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A Touch at the Fine Arts Illustrated by Twelve Plates, With Descriptions, by Henry Alken, Alken, Henry
1 Alken, Henry A Touch at the Fine Arts Illustrated by Twelve Plates, With Descriptions, by Henry Alken
London Thomas McLean, Repository of Wit and Humour 1824 First edition Full Morocco Near Fine 
A humorous take on the argot of art criticism. 8vo. With 12 hand-colored aquatint plates, including frontis, which is described as Plate V. The apercus of Alken, as he applies phrases others must have used to describe, praise and pan his own efforts, are singular in not being susceptible to easy description. However, he succeeds ably in capturing the pretentious tone of the critic in his elaboration of phrases such as "an imposing effect", "a sudden effect", "a warm effect". For most, the magic and fun is in the illustrations, in which he attempts to give literal application of these terms. The binding is a later (1911) full red straight-grained morocco by Zaehnsdorf. With gilt-fillet borders and gilt lettering and details on the spine. Also one page publisher's advertisement at rear, but without half-title. The binding has light rubbing along the front joint and there are rubbed spots along the edges and by the corners, but the binding remains very handsome indeed. Excepting a few occasional, light fox marks, the plates and text are clean. There is an armorial bookplate on marbled FEP. Tooley 58. Plus 
Price: 1800.00 USD
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Symptoms of Being Amused Vol. 1 [all that was published], Alken, Henry
2 Alken, Henry Symptoms of Being Amused Vol. 1 [all that was published]
London Thomas McLean, Repository of Wit and Humour 1822 First edition Half Morocco Very Good Plus 
Oblong, 14 by 9.5", 34 by 24.5 cm. With 42 comical Alken hand-colored plates, including the title page, all watermarked 1822 Thomas McLean. Tooley 57. Each plate contains several designs and accompanying captions. The format produces a liveliness on the page and contributes to the inimitable sense of movement so integral to Alken's art. With also an one page preface. Being Alken, many of the illustrations are of equine and/or sporting interest. The lampooning is highly visual. Sympathetically rebacked with half red morocco over marbled boards. The binding does have some shelfwear and worn corners. The leather remains healthy. Binding is tight. There is a fair amount of finger soiling in the margins, and a few minor, repaired closed tears. Color throughout is bright. Plus 
Price: 1950.00 USD
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3 Alken, Henry Symptoms of Being Amused Vol. 1 [all that was published]
London Thomas McLean, Repository of Wit and Humour 1822 First edition Half Morocco Very Good Plus 
Oblong, 25 by 36 cm. Title page, with hand-colored illustration, preface, and 41 comical Alken hand-colored plates. And bound in are the seven original wrap covers for the work, which was issued in six installments. These are all dated 1824, yet the plates themselves all bear the date of 1822. Each of the plates, not including the title page, has several vignettes, each with its own captions. These range from two to six vignettes, with four being the most common number per plate. Yet the several illustrations on a single plate work together, not only generally with a thematic cohesion, but a careful juxtaposition which produces a visual excitement and liveliness, accentuating the sense of movement so much a part of these drawings. Equestrian humor is the most salient aspect of the illustrations, as one would expect from Alken, but other sports and activities are sources of the fun as well. Tooley 57. Rebacked in a period correct red morocco. Marbled boards, with paper later but also sympathetic. Light to moderate shelfwear to corners and edges. Finger soiling in margins of some plates. A few repaired closed tears. Bookplates of Joseph E. Widener and two other prior owners. Plus 
Price: 1950.00 USD
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