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BOYS, Thomas Shotter

Picturesque Architecture in Paris, Ghent, Antwerp, Rouen Drawn from Nature and on Stone

Printed by C. Hullmandel, for Thomas Boys, Printseller to the Royal Family, London, 1839
Folio (540 x 375 mm.), contemporary publishers red half morocco gilt, upper board with ornate gilt ruled red morocco oval panel, cloth board with central gilt ornate title, housed in folding cloth box, with pictorial title, dedication, 25 tinted lithographic plates and two page Descriptive Notice, complete with tissue guards, occasional spotting, light damp-stain in upper fore-corner of title and first plate, otherwise in good condition.
FIRST EDITION. “A very beautiful book, and one that should take preference over its later and more popular rival, the Original Views of London [by Boys, from] 1842…Apart from the brilliance, sensitivity, and technical mastery of the drawing on stone there is the great, and often under-estimated, technical and artistic achievement of Hullmandel in making possible the transmission of such drawings, and in developing the cool, transparent, graduated tints, subtle in colouring, on which the unique effect of the book depends…” (Abbey).

Thomas Shotter Boys (1803-74) was born in London and apprenticed to the engraver G. Cooke. At about 20 years old he went to live in Paris returning to England in 1837. Soon after he contributed plates for David Robert’s ‘Picturesque Sketches in Spain’, 1837. Produced by him this work on Paris, Ghent and Antwerp is the first English plate book in which all the lithographic plates are printed entirely printed in colour. Hardie praised the work of Boys stating “A genuine triumph … Boys, a rather neglected artist who merits a far higher place than he was ever awarded in the annals of the English water-colour school… In this book Boys is head and shoulders above them all. His drawing is refined and sensitive, and his colouring cool, simple, and direct”. The final paragraph of the Descriptive Notice states “The execution of the Drawings … is entirely the work of the Artist, Mr Thomas Shotter Boys, who has devoted his time and talents, with unwearied assiduity, to the arduous task of putting them on stone in the new style of Chroma-lithography”. Abbey Travel 33; Bobins II, 512; Hardie, pp. 247-49; Mackenzie (1988); Tooley 105.
Stock number: 8933

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