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SCHETKY, John Christian.

Reminiscences of the Veterans of the Sea.

A Series of Photographs Illustrative of the British Navy of By-gone Times from the Professional Works of…

London: Cundall and Fleming, 1867 Stock Code: 116744
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Early photographically illustrated retrospective of a famed British naval artist

First and only edition. Decidedly uncommon, Library Hub cites copies at five British and Irish institutional libraries (BL, NMM, RA, V&A, National Trust - Wimpole Hall); WorldCat adds just three further locations, all in the United States (Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, Newberry, and New York Historical Society). No copies recorded at auction.

"In 1867 Schetky published a book: Reminiscences of Veterans of the Sea He supplied the preface and even designed the letterpress for the book, which is in effect a retrospective of his best naval pictures. The early photography gives only an indifferent record, but enough can be seen to testify to the quality of his work" (Nicholas Tracy, Britannia's Palette: The Arts of Naval Victory, 2007, p.256). His work is well represented in major collections: RA, Tate, inevitably NMM with 11 examples, National Gallery of Scotland, the Royal Collection - Schetky was Marine Painter to George IV, William IV and Victoria - Yale Centre for British Art, and the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA. This copy with a contemporary gift inscription on a preliminary blank: "To Somerton from his affectionate Mother-in-law Jane E. Barrington, Sept. 1867". The recipient was James Charles Herbert Welbore Ellis Agar, 3rd earl of Normanton (1818-1896), styled Viscount Somerton until 1868, Conservative MP. Jane Elizabeth (née Liddell), Viscountess Barrington (1804-1883), a renowned Victorian beauty, was the widow of the recently deceased William Keppel Barrington, 6th Viscount Barrington (1793-1867), who was related to Admiral Keppel on the maternal side.

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Folio (445 x 313 mm). Publisher's dark red quarter morocco, blue pebble-grain cloth sides, front cover gilt lettered within a roundel composed of cable and anchor chains twined with sprays of seaweed, surmounted by the Admiralty crown supported by dolphins, blue linen hinges, yellow coated endpapers.


20 original photographs printed in sepia (slightly varying in size but c.190x 280 mm) mounted on medium card-stock with printed cream borders, letterpress captioning, all plates guarded; 16 pages of prefatory material and text descriptive of the engagemen


A little rubbed and lightly soiled, chafed on the joints, just starting at the head, corners softened, some foxing throughout, the title page and first mounting leaf quite heavily, and the first photographic plate somewhat faded, the rest strong; overall very good.


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