7 - 8 April 2004
[JOHNSON, J.] A Series of Views in the West Indies: engraved from drawings taken recently in the islands: with letter press explanations made from actual observations. London: published by (parts.I-II:) Messrs. Underwood (part III:) Smith, Elder & Co, 1827-1829.
Parts I-III (all published), oblong 2° (478 x 590mm). 3 small format 'advertisement' slips, one publisher's advertisement leaf for 'A New and Improved Map... Antigua', one page 'Names of Subscribers', hand-coloured engraved map, 11 FINE HAND-COLOURED AQUATINT PLATES (4 marked 'Proof'), all after Johnson, by T. Fielding, C. Bentley, G. Reeve and two unsigned. (List of subscribers torn and neatly repaired, occasional small tears and light soiling to blank margins of most leaves.) Disbound within original oatmeal-coloured thick paper wrappers, letterpress title to upper covers within a type-ornament border, the number of each part added in manuscript, small slip with new publisher's name in manuscript pasted on to part III (numerous neat expert repairs to wrappers), modern cloth portfolio, blue morocco label to upper cover, bordered and lettered in gilt.
A VERY RARE WORK. Johnson began with 'one of the most ambitious projects in aquatint colonial views' (Abbey). His intention was to publish a large format work in about eight parts (according to one of the 'Advertisement' slips) with each part containing four plates. This plan faltered after the present three parts had appeared, and the only other result of Johnson's ambition was a work on the individual island of Antigua (see lot 112) which re-used (with the date and publisher's imprint removed) six of the plates found in the present work. Abbey Travel II, 678; Tooley 285. (3)
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