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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Specimens of the ancient sculpture and painting, now remaining in this kingdom, from the earliest period to the reign of Henry ye VIII, consisting of statues, bassorilievos, brasses &c. Paintings on glass and on walls &c. A description of each subject, ... by gentlemen of literary abilities, and well versed in the antiquities of this kingdom whose names are prefixed to their essays. ... The drawings made from the original subjects and engrav'd by Iohn Carter. (Vol. II.)
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CARTER, John (1748--1817)
Specimens of the ancient sculpture and painting, now remaining in this kingdom, from the earliest period to the reign of Henry ye VIII, consisting of statues, bassorilievos, brasses &c. Paintings on glass and on walls &c. A description of each subject, ... by gentlemen of literary abilities, and well versed in the antiquities of this kingdom whose names are prefixed to their essays. ... The drawings made from the original subjects and engrav'd by Iohn Carter. (Vol. II.)
London: published as the Act directs by John Carter, 1780. (1787.) [i.e. 1781--1794].
2 vols ; 45.5cm. (2°)
i: [2], iv, 60 p., etch. frontis., etch. t-pl., [57] pl. (1 fold., 16 hand-col.)
ii: iv, 70 p., etch. frontis., etch. t-pl., [56] pl. (2 fold., 17 hand-col.)

The title-plate dated 'November ye 1st. 1780'; issued in 30 parts between December 1781 and May 1794. The text was largely written by Carter's antiquarian friends, including J.S. Hawkins, Richard Gough, John Milner, Francis Grose and Francis Douce among others. Volume I has a dedication to Horace Walpole dated 'Nov. 1786' and contains plates with Carter's imprint line dated between November 1780 and 1786; Walpole's patronage was crucial to the completion of the first volume; volume II has a dedication to the Earl of Exeter dated 'July 1787' and plates dated between 1787--1794. The original watercolour drawings for the frontispieces to the two volumes are in the RIBA Drawings Collection; they were exhibited by Carter at the Royal Academy in 1786 and 1787. With 'The First List of Subscribers ...' (pp.[1]--2) in vol. I. BAL, Early printed books, no. 571; ESTC t90203.

Copy Notes Volume I inscribed in ink on front free-endpaper John Soane / 1799; and by the author Specimens / of the / Ancient Sculpture and Painting / now remaining in this Kingdom. / Vol.I. / Five Pounds in Boards / Pubd. by J. Carter F.A.S. / To be had of Robson, White &c. Booksellers. Volume II inscribed in ink by the author on binder's leaf preceding the frontispiece Specimens / of the/ /Ancient Sculpture and Painting / ... [as before] Vol.II / Five pounds in Boards /... [as before]. Soane's acquisition of this book in 1799 may be related to John Carter's appearance in May of that year as a witness for him in his libel case against the publisher Philip Norris. (See A.T. Bolton, The portrait of Sir John Soane, R.A., London 1927, p. 77.) With one folio manuscript sheet loosely inserted, recording an inscription in Winchester Cathedral (memorializing the parallel lives of two brothers from Avington), together with duplicates of the four plates of wall-paintings in St Mary's Chapel in the same cathedral (one is signed in ink John Carter and inscribed This Book offprint for Mr Cave).

Binding C18th diced russia, gilt roll-tool borders with Greek key pattern, gilt-tooled spine, gilt roll-tool turn-ins, marbled edges, blue silk bookmark. Two volumes bound as one. Payment of £1.15s.0d. to J. Wingrave, bookbinder, 28 August 1804. (Archive 7/3/23).

Reference Number 1852


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