With time on our hands during the Coronavirus lockdown, we are reviewing the prices of some of our older stock and adjusting prices of books to ensure that they are the most attractive offering in the marketplace, as it is a reality of the antiquarian market for books that less expensive and mid-level material the trend has been inexorably downward, to the chagrin of booksellers and to the benefit of collectors.  Consequently, we have slashed prices anywhere between 20 percent and 60 percent of these books we have had listed for five years or more.  So we hope that anyone visiting the site might find something that might have become overpriced but now legitimately qualifies as a bargain.



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Alken, Henry Listings

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1 Alken, Henry A Collection of Seven Drawings
London 1815-1830 Half Calf. Paper pastedown on boards. Fine 
A handsome modern binding of seven original Alken drawings. Elephantine oblong, 35 by 50 cm. The drawings themselves are laid in a heavy board frame within the binding, and this frame has a window of 25 by 36 cm. The drawings themselves are laid on paper, and this paper is exposed, creating a margin all around, of not quite 2 cm. The drawings are titled: "Swell and the Surrey, No. 1", "Swell and the Surrey No. 2", "Drawing the Long Bow", "Drawing a Horse", "A Cabbage Leaf Galloper", "In Such a Scene as This", and "Rider Unshipped". Most relate to riding and equestrian sports, but "Drawing the Long Bow" depicts men drinking and playing cards. Generally the scenes have a touch of humor and levity, although one can not say they are all caricature or intended to be funny. While one can find some sketchiness here and there, overall the drawings come off as satisfying works that can stand on their own -- in other words, they are closer to being finished than tentative works in progress. Bringing coherence to the group is an esprit of quintessential Alken. The modern binding is handsome and worthy of the contents. Leather title label on front board. 
Price: 3875.00 USD
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2 Alken, Henry A Set of Six Plates on Horse Riding
London Thomas McLean 1821 First Edition Half Calf. Paper pastedown on boards. Fine 
A handsome modern binding of six hand-colored plates which were issued separately, or as a folio, and not in book-form, in 1821. Elephantine oblong, 33 by 54 cm. The plates themselves are laid in a heavy board frame within the binding, and this frame has a window of 24 by 30 cm, which exposes about 4 cm of margin all around the images. The plates are titled: "Delighted", "Dissatisfied", "Perfectly Satisfied", "Displeased", "Surprised" and "Terrified". They are humorous takes on two gentlemen riding, not necessarily foxhunting. The men are opposites in their riding style, both exemplifying ineptitude and inexperience, though. The suite is very much in the vein of Alken stylistically, and also in the vein of such print series issued in profusion at the time. Obviously, such series usually ended up decorating walls, and so it is quite unusual and nice to have the suite survive intact and to have it bound so handsomely. With also a title page. Leather title label on front board. 
Price: 2400.00 USD
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3 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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4 Alken, Henry Alken's Characteristic Sketches of Hunting with Caricatures of Middlesex Sporting (two copies, one in a colored state, the other, not)
London J. Dickinson 1825 First Wraps. Custom quarter morocco clamshell box Very Good Plus 
Oblong, 21 by 28 cm. Scarce. Copies at Yale, Princeton and Pittsburgh show up on OCLC but are later, with an 1826 date indicated and a note about varying dates, unlike our set. Tooley 19. Schwerdt I: 11. Clamshell box by Sangorski and Sutcliffe. Light wear to the two booklets. Box is in pristine shape. 
Price: 4000.00 USD
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5 Alken, Henry Alken's New Scrap Book. Twenty Plates.
London Thomas M'Lean 1824 First Half Morocco Very Good 
Oblong, 18 by 27 cm. 20 hand-colored plates, more equine than anything else, but also shooting, dogs, fishing, deer, cows, birds, etc. The liveliest plates, eight in all, feature action of some sort -- a dog fight and a cock fight being the most interesting, despite, or because of, the disrepute these activities are now held in. Also in this group are the more common foxhunting scenes for which Alken is best known. Twelve of the plates are essentially sketchbook-like portraits of the heads of horses, men, dogs, and deer. The plate with entirely deer is probably the most unusual. Otherwise, equine again predominate, with plates mixing the species as well. Schwerdt I p. 15. Bookplate of the Duke of Gloucester on FEP. Color very bright and vivid in this copy. Without original wraps spoken of in Schwerdt, but title label is contemporary suggesting this copy may have been issued in this format. Minimal marginal soiling. Binding has moderate wear, rubbing. Slight shake to the binding. 
Price: 1500.00 USD
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6 Alken, Henry Fox Hunting
London S. & J. Fuller February 1813 First Half Morocco Very Good 
Scarce series of four Alken foxhunting plates. (No copies appearing on OCLC First Search.) One of Alken's earliest works, prior to any book published by him. Elephantine Oblong, 43 by 54 cm. The four hand-colored etchings are by Clark and Dubourg after Alken. The plates are entitled "Throwing Off", "Breaking Cover", "In Full Cry" and "The Death". The coloring is restrained, amounting more to dusky red and blue highlighting that doesn't overwhelm the strong sepia tint resulting from the stipple printed ground. With a modern binding of half brown morocco, gilt ruling and title on spine, and buckram cloth on boards. With slipcase of same cloth. Condition: small corner chip repaired on first plate. Light wear of other plates. With blank sheets and tissue guards dignifying the plates. 
Price: 3500.00 USD
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7 Nimrod [Charles James Apperley]. Illustrated by Wildrake, Henderson and Henry Alken. Hunting Reminiscences, Comprising Memoirs of Masters of Hounds; Notices of the Crack Riders; and Characteristics of the Hunting Countries of England.
London Rudolph Ackermann 1843 First Full Calf Very Good 
Extra illustrated, with four additional hand-colored plates by Alken. 4to. 25.5 by 16.5 cm. ix, [1], 332 pp. With 32 called for plates, which includes maps of hunt countryside, as well as the additional hand-colored ones. Full calf binding by Hatchards, Piccadilly. Condition: spine rubbed in several spots. Narrow chip to spine label, with small loss to letter. Slight dryness to spine leather as well. Elsewhere smooth calf has several abrasions. A touch of light foxing within; predominantly clean. 
Price: 475.00 USD
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8 Alken, Henry Ideas, Accidental and Incidental to Hunting, and Other Sports; Caught in Leicestershire, &c.
London Thomas M'Lean Plates dated 1826 to 1830. Watermarks indicating First Half Morocco. Very Good 
Extra-illustrated with three pencil drawings and one watercolor by Alken. Folio, 36 by 26 cm. 42 hand-colored soft ground etchings within the collection proper, which plays on the word "Idea" to tease out all sorts of humorous unpleasantness and mishaps concommittant with foxhunting. The use of a word or phrase to lend a loose cohesion to an anthology of caricature illustrations was a convention Alken relied on time and again. The larger format of these illustrations makes this anthology especially appealing, plus the color of the hand-coloring is quite rich and vibrant here. Also, this particular collection is surprisingly uncommon. Six institutional copies noted on OCLC First Search (Yale, Art Institute, Transylvania, Clark, London, Huntington), none of course with the original artwork by Alken. 
Price: 12500.00 USD
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9 Alken, Henry One of the Flowers of Our Hunt
London Rudolph Ackermann 1851 First Half Morocco. Near Fine 
Suite of six large hand-colored aquatint plates. Oblong folio, 46.5 by 60.5 cm. Plates by 35 by 44 cm. Engraved by J. Harris after Alken. Series includes a highly cultivated full blown old English rose, a perfect pink, a well grown sunflower, the dandelion, a jonquille and a passion flower. Plates are matted on card passe-partout, and each has a thick tissue guard. Scarce -- no copies located on OCLC First Search. Condition: light toning to the plates. Binding is modern half red morocco, with purple cloth, and a large red morocco title label, with gilt lettering and border decoration. 
Price: 2000.00 USD
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10 Alken, Henry Original Watercolours of Fox-Hunting Scenes
Half Calf Fine 
Elephantine oblong folio, 38 by 54.5 cm. The paintings and prints measure 41 by 30 cm. The four paintings are entitled "Drawing the Cover", "Getting Away", "The Full Cry" and "The Death", and each is accompanied by the hand-colored engraving made from the painting. The engravings were made by R. G. Reeve for Thomas McLean and were issued in 1835. The original painting sits on the left, the engraving, on the right, and the latter is protected by a tissue guard attached from above. The paintings have a pale beauty, whereas the coloring of the engravings is more forceful and rich. Perhaps sacrificed ever so slightly, though, is the sharpness of detail in the engraved version. Regardless, a wonderful suite by one of the giants of equestrian and sporting art. The paintings and engravings are framed in a heavy, very substantial card matting that is virtually the same as what might be used if the pictures were framed on a wall. Very light, scattered soiling. Otherwise, fine. 
Price: 5000.00 USD
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11 Egan, Pierce. Henry Alken, artist Real Life in London; or, The Rambles and Adventures of Bob Tallyho, Esq. and His Cousin, The Hon. Tom. Dashall, Through the Metropolis; Exhibiting a Living Picture of Fashionable Characters, Manners, and Amusements in High and Low Life. By an Amateur. Embellished and Illustrated With a Series of Coloured Prints, Designed and Engraved by Messrs. Alken, Dighton, Brooke, Rowlandson, &c. (Two Volumes)
London Jones & Co. 1821-1822 First Full Morocco Fine 
2 volumes with stunning Zaehnesdorf full red morocco bindings. 8vo. 23.5 by 15 cm. x, 656, ix, 668 pp. With 18 and 12 hand-colored plates, respectively, plus two hand-colored engraved title pages, for a total of 32 hand-colored plates. Abbey 280. A beautiful copy overall -- clean and fresh within, and a gorgeous binding, with a few very minor rub spots, and one tiny abrasion on the rear cover of the second volume. 
Price: 1850.00 USD
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12 Alken, Henry Scraps from The Sketch Book of Henry Alken, Engraved by Himself, Containing Forty-Two Plates
London Thomas M'Lean 1821 First Full Morocco Very Good Plus Alken, Henry 
4to. 27 by 22 cm. Scarce sporting plate book with 42 engraved and etched plates with rich, deep contemporary hand-coloring. Plates of equestrian, foxhunting, horse-racing, shooting, coaching and canine interest. Also featured are depictions of cockfighting, military uniform (cavalry) and then, curiously, some Middle Eastern costume and scenes (sickle combat, etc.). Plates are dated 1820. Schwerdt 1: 21. No reference in Tooley or Abbey. Original title label pasted onto front blank. Condition: light rubbing along joints, corners. Small corner bump. Still handsome full red morocco binding. A small amount of light marginal soiling, but plates overall are bright and clean. A lovely copy. 
Price: 2650.00 USD
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13 Alken, Henry; Shakespeare, William Shakespeare's Seven Ages of Man
London E. & Co. McLean 1824 First Three-Quarter Morocco Fine Alken, Henry 
Oblong 14 By 10 Inches. Collection of brilliantly handcolored Henry Alken light-hearted plates depicting Shakespeare's seven ages of man: "The Infant", "The School-Boy", "The Soldier", "The Lover", "The Justice", "The Sixth Age", "The Last Scene of All". The leather has some wear along the edges and corners. Binding is tight. Seven plates clean, with just the tiniest smidgen of soilage on two on the lower left, in neither case coming close to the picture itself. All tissues preserved, with minor short tear on just one. Please note that there is no title page or text to this volume, but there are plenty of extra heavy stock sheets before and after the plates. 
Price: 2250.00 USD
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14 Alken, Henry Six Drawings of Sporting Notions
London 1815-1830 Half Calf. Paper pastedown on boards. Fine 
A handsome modern binding of six original Alken drawings. Elephantine oblong, 35 by 50 cm. The drawings themselves are laid in a heavy board frame within the binding, and this frame has a window of 19 by 26 cm. The drawings themselves are laid on paper, and this paper is exposed, creating a margin all around, of about 1 cm. The drawings are titled: "I have a notion that I am not quite up to this riding in Surry [sic]", "A gad I had no notion that picking up a fox was such sharp work", "I have a strong notion that this is a coal hole", "I have a very strong notion I should not like stag hunting", "I have a strong notion that this bit of timber will impede my progress excessively", and "I have a notion that this may be called riding to the hounds at a smashing pace". All the drawings relate to foxhunting and its perils and sources of anxiety. The drawings served as the basis for some of the plates in one of the rarest of Alken's color plate books, "Sporting Notions", which was published in 1833 (with plates watermarked 1831 to 1833). Humor, along with a touch of pathos, pervades the artwork. The modern binding is handsome and worthy of the contents. Leather title label on front board. 
Price: 3875.00 USD
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15 Alken, Henry Sporting Scrap Book
London Thomas M'Lean 1824 First Half Morocco Very Good 
Oblong, 26 by 37 cm. 49 hand-colored plates, more equine than anything else, but also plenty of shooting, dogs, fishing, deer, cows, birds, etc. Schwerdt I, p. 25. Bookplates of the Duke of Gloucester and Frederic de Portales on FEP. Color very bright and vivid in this copy. This also is the larger format, less common, version of this work. Minimal marginal soiling. Binding has moderate wear, rubbing. 
Price: 2750.00 USD
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16 Alken, Henry Symptoms of Being Amused Vol. 1 [all that was published]
London Thomas McLean, Repository of Wit and Humour 1822 First 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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17 Alken, Henry Symptoms of Being Amused Vol. 1 [all that was published]
London Thomas McLean, Repository of Wit and Humour 1822 First 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: 1500.00 USD
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18 Alken, Henry. Author: [Robert Smith Surtees] The Analysis of the Hunting Field; Being a Series of Sketches of the Principal Characters that Compose One. The Whole Forming a Slight Souvenir of the Season, 1845-6. With Numerous Illustrations by H. Alken.
London Rudolph Ackermann. Printer: Cook & Co. 1846 First Blindstamped, gilt-stamped cloth Good 
8vo. 24 by 15 cm. [6], 326, [4] pp. Seven hand-colored plates, and 43 woodcuts throughout text. Tooley 470. Preface dated October 1846, marking this as the first issue. Condition: Text block slightly cocked -- front board overhangs rear. Spine sunned. Corners bumped slightly. Rear joint slighly cracked, and fraying of cloth along rear joint. Within, scattered foxing, at times, heavy-ish. Plates, though, are bright. 
Price: 200.00 USD
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19 Alken, Henry. Author: [Robert Smith Surtees] The Analysis of the Hunting Field; Being a Series of Sketches of the Principal Characters that Compose One. The Whole Forming a Slight Souvenir of the Season, 1845-6. With Numerous Illustrations by H. Alken.
London Rudolph Ackermann. Printer: Cook & Co. 1846 First Blindstamped, gilt-stamped cloth. Quarter morocc Near Fine 
8vo. 24 by 15 cm. [6], 326, [4] pp. Seven hand-colored plates, including frontis and additional title, and 43 woodcuts throughout text. Color plates printed by J. Harris after Alken. Tooley 470. Preface dated October 1846, marking this as the first issue. With lovely later slipcase of quarter red morocco, red cloth boards, silk moire chemise. Condition: light wear, most distinct in corners, of the pebbled cloth cover. Gilt on boards and spine remains bright. Very light occasional fox marks. Mostly clean in this regard. Frontis plate and additional title (with color illustration) more heavily toned than rest, with some moderate rippling of the paper of the color plates. Age toning sometimes along edges of the paper throughout. Chemise with edge threads loosening. Slipcase has trivial edgewear. 
Price: 650.00 USD
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20 Alken, Henry The Beauties and Defects in the Figure of the Horse
London S. & J. Fuller 1816 First Edition Half Morocco Near Fine 
4to. 25 by 17 cm. 18 hand-colored equine plates, each with a page of accompanying text. Nineteenth century half red morocco by Morrell, marbled boards, gilt edges. Lovely gilt lettering and equine devices on spine. Armorial bookplate of Thomas Ashley Sparks. Light rubbing to joints. Minor finger soiling and a few stray light fox marks. Overall a very lovely copy. 
Price: 1250.00 USD
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Alken, Henry on Horsebooksplus.com
Alken, Henry on Oldfloridabookstore.com
Alken, Henry on Renaissancebooks.co.nz
Alken, Henry on Sauconybookshop.com
Alken, Henry on Thebooksend.com


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