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A Manual of Lithography, or Memoir on the Lithographical Experiments made in Paris, at the Royal School of the Roads and Bridges;...

clearly explaining the whole art, as well as all the accidents that may happen in printing, and the different methods of avoiding them. Translated from the French by C. Hullmandel.

Availability: In stock

Published: London printed for Rodwell and Martin, 1820

Stock Code: 121281

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition in English of Mémoire sur les expériences lithographiques (Toulon, 1819) "a manual which was to have considerable influence" (Twyman). Raucourt had been asked to set up a lithographic press at the École Royale des Ponts et Chaussées, the engineering school established in 1747, but as Michael Twyman explains, "he was completely in the dark, even though the process was becoming more popular". German pioneers were reluctant to divulge their secrets but Raucourt eventually managed to garner some notes from a German lithographer and "learnt the rest by trial and error" (ibid.). In his preface, the lithographer Charles Hullmandel describes Raucourt's manual as "the best book which has ever been published on this art". Hullmandel (1789-1850) was a major figure in British lithography, who "by example and through his writing... managed to inspire confidence among artists in a process that up until then had been regarded in Britain as unreliable" (ODNB).

With 24 pages of blanks at the end (watermarked "Carron 1819", from the paper mill at Denny, near Falkirk, Scotland; of excellent quality and made for Government use). The first three pages and recto of rear free endpaper carry manuscript notes in English, dated 1833, listing materials required for producing transfer ink and transfer cards, including tallow, flake-white, mastic and copal (tree resin).Tipped to the verso of the final leaf of letterpress is an engraved roundel from the shop of the Parisian droguist J. B. Trouillet, "au pilon d'or" (at the Golden Pestle), carrying the manuscript note "Huile verte pour la litographie" (green oil was sometimes used to damp the lithographic stone before inking). A highly appealing copy.

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Octavo (210 x 127 mm). Contemporary unlettered half calf, gilt ruled smooth spine, combed paste paper sides.


2 folding lithographed plates depicting lithographic apparatus.


Light wear to extremities, joints tender, tan-burns to endpapers, internally clean. A very good copy.


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