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SMITH, John Thomas (1766--1833)
Antiquities of Westminster; the old palace; St. Stephen's chapel, (now the House of Commons) &c. &c. Containing two hundred and forty-six engravings of topographical objects, of which one hundred and twenty-two no longer remain. By John Thomas Smith. ...
London: printed by T. Bensley, for J.T. Smith, and sold by R. Ryan; and J. Manson, 1807.
[8], 16, xv, [1], 276, [2] p., [38], [10] pl. (14 coloured); illus.; 32.2 cm. (4º).

Soane was one of the numerous subscribers to the work. The plates and illustrations are executed in various mediums: copper and "iron" engraving, aquatint, mezzotint, etching, woodcut and lithograph. The latter (facing p. 48) is generally accepted as the earliest lithograph used for book illustration. However, only 300 impressions - one of which is in Soane's copy - were printed from the stone which was damaged by the printer's negligence and replaced by an etching with figures added. The title-page and dedication bifolium is a cancel omitting the name of the author of most of the text, John Sidney Hawkins, a result of the collapse of the partnership between Smith and Hawkins over alterations to the proof sheets, after only a few copies had been issued with the original title-leaf. Soane's copy includes the 10 additional plates announced at the end of the list of plates, which were to be had at the additional cost of £1 10s.

The dispute between Hawkins and Smith resulted also in Hawkins's publication of a pamphlet entitled A correct statement and vindication of the conduct of John Sidney Hawkins ..., published by Faulder in 1807. To this Smith replied with Mr. John Thomas Smith's Vindication: being an answer to a pamphlet written, and published, by John Sidney Hawkins, printed in the same year, which was intended to be bound up 'with the Work, immediately after the "Advertisement"', as found in the Soane copy. A note at the end of the 'Vindication', which was issued with at least some copies of the first four supplementary plates, records the loss of a great number of copies of the Antiquities of Westminster and over five thousand prints in a fire at the printer Bensley's warehouse. In order to recoup his losses, Smith increased the number of the supplementary plates, issuing them in parts between 1808 and 1809 with an etched title-plate reading Sixty-two additional plates to Smith's Antiquities of Westminster. A further pamphlet titled A reply to Mr. John Thomas Smith's Vindication was published by Hawkins in 1808 (q.v.). For a fuller account, see B. Adams, London illustrated (London 1983), no. 98, pp. 213--223; BAL, Early printed books, no. 3079 & 3080.

Copy Notes A subscription fee of 4 guineas was paid to J.T. Smith on 30 October 1807. (Spiers Box. Misc. Booksellers). Inscribed in ink on title-page 6.6.0.

Binding C19th full calf, gilt double-rule borders and spine, black spine-label.

Reference Number 3310


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