25 September 2003
Emeric Essex Vidal (1778-1861)
Picturesque illustrations of Buenos Ayres and Monte Video. London: R. Ackermann, 1820 [text watermarked 1818; text 1820]. Large 4° (336 x 272mm.). 24 handcoloured lithographs by G. Maile, T. Sutherland, G. Bluck, and D. Havell after E.E. Vidal, 4 double-page. (Paper flaw to blank margin of d4, some very light spotting). Modern morocco gilt, gilt edges.
FIRST EDITION. 'One of 750 published in elephant quarto' (Tooley). There were two formats and four issues in six parts of this work, but because of the later binding it not has been possible to establish to which issue the present copy belongs. The Abbey catalogue notes that this work 'is another example ... of the hazards of attempting to analyse the publishing history of illustrated books which have been through a number of issues, including a part issue,' but the watermarks indicate that the present copy is a contemporary issue. English interest in South America flourished after the capture of Buenos Aires by Commodore Sir Home Popham and Colonel Beresford in 1806. These two 'privateers' sent booty back to London with a reported value of £1,100,000. The widespread and substantial interest in South American affairs this aroused was exploited by Ackermann through a number of fine publications, including the present work. Abbey Travel 698; Tooley 495; Palau 363371; Sabin 99460; Sabin 3000.
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