BOYDELL, John (1719-1804) and Josiah BOYDELL (1752-1817, publishers). An History of the River Thames. London: W. Bulmer and Co. for John and Josiah Boydell, '1794-1796' [but 1825 watermarks].
2 volumes, 2° (410 x 307mm). Hand-coloured aquatint frontispieces and 74 hand-coloured aquatint plates, 3 folding, by J.C. Stadler after Joseph Farrington, and one engraved plate by J. Girtin. 2 folding engraved maps of the course of the Thames by John Cooke. (Some variable light spotting, some offsetting, generally light, lacking vol. II Table and List of Plates leaves.) Early 19th-century straight-grained green morocco gilt, boards with outer borders of multiple fillets enclosing broad arabesque gilt and blind rolls, gilt turn-ins, spines gilt in compartments with floral and foliate tools, gilt edges (faded, some marking on boards, extremities rubbed and scuffed). Provenance: Daniel Higford Davall Burr (1811-1885, bookplates).
BOYDELL'S FAMOUS WORK ON THE THAMES, with text by the writer William Combe and plates after the Royal Academician Joseph Farrington. The work takes the form of a journey, starting at Thames Head near Cirencester in Gloucestershire, via Oxford, Henley, Reading, and London, and ending where the river debouches into the North Sea. Combe does not limit himself to strictly topographical description, but enhances his narrative with historical anecdotes and background to particular locations. The fine plates complement Combe's text, and the folding panoramic view of London from the roof of the Archbishop of Canterbury's palace at Lambeth is particularly spectacular. History of the Thames was originally to form part of a five-volume work describing the rivers Thames, Severn, Forth, and Clyde 'and intended to illustrate an original History of those Rivers, including all that adorns, dignifies or enriches them and their Vicinities, whether of Art or Nature' (advertisement for the work, quoted by Abbey). The project was abandoned on the completion of the History of the Thames, although the publishers intended to continue with the Forth, as shown by the general titles of the first issue state; these titles and the Dedication to the King, were subsequently removed from later impressions (as here). Abbey Scenery 432; Tooley 102. (2)