[Title from binding:] Portraits of Celebrated Persons.[c. 1853] Stock Code: 118091
Highly appealing exemplar of a mid-nineteenth century portrait album, assembled with discernment and a great deal of care by William Egerton, first Baron Egerton of Tatton (1806-1883), carrying in each volume his ownership inscription to the front free endpaper verso and fine armorial bookplate to volume I (the Egerton arms impaled with those of Loftus, surmounted by a baron's coronet, Egerton having been elevated to the peerage in 1859). In 1830 he married Lady Charlotte Elizabeth, daughter of John Loftus, second Marquess of Ely.
Egerton sat as MP for Lymington (1830-31) and Cheshire North (1832 August 1858), was Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire from 1868 until his death, and held senior ranks in the King's Cheshire Yeomanry for nearly three decades. "Egerton's family were extremely wealthy Cheshire landowners, whose association with the Tatton estate went back to 1598 At the 1832 general election he successfully stood as 'a thorough going Tory' for Cheshire North, where he sat for the next 26 years. Raised to the peerage by the second Derby ministry, he continued to act with the Conservatives in the Lords. 'An enormously rich man', whose fortune might have been even larger as a reversionary heir to the Bridgwater millions of his distant cousin the seventh earl of Bridgwater, he and his wife apparently 'lived carefully and without any ostentation' at their London home and at Tatton Hall, where he died from a 'severe attack of bronchitis' in February 1883. He was evidently a model landlord and a local meeting paid tribute to his 'interest in everything connected with agriculture'" (historyofparliamentonline, retrieved 21 April 2020).
Nearly all of the subjects are French and the vast majority lithographs, many published by Rosselin, who was active between 1830 and 1860, and who succeeded Delpeche as a publisher of high-quality lithographic work. Rosselin issued two series that have been drawn on here, Galérie des reines de France and Galérie des rois de France (both 1844). There is a good balance between figures from the Enlightenment and heroes of the Napoleonic Wars, arranged alphabetically, including Nelson, Wellington, Lasalle, and Grouchy an uncommon image, Library Hub giving just two locations, at Library of Congress and North Carolina - also portraits of George Washington and Andrew Jackson, the latter an early and striking likeness made by Jules Lion, a French-born mulatto, who has been described as "one of the most distinguished African-American artists of antebellum New Orleans" (64parishes.org, retrieved 21 April 2020).
2 volumes, large octavo, (260 x 168 mm). Original red half morocco, spines with five raised bands, each compartment with a triple gilt fillet panel enclosing a square of scrolling foliate decoration, dark green and white morocco twin labels, sides and corners trimmed with a single gilt fillet, Antique Spot pattern marbled edges and endpapers, gilt edges.
206 plates of portraits, all with tissue-guards, some cut down and mounted; 10 leaves of manuscript index (rectos only), watermarked "Whatman 1853".
Bindings just a little rubbed, white labels discoloured, scattered foxing, damp-staining to head of a handful of portraits. A handsome set.
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