Ernst August Album.
Hannover, Klindworth nd (1862 ?).
4to. Printed title leaf, chromolitho frontispiece, chromolitho title leaf, (8) (numbered V-XII) + 157 + (1)pp, (24) plates (of which 1 chromolitho, 2 photo, rest mainly tinted litho). Publisher’s pictorial cloth (from a design by the local Hanoverian architect Molthan, who had also designed the pediment for the king’s statue), covers spotted. Some intermittent light spotting on text pages. A related eight-page quarto pamphlet loosely inserted.
A rare volume issued to record the festivities accompanying the unveiling on 21 September 1861 of a bronze equestrian statue of King Ernst August of Hanover (1771-1851). The statue, by Wolf, a sculptor from Berlin, was to stand on a granite pediment in the Ernst-August Platz in front of the city of Hanover’s main railway station. It is interesting in its own right as a handsomely produced German festival book of the third quarter of the nineteenth century, but to librarians and book collectors in the English-speaking world it has the additional interest that before his accession to the throne of Hanover in 1837 King Ernst August had had an active career in British public life as Ernest, Duke of Cumberland, brother of Kings George IV and William IV and uncle of Queen Victoria. In Britain his political position had been one of reactionary conservatism, and in the period between 1828 and 1837, during which he violently opposed both Roman Catholic emancipation and the Reform Bill, he was perhaps the most unpopular individual in the entire United Kingdom. As King of Hanover, by contrast, his reign was rather less controversial, and his subjects came to regard him as their “Landesvater”. It is noticeable, however, that although the lengthy list of subscribers towards the cost of the statue includes the Duchess of Gloucester (widow of a junior member of the British royal family), no donation was received from his niece Queen Victoria, who had always disliked him, and the British government was only represented at the ceremony by a career diplomat. Of the two photographs that conclude the volume, one is a reproduction of a painting showing the King in his study, but the other is an actual photograph of the effigies of the King and his wife in the Hanoverian royal mausoleum at Herrenhausen.