21 March 2005
ABBEY, John Roland (1894-1969). Scenery of Great Britain and Ireland in aquatint and lithography 1770-1860 from the library of J. R. Abbey. A bibliographical catalogue. -Life in England in aquatint and lithography. -Travel in aquatint and lithography. 2 volumes. London: privately printed at the Curwen Press, 1952-57.
Large 4o (310 x 240 mm), together 4 volumes. LIMITED EDITIONS of 400 copies (500 copies of Scenery). Color frontispieces, numerous black-and-white plates and illustrations.
MOSAIC BINDINGS FOR THE AUTHOR BY BRYAN MAGGS, London 1964: maroon morocco (crimson for Travel), covers gold-tooled, inlaid and painted to various abstract designs, gilt-lettered spines, suede doublures, top-edges gilt. Cloth boxes. Provenance: Major J. R. Abbey (bookplates).
Important catalogues, compiled by the collector himself, with much more detail than any work preceding them. Abbey was a pioneer as a collector in this field of English illustrated-book production and his accomplishment has influenced two subsequent generations of collectors. His collection of color-plate books was purchased en-bloc by Paul Mellon soon after these catalogues came out and now forms the large core of the unmatched holdings at the Yale Center for British Art.
The binder (b. 1936) is curator of the late Sir Paul Getty's library at Wormsley, a director of Maggs Bros., and an authority on British historical bookbindings. BBB Wittockiana 60.
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