco, all edges gilt (recornered and rebacked preserving original spines, minor repairs). Provenance: Stephen George Holland (bookplate).
A handsome set of the first four volumes of McLean's monthly caricature magazine, sending up most aspects of British life and society. The caricatures depict and comment on British politicians, European monarchs and other notable people, eating habits, fashion, lawyers, art and theatre, various laws and reforms, Irish affairs, the Thames Tunnel, sports and sportsmen, etc. One issue is devoted to the French Revolution. The first 7 numbers were the work of William Heath and thereafter of Robert Seymour, 'in the first rank of British comic artists' (ODNB). Among Seymour's other illustrations were two numbers of the Pickwick Papers before his death in 1836. (4)