A History of the University of Oxford, its Colleges, Halls and Public Buildings. Rudolph and ACKERMANN, authors including William COMBE, Frederick SHOBERL, publisher.
A History of the University of Oxford, its Colleges, Halls and Public Buildings.
A History of the University of Oxford, its Colleges, Halls and Public Buildings.
A History of the University of Oxford, its Colleges, Halls and Public Buildings.
A History of the University of Oxford, its Colleges, Halls and Public Buildings.
A History of the University of Oxford, its Colleges, Halls and Public Buildings.

A History of the University of Oxford, its Colleges, Halls and Public Buildings.

London: R. Ackermann, 1814.

Two voumes, quarto; with engraved portrait of the Chancellor, Lord Grenville, 64 hand-coloured aquatint plates, and 17 coloured costume plates of university figures in their academic garb; contemporary half calf.

Georgian Oxford in colour

First edition: a very good complete set of the classic and beautifully illustrated work on Oxford University, with 64 marvellous coloured aquatint depictions of Oxford colleges and scenery after original works by various artists including Augustus Charles Pugin, Frederick Nash, Frederick Mackenzie and William Westall (the last of these was of course the official artist on Matthew Flinders' voyage of the Investigator). Rudolph Ackermann was an Anglo-German bookseller, inventor, lithographer, publisher, and businessman. His various illustrated works (see also Rowlandson and Pugnin's Microcosm of England in this catalogue) present a pictorial tour of Georgian Britain in which architecture is humanised with figures of people going about their business. This is a good example of an earlier issue of the book and therefore better impressions of the aquatint plates.

First edition: a very good complete set of the classic and beautifully illustrated work on Oxford University, with 64 marvellous coloured aquatint depictions of Oxford colleges and scenery after original works by various artists including Augustus Charles Pugin, Frederick Nash, Frederick Mackenzie and William Westall (the last of these was of course the official artist on Matthew Flinders' voyage of the Investigator). Rudolph Ackermann was an Anglo-German bookseller, inventor, lithographer, publisher, and businessman. His various illustrated works (see also Rowlandson and Pugnin's Microcosm of England in this catalogue) present a pictorial tour of Georgian Britain in which architecture is humanised with figures of people going about their business. This is a good example of an earlier issue of the book and therefore better impressions of the aquatint plates.

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There are some complicated states and issues that affect this book: this is a regular example of an earlier issue, with only early (1812) watermarks appearing (plates VI, XXII, XL, LXVII, LXXIII, & LXXVI). Of the ten plates known to have specific states, eight are in the more regularly found second state except plates XXIV (Vol. II, p. 35) & LI (Vol. II, p. 201), which are in the first state. As Tooley notes, "Of the 40 or 50 copies I have examined, not one has contained all the... plates in the first state...". Most have a similar configuration to our copy.

Of most note are the second corrected state of the first plate with the imprint now correctly referring to "Oxford" (rather than the embarrassingly mistaken "Cambridge" !); the list of plates is in the preferred first state; half-titles are present in both volumes. As an early copy this was issued before the publisher added the rather superfluous series of portraits of Founders, which was published as a separate work, and correctly those images do not appear in the List of Plates.

Provenance: James Fairfax (from his library at Retford Park, Bowral NSW, with bookplate).

Abbey, Scenery, 280; Bobins, The Exotic and the Beautiful, 609; Tooley, English Books with Coloured Plates, 5.

Price (AUD): $6,850.00  other currencies Ref: #4505142

Condition Report