Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden​
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FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, with the title vignette of a castle, Neptune, and Britannia uncoloured and the plates with pre-publication J. Whatman watermarks. This work is one of the finest published records of the naval achievements of Britain spanning the Napoleonic Wars to 1817. It includes two plates on the Battle of the Nile, two plates on the Battle of Copenhagen, three plates on the Battle of Trafalgar and two relating to the War of 1812 with America. ‘As a record of naval events spanning a period of over twenty years Jenkins’ Naval Achievements has no precedent. At no time prior to 1817 had a publisher attempted such a complete volume of documentary naval prints. It is the quality of the accuracy which makes Jenkins so valuable above all, and it is the pictures rather than the text to which the value can be attributed.’ (Roger Quarm, the National Maritime Museum, introduction to the 1998 facsimile edition). Hardie extols the work stating that it depicts ‘battle-scenes and make[s] a glorious record of acts of heroism and valour performed by our soldiers … form a brilliant and worthy record of a brilliant period in our country’s history’.

The work was intended as a companion volume by the publisher James Jenkins to the ‘Martial Achievements’ 1814-15. It did not however sell as well and examples today of the early issues are rare. These are identified by the uncoloured title frontispiece and the presence of J. Whatman watermarks dated between 1812 and 1816 to the plates and text as here. Tooley notes that the two portraits of Lord Nelson and Lord St. Vincent sometimes bound after the title were additional plates but that ‘the work is complete without them.’ The superb aquatint engravings are the work of Thomas Sutherland amongst others after paintings by the maritime artist Thomas Whitcombe (1760-1824). The final uncoloured plate bears two uncoloured etched plans of the Bombardment of Algiers and of the Battle of Trafalgar, here it is provided loose. They reproduce coloured aquatints in the book and along with the text on the verso help to identify the vessels involved. Abbey Life (1972) 337; Hardie (1973) pp. 146-7; NMM, V, 2159; Quarm (1998); Tooley 282.


The Naval Achievements of Great Britain from the Year 1793 to 1817

L. Harrison for James Jenkins, London, 1817
Quarto (340 x 275 mm.), recent half blue morocco, cloth boards with gilt rules, spine with raised bands with ornate gilt, gilt panelled title, gilt edged. Engraved title with vignette by W. Bartlett, 53 hand-coloured aquatints; two uncoloured etched illustrations on one plate supplied loose, with contemporary tissue guards, omitting leaf of subscribers, otherwise a good fresh example.
Stock number: 10751
£ 5,950
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