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

London: Printed for J Jenkins by L Harrison. n.d. [1827?]

First edition. 387x290mm. viii, [2bl]. Unpaginated, signatures erratic as usual. Dedication to the Earl of St Vincent. Fifty-five hand coloured aquatint plates and one uncoloured plate containing two etchings showing battle plans for the Bombardment of Algiers an the Battle of Trafalgar. The original paintings were done by Thomas Whitcombe (c1760-1824) who was one of the finest marine painters of the time. The hand-coloured plates were done by Sutherland, Bailey and Jeakes and are of the highest quality and are in superb condition in this copy. The paper is watermarked 1827 which provides a clue as to the date of this copy. All the tissue guards are present. The title page vignette of Britannia standing on the English shore while Neptune, kneeling before her, invites her to conquer the broad oceans has been hand coloured. The text describes the battles or other scenes (mainly the capture of French or Spanish ships) in the prints and, in some cases, includes eye-witness account and letters and lists those British officers killed in action. All the major English sea battles of the period are here: The Nile, Copenhagen and, of course, Trafalgar to which three plates are devoted. Some foxing and browning to the text but overall a very nice copy with the plates (which are, it is universally accepted, the principal attraction of this work) in particularly good condition. Bound in contemporary red half morocco, marbled boards. Spine with five raised bands lettered in gilt to second and third compartments. Rubbing and wear to corners and some rubbing to the joints and scuffing to the boards and spine but a very good binding. Front pastedown has a label reading: "Naval Achievements, Coloured Plates, Thirteen Guineas". The book is now housed in a box (420x345x70mm) of tan cloth with red leather spine and corners.

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