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ORME, Edward.

Historic Military and Naval Anecdotes,

Of Personal Valour, Bravery, and Particular Incidents which Occurred to the Armies of Great Britain and Her Allies, in the Long Contested War, Terminating in the Battle of Waterloo. Edited and published by, and engraved under the Direction of ...

Published: London: Edward Orme Publisher to the King and the Prince Regent, 1819, but c.1825

Stock code: 65768

Price: £3,500

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Early state, the plates watermarked 1825, text variously 1811, 1812, 1817. The plates have issue dates between 1815 and 1818, and were first assembled in book form in 1819. Abbey and Tooley are at variance on the status of differing issues, but Abbey concludes, “it would appear reasonable to assume that the early state of the book has a dated title,” as here. The colour is excellent. Orme was the son of a Manchester fustian manufacturer who came to London around 1794, his first engraving being published by his brother Daniel in that year. “On 21 January 1799 Orme was appointed printseller in ordinary to George III and on 5 April 1820 editor of prints in ordinary to George IV. In May 1800 he had a shop in Conduit Street, London (at the corner of George Street), and in 1801 exhibited a portrait at the Royal Academy. In the same year he established himself at 59 New Bond Street, London, at the corner of Brook Street, and published Rudiments of Landscape, a volume of uncoloured etchings after his brother William’s drawings” (ODNB). He then embarked on the publication of a series of highly popular aquatint books of which this was to be the last. He had begun investing in property around 1809, and in 1824 he closed the shop and concentrated on a new career as a property developer. “Edward Orme was, after Rudolph Ackermann, the most important publisher of illustrated books during the short golden age of the coloured aquatint.” The present work is a highly effective visualization of the most memorable “anecdotes” from this remarkable period of British successes, martial and naval, including Wellington and Blücher meeting at La Belle Alliance; the deaths of Ponsonby and Picton; the taking of the French eagle at Barrosa; Uxbridge wounded; Nelson in the cockpit at the Battle of the Nile; and the boarding of the Chesapeake. Highly desirable thus.

Folio (334 270 mm). Twentieth-century royal blue crushed morocco by Birdsall, title gilt to spine, raised bands, double gilt ruled panels to the compartments, attractive concentric gilt panels to the boards with large laurel wreath corner-pieces, beaded edge-roll, all edges gilt, wide-turn-ins with gilt rolls and la urel wreath corner-pieces, marbled endpapers. 40 hand-coloured aquatint plates after Manskirch, Heath, Atkinson and others, the majority engraved by Dubourg and Clark. Very light shelf-wear, lower corners a touch bumped, some offsetting from, but not to the plates, a few minor edge-splits, one short tear just biting the edge of one plate, neatly repaired, a very handsome copy.

Bibliography: Tooley 352; Abbey Life 376

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