Italian scenes : a series of interesting delineations of remarkable views, and of the most celebrated remains of antiquity (etc).
London, John Walker 1825.
Large 8vo. (29)ff (text printed on rectos only), (27) engraved plates. Original boards, with publisher’s printed labels on upper cover and on spine, a little worn at head and foot of spine and at outer corners. Contemporary ink ownership inscription of Sir Herbert Taylor on upper cover, with his autograph ink inscription “ H Taylor” below. A little light spotting on plates, chiefly at blank outer margins, but the text pages fresh and clean throughout. A good, unrestored copy.
First and only edition of this scarce volume of engraved views of sites and landscapes in the kingdom of Naples in Southern Italy, and of some of the most celebrated ancient temples, columns and monuments in Rome itself. Keppel Craven (1779-1851), responsible as an artist for the views on which the engravings of South Italian scenes are based, as well as for all the volume’s accompanying text, had been brought up on the European continent after his mother had left his father, Lord Craven, for her lover, the Margrave of Ansbach, and spent much of his adult life in Naples, where his mother had eventually settled. While in Naples Craven was to become a close friend of Sir William Gell, antiquary and writer on Pompeii, and the present volume, in which the first thirteen engraved plates provide attractive views of previously little known sites in Southern Italy, will have had obvious appeal for prospective English travellers to that part of Europe. The remaining plates, illustrating Vesuvius, Etna, the Colosseum, the Arches of Constantine and Titus, and so on, are in the tradition of earlier Grand Tour publications and are likely to have been copied from eighteenth century originals.The present copy is shown by inscriptions on its upper cover to have belonged to Sir Herbert Taylor (1775-1839), King William IV’s indispensable private secretary during the controversial passage of parliamentary reform in the early 1830s.