EMPSON, Charles (1794-1861). Narratives of South America; illustrating manners, customs, and scenery: containing also numerous facts in natural history, collected during a four years' residence in tropical regions. London: printed by A.J. Valpy, published for the Author by William Edwards, 1836. 2° signed in 4s (360 x 260mm). 15 plates (14 hand-coloured etched plates after Empson, 1 hand-coloured engraved plate printed in brown by and after G.B. Sowerby). (Text leaves spotted, marginal in the main.) Contemporary half russia, spine gilt, top edge gilt (rebacked, old spine laid down, modern endpapers). Provenance: Lord Northwick (armorial bookplate).
VERY RARE LARGE PAPER COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION OF THIS WORK, here with all the plates hand-coloured over an etched base. This copy does not include the first plate mentioned by Abbey - this may not be required in this issue. Charles Empson spent three years in the Americas travelling and working with the engineer Robert Stephenson. The text of the first work takes the form of a series of twelve 'narratives': these do not follow any obvious path, but provide a series of delightful and informative vignettes of life in South America in the early 19th century.
[Charles EMPSON. Facsimile of twelve drawings of tropical scenery, from sketches made on the spot. London: Messrs. Ackermann & Co. and Charles Tilt, no date but 1836?]. 2° (341 x 248mm). 11 only (of 12) hand-coloured plates after Empson (9 over an etched base, 2 over a lithographic base), each cut to the edge of the image and mounted ona thin card mount in imitation of watercolours, early manuscript title in ink on the verso of each mount. (Lacking the 'South American Cottage' plate?, the 'Tolyma' plate with 8mm. tear to left side of image.) Unbound as issued within original blue-cloth portfolio, paper title label in blue and gold mounted on upper cover (ties lacking).
THIS RARE PORTFOLIO: this portfolio is mentioned as being available from Ackermann's and Charles Tilt in a note following the dedication leaf in the first work. The correct collation of both works is problematic. The second work clearly lacks a plate, but it is not clear if the first work requires Abbey's first plate. For mention of both the above works: cf. Abbey II,702; cf. Sabin VI, 22548; cf. Tooley 210. (2)