Anecdotes of Painting in England

Strawberry Hill Printed by Thomas Farmer. 1762.

Five volumes. With a supplementary sixth volume The Works of Jonathan Richardson. 4to in half sheets. 228x175mm. pp. Vol. I: xiv, 168, [21, 1bl]. Engraved frontispiece and 15 further engraved plates. Vol II. [2], 158, [58]. 25 engraved plates (the plate of Henry Giles incorrectly bound in volume IV). Vol. III: [2], 155, [12, 1bl]. 37 engraved plates. Vol. IV: x, [2], 151, [9]; 12, 4. 26 engraved plates (including the portrait of Henry Giles). Vol. V: [4], 128; 14, 20, [10]. 9 illustrations. Vol. 6: vi, [2], 5-287 [1bl]. 11 illustrations.
Handsomely bound in red full morocco, upper and lower covers with gilt borders constructed of fillets, a dotted line and and wave and tendril roll. Spine with raised bands, compartments lavishly decorated in gilt with green onlays decorated in gilt and a green label lettered in gilt. Turn-ins decorated in gilt with a greek key design. All edges gilt. Marbled endpapers. A loosely note reads "Binding - ? by Kalthoeber". The binding is unsigned and we would be reluctant to attribute it with any degree of certainty to Kalthoeber but it is nevertheless a fine late eighteenth century binding (so contemporary with the Supplement) with the characteristics of the German emigré work of this period. It is also in excellent condition with only very slight bumping to the corners and a little rubbing to the edges. Internally, there is some foxing and browning but overall it is a very nice copy of an important book from Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill Press. The first volume has the inscription (in two hands) "To William Shakespear Childe-Pemberton on his marriage June 1894 from Lord Durnley". The improbably named recipient was a writer, best known as a biographer.
Only 600 copies of the first two volumes were printed and Hazen assumes that the later volumes were printed in similar numbers so it is rare and especially so with the Supplement The Works of Jonathan Richardson of which this copy is the variant without the "Printed at Strawberry Hill" text above the illustration of the house and without "B.White" in the imprint. Volume IV is dated 1771 although, as Hazen notes, it was published in 1780. It had been planned in 1763 (the date of volume III) but Walpole was nervous about printing his scathing comments on Hogarth's Sigismunda ("no more like Sigismonda, than I to Hercules"). By the time of publication, Hogarth was dead and Walpole had made his peace with the painter's widow so he was able to complete his comprehensive survey, laced with typically sharp Walpolean aperçus, of English art taking in painting, engraving and garden design.

Recently viewed