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ROBSON, George Fennel (1788--1833)
[Picturesque views of the English cities. Advertisement]
Preparing for publication, Picturesque views of the cities and cathedrals of England; from drawings by G.F. Robson, member of the Society of Painters in Water Colours.
London: published by J. Britton; and Longman and Co., [1825].
2, [2] p. ; 28.0 cm. (4º)

Drop-head title, imprint at foot of p. 2. Bifolium, conjugate leaf blank. Text signed at end 'J.B.' [i.e. John Britton] and dated 'December 1, 1825.' The publication is proposed as a series of 'upwards of Thirty Engravings' to be issued in eight numbers, the first being promised 'in the ensuing Spring; and the whole ... completed in the Summer of 1827.' Each number, consisting of four engravings without letterpress, was to be available in the following elaborate hierarchy of collectability: in medium 4to at 12s.; imperial 4to at 20s.; imperial 4to with 'Proofs on India Paper' at 30s.; 'Proofs and Etchings on India Paper' at 2 guineas; and finally, for an unnamed price, 'Six Copies, Proofs and Etchings, to be worked on Super-royal Folio, India Paper.' Britton's text was to be published separately from the series of engravings 'in order to obviate the very unjust, oppressive, and vexatious tax, of giving Eleven Copies of an expensive Series of Illustrations to public and wealthy Institutions, which ought to encourage Art as well as Literature, and not extort the productions from the meritorious and often ill-requited Artist and Author.' This requirement clearly exercised Britton greatly, and copies of his Historical and descriptive essays published in 1828 (q.v.) were given free of charge to subscribers to Pugin and Le Keux's engraved Specimens of the architectural antiquities of Normandy published a year earlier in 1827 in order to evade the expensive statutory requirement to deposit 11 copies of letter-press (which did not apply to engraved material) and at the same time to register his disapproval of the law.

Binding Loose bifolium.

Reference Number 3192


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