ACKERMANN, Rudolph (1764-1834), publisher. The Microcosm of London. London: T. Bensley for R. Ackermann, January 1808-February 1810 [plates watermarked 1806-1808].
3 volumes, large 4° (345 x 275mm). Engraved titles with woodcut architectural background, engraved dedication in each volume, 104 hand-coloured aquatint plates by J. Bluck, J.C. Stadler, J. Hill and T. Sutherland after Augustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson. (Occasional light offsetting to plates, final plate in vol. III affected by spotting, heavier offsetting and occasional spotting to text.) Contemporary red morocco gilt by C. Hering, with his ticket in vol. I, covers with wide floral roll-tool border and interlocking geometrical frame enclosing a central lozenge filled with volutes, spine in six compartments with raised bands, two with black morocco lettering-pieces, the remainder with repeated gilt and blind ornament, dated at foot, gilt edges, gilt inner dentelles, blue silk doublures (spines rubbed, lower joints of vol. I cracked, lower covers of vols. II-III detached); later slipcases.
EARLY ISSUE IN A HERING BINDING OF ACKERMANN'S CELEBRATED PORTRAYAL OF LONDON LIFE, first issued in monthly parts, though sets continued to be printed off and Abbey records a watermark as late as 1835. 'Ackermann was setting a new standard by engaging two specialist artists and getting them to work harmoniously together' (Adams). Augustus Pugin (1795-1860), a French émigré trained by John Nash, was responsible for delineating the architectural features of the plates, whilst Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) displayed his talent in peopling the scenes with lively figures. The text was entrusted to another artist, William Henry Pyne, but the final volume was written by William Combe. In this copy, plates 9, 10, 12, 18 and possibly 8 in volume I are in Abbey's first state; plate 91 in volume III in Abbey's third state. Abbey Scenery 212; Adams London Illustrated 99; Tooley 7. (3)