LIEUTENANT-COLONEL CHARLES RAMUS FORREST (fl.1802-1827)
A Picturesque Tour along the Rivers Ganges and Jumna in India. London: L. Harrison for R. Ackermann, 1824 [text watermarked 1822-1824; plates, 1824].
Large 4° (333 x 272mm). Title and final text leaf with hand-coloured aquatint vignettes, engraved folding map, 24 fine hand-coloured aquatint views by G. Hunt and T. Sutherland after Forrest, extra-illustrated with a gouache Indian erotic miniature laid down on the front pastedown. (18 plates with some offsetting of text onto image area, neat repair to platemark of 'City of Lucknow', miniature with mainly marginal worming.) 20th-century red half morocco by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, top edge gilt, the others marbled (joints and extremities rubbed).
Provenance: M.F. Elliott (oriental style red ink 'chop' stamp on front free endpaper).
A CORNERSTONE WORK TO ANY COLLECTION OF COLOUR-PLATE BOOKS ON THE INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT. Forrest's views are thought to excel those of all other amateur artists, two especially fine plates along the Yamuna being those of the Taj Mahal and the Palace of the King of Delhi. 'The drawings are all attentively copied from nature, and in many instances coloured on the spot, and always the magic effects of the scenes represented were still impressed on [Forrest's]... mental vision. The reader will recollect with indulgence, that the colouring of these views, which so far exceeds that of the scenery of Europe, is but a just portrait of the enchanting features of India, eternally glowing in the brilliant glory of the resplendent Asiatic sun' (Preface). Preceded by a summation of Indian history, the main journey starts on page 121 and describes the tour made by Forrest starting in December 1807. He set out with six companions, several hundred servants and forty troops, following the routes of the rivers up from Calcutta to Delhi. Like the various tributaries encountered en route, Forrest made numerous detours to places of interest. Many of these are recorded, both in the text and in the plates, with a sensitivity that makes it clear that Forrest loved India. Abbey Travel II,441; Martin Hardie p. 109-10, 313; Prideaux pp. 248,336,376; Tooley 227.