3 June 2009
WILSON, Horace Hayman (editor; 1786-1860). The Oriental Portfolio. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1838-1840.
2 volumes, 2° (557 x 388mm). Lithographic title and 10 tinted lithographic plates, each with a leaf of letterpress text (spotting). Original burgundy cloth portfolios, upper sides blocked in gilt, cloth ties, lined with yellow glazed endpapers (some wear to the paper flaps of part I, scattered spotting).
FIRST EDITION IN THE ORIGINAL PARTS. David Roberts and Thomas Dibdin prepared drawings after Thomas Bacon's sketches. Together they 'transmuted Bacon's charming originals into splendid designs of true 1830s orientalism... it is greatly to be regretted then that the Portfolio expired after its second number in 1840, for if completed Roberts and his associates might have left us an India equal in sensitiveness and suggestiveness with his Spain, Palestine, and Egypt' (Lightbown). The work was reissued in one volume with the same title in 1841 which is often confused with this rare first edition. ABPC records no complete copy in parts selling at auction in over 30 years. Not in Abbey. Lightbown, India Observed, pp.122-6, 149-50 nos 183-4 (1841 reissue only). (2)
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