Cosway-Style Binding with Ten Oval and Round Miniatures
A Spectacular Cosway-Style Binding with Ten Oval and Round Miniatures
[COSWAY-STYLE BINDING]. RIVIÈRE & SON, Binders. MANSON, James A. Sir Edwin Landseer, R. A. Illustrated with Twenty-one Plates, and a Photogravure Frontispiece. London: The Walter Scott Publishing Co., Ltd.; New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1902.
First edition, from The Makers of British Art Series edited by Manson.. Octavo. (7 1/8 x 5 1/8 inches; 180 x 128 mm). [i-vi], vii-xvi, 219,  pp. Title page printed in blue and black. Twenty-one engraved plates and a photogravure frontispiece.
Full dark green levant morocco Cosway-style binding by Rivière & Sons for Sotheran & Co., stamp-signed to front turn in. Spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt after a floral and leaf design; compartments ruled in gilt. The front and back covers are ruled and decoratively tooled in a gilt floral and leaf design, surrounding ten oval/round miniature paintings under glass. Nine miniatures on the front cover depict eight hunting dogs around a stag; the miniature on the back cover is a portrait of Sir Edwin Landseer. Extremities double ruled in gilt, with turn-ins ruled and decoratively tooled in gilt. Green marbled endpapers. Joints expertly and totally invisibly repaired. A fine copy. Housed in the original burgundy roan slipcase.
An outstanding, quite beautiful example, both for the quality and quantity of the miniatures. The upper cover includes nine insets based upon one of Landseer's favorite themes, the stag hunt.
This biography of Sir Edwin Landseer, R. A., the most popular British artist of his day, is one volume in a series entitled The Makers of British Art, edited by James A. Manson. Already an accomplished artist of animals and nature," in 1824, Landseer visited Sir Walter Scott at Abbotsford. The visit to Scotland had a great effect upon Landseer. That country with its deer and its mountains was thenceforth the land of his imagination. He began to study and paint animals more in their relation to man.…he contrasted opposite classes of society as reflected in their dogs--the aristocratic deerhound and the butcher's mongrel.…Having no check in his success, artistic or social, he made his way into the highest society, and became an intimate and privileged friend of many a noble family…in 1839 he painted his first portrait of the queen, which was given by her majesty to Prince Albert before their marriage. At the palace he was hereafter treated with exceptional favour. From 1839 to 1866 he frequently painted or drew the queen, the prince consort, and their children.…He painted also her majesty's gamekeepers and her pets." In one of his most famous portraits, 'The Connoisseurs' (1865), he renders himself sketching, with a dog on each side of him critically watching his progress. The group portrait is reproduced in this volume as the frontispiece, the original having been presented to the Prince of Wales (afterwards, King Edward VII). He produced many fine sporting and hunting scenes, the subjects of numerous engravings, further popularizing his work. (DNB, p. 506-508).