PYNE, William Henry (1769-1843). The History of the Royal Residences. London: L. Harrison for A. Dry, 1819 [pre-publication watermarks].
3 volumes, large 4° (336 x 275mm). 100 hand-coloured aquatint plates by T. Sutherland, R. Reeve, W.J. Bennett, D. Havell and J. Baily after C. Wild, J. Stephanoff, R. Cattermole, W. Westall and G. Samuel. (Small split to platemarks of Abbey plate nos. 12 and 89, Abbey's number 73 with section of outer margin neatly repaired, light offsetting of text onto Abbey's plate number 26, without rearrangement slip called for in vol.III by Abbey.) Bound to style in 20th-century red straight-grained half morocco gilt, spines in compartments, black morocco lettering-piece in the second, lettered in gilt in the third, the others with repeat decoration in gilt, marbled covers and endpapers.
FIRST EDITION, with pre-publication watermarks. An attractive copy of the most ambitious aquatint book to be published on English interiors. This celebrated work was the first to illustrate royal palaces and houses in any detail. Volume I is a valuable record of the state rooms of Windsor Castle formed for Charles II, and concludes with the more domestic scenes of Frogmore, purchased by Queen Charlotte as a country retreat in 1793. Volume II is devoted to Hampton Court, whose state rooms had fallen into disuse for almost 60 years, Buckingham Palace, bought for the Queen for £28,000 shortly after her marriage to George III, and Kensington Palace, constructed for William III, but so neglected by 1814 that the Duke of Kent complained of 'rain pouring through the ceiling at twenty different points' and of being 'literally perishing with cold in my library'. St. James's Palace and Carlton House are the subjects of volume III, and while the former had been badly burned in 1809, the 20 plates devoted to the Prince Regent's residence show what were regarded as the most spectacular interiors in Regency London. Abbey Scenery 396; Tooley 389. (3)