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NASH, John (1752--1835)
The Royal Pavilion at Brighton. Published by the command of & dedicated by permission to the King, by His Majesty's dutiful subject & servant, John Nash.
London: published by John Nash, Esqr. & sold by R. Ackermann, [1826].
Etch. t.-pl., [1] litho. pl., [31] outline-etch. pl. (on 28 leaves), [28] col. aquat. pl. (on 25 leaves, 1 fold.) ; 51.6 cm. (2°)

This lavish picture-book was commissioned by the Prince Regent shortly before his accession to the throne as George IV in 1820, with the intention that copies might be distributed as marks of royal favour. The work consists of a calligraphic etched title-plate, a lithographic 'Index of Subjects', and two series of plates: a set of coloured plates and a set of outline-etched proofs before the addition of aquatint shading. The three final plates [29-31] occur in outline-etched states only, and for some of the plates there was 'No Outline to this Plate' issued. The plates were probably originally issued unbound in portfolios, and in most bound copies including the Soane copy the colour plates are pasted to cloth hinges to enable the volume to open more easily. All of the coloured plates are trimmed and mounted on heavy laminated card with ink and gilt line borders, and the captions are printed on small etched tickets pasted on the verso of the mounts, present on colour plates [1], [6], [9], [13], [15], [18], [21], [22], [25], [27] and [28] in the Soane copy, which has the outline etchings separately bound with the title-plate and 'Index ...' as volume 'I', and the aquatint plates, printed partially in colour with local hand-colouring as volume 'II'. There are a number of variations between copies; the Abbey and BAL copies for example include an outline etching of pl. [7] not called for in the 'Index ...' and not present in the Soane or BL copies, and many of the outlines exist in a variety of states from a skeletal outline of the building to a completed outline image with or without human figures, foliage and other picturesque detail in the foreground. For a description of the colour and outline-etched plates and a summary of states comparing different copies of the present work with an edition of unsold copies and possibly some reprinted plates published by J.B. Nichols and Son in 1838, see BAL no. 2235. No detailed comparison has been carried out, but the Soane copy varies from the BAL description in the following details: the outline-etched plates [2], [4] and [8] are skeletal outlines of the building only; pl. [5] has foliage added but no human figures; the outline etching of the 'North Front' in pl. [9] is signed by A. Pugin and J. Cleghorn, not John Willis and John Le Keux; the perspective view of the Steine front (col. pl. [5]) and the 'Red Drawing Room' (col. pl. [13]) are signed in ink on the mount 'A. Pugin delt.'. BAL, Early printed books, no. 2235; Abbey, Scenery, 62; Hooked on Books 10.4.

Copy Notes The volume containing the coloured plates has the printed booksellers' label of 'T. & W. Boone, 29, New Bond Street', on the front pastedown. A bill from T. & W. Boone dated 7 May 1831 gives the price as £5 15s. 6d., almost exactly a quarter of the asking price when the book first went on sale to the public in July 1826; however, the price has been crossed out and the sum deducted from the total amount paid by Soane on 21 June 1831 for purchases made between 27 December 1830 and 17 June 1831 (Priv. Corr. XVI.E.7.18). The caption labels on the versos of the colour plates, where present, are mostly partly cropped or covered by the cloth hinges.

Binding C19th half maroon straight-grained morocco, maroon linen boards, gilt double-rule borders, gilt-tooled and gilt-lettered spines.

Reference Number 4216


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