A Narrative of the Proceedings of His Majesty's Fleet, under the Command of Earl Howe,
from the Second of May to the Second of June M.DCC.XCIV.London: printed by T. Burton and Co.; sold at Mr. De Poggi's Exhibition room; Mr. W. Faden; Mr. T. Egerton, and Mr. J. Sewell, 1796 Stock Code: 37734
NotesFirst edition of this uncommon and extremely intriguing promotional device-cum-guide to the paintings of the Glorious First of June commissioned from Robert Cleveley and engraved by "the ingenious Mr. de Poggi". Interestingly, the two other copies encountered by this cataloguer were in near identical bindings to this, one with the ticket of Walcher alone, the other with that of Kalthoeber.
Robert Cleveley came from a family of distinguished marine painters. "Two huge and admired paintings of the beginning and end of Lord Howe's victory at the battle of 1 June 1794 were shown at the premises of the printseller A. C. de Poggi, at 91 New Bond Street, in 17956, from which T. Medland and B. T. Pouncy engraved large subscription prints. A separate text booklet includes Cleveley's large fold-out plan of the battle, probably the most detailed of the period".
The erratically paginated text consists of the Narrative, itself "derived from the most indisputable authorities", including appendices of the officers present, the orders of battle of the opposing fleets, and votes of thanks; a further appendix on the French fleet, the Naval Convention and the official French account of the battle; the "brochure" for the two prints - "The Price is Three Guineas - Proofs, Six Guineas - the Pair." - with description; and an impressive subscribers list, described by the Monthly Review as "a very honourable subscription".
Quarto (275mm x 225 mm). Contemporary red straight-grain morocco by Staggemeier & Welcher (with their ticket), raised bands, titles and ruling to compartments gilt, frames to boards gilt, all edges gilt, green watered silk endpapers.
Engraved frontispiece of Britannia reclining atop the globe by Thomas Kirk, folding battle plan at the rear.
Bookplate to verso of front free endpaper of Louis Roeder, co-author of Nelson's State Funeral 1806: How to Bury a National Hero (2020). Lightly refurbished with expert restoration to spine ends and joints, slight damp mark at foot of frontispiece, a few sporadic minor interior blemishes. A very nice copy.
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