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    The purpose of this site is to list some of the stock which I’m not able display on my stall or at fairs. New items will be added irregularly, but as most of my stock is unlisted please contact me if you have a particular interest or want, either by phone or by email to richardsmithbooks@gmail.com.  I have fairly large reserves of maps and topographical views.  If I can’t help, I may be able to suggest another source. I have been dealing in books and prints since the early 1980s, trading in a number of London locations, and am still buying compulsively.

    I try to buy material that is in at least very good condition; I hope the catalogue reflects this.  Describing the condition of a book often demands quite a lot of detail, whilst a map or a print, especially when illustrated, is a much simpler proposition. I aim to cite all but the most minor defects, and to use the images to show both good and bad points.  All items are warranted original and as described.  If for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase, please contact me as soon as possible and I will be happy to refund the cost in full upon return.  (For further notes on the terminology of condition, see the Information section of the site.)

    All prints and maps are sent worldwide post free, unless they are required mounted, when postage is charged at cost.  Postage on books is additional, again at cost, and I will provide a quote on request.

    Occasional articles will also be published, and will appear below or in the Information section of the site.

    Richard Smith, 2012



    Sometime before 1720 Hogarth was apprenticed to Ellis Gamble, a silver-plate engraver in Cranbourne Alley.  In April of 1720 he set himself up as an engraver of designs on copper.  Though largely self-taught, he did receive some tuition at the school of Sir James Thornhill (1675-1734), the court painter best known for his large-scale works at Greenwich Hospital and elsewhere, later his father-in-law.  His early productions were mainly shop-bills and the like, but in 1724 he engraved the satirical Masquerades and Operas which he published himself, and in 1726 his first major work, the twelve large independent engravings illustrating Samuel Butler’s Hudibras.  He had also engraved a number of ordinary book illustrations, including a series of plates for de la Motraye’s Travels (volumes I and II 1723/4), and sixteen small plates for the 1726 edition of Hudibras (as well as a frontispiece portrait of Butler).[i]

    Hogarth began painting on canvas in 1727.  He experimented with and popularised the “conversation piece”, the successor of the French or Dutch group portrait, at this early period often no more than twelve or fifteen inches high.  Typically these would picture the members of a single family, often with their relations, friends, and animals, or groups of male companions, in varying settings.  Later on he painted larger versions usually to order.  These pictures embody the ideals of polite society and civilised conversation, yet are suffused with humanity and vitality.  He also painted several larger pieces usually theatrical in composition.

    In 1729 he married Sir James Thornhill’s daughter Jane, without her father’s approval, (though Thornhill was soon reconciled with his son-in-law).  By 1731 he had completed the series of six paintings of A Harlot’s Progress, which were executed with the specific intention of subsequently producing engravings from them.  These engravings were completed by April of 1732.  Though previously his normal practice had been  to sell the copper plates to the printsellers, from this date on with a few exceptions he kept possession of them.  And by the time the next series of engravings, after A Rake’s Progress, was published in 1735, Hogarth had been instrumental in obtaining the support of Parliament in the form of an Act (8 Geo. II. Cap. 13, 1734) designed to curtail the piratical tendencies of the printsellers, so that the prints bear the words “according to Act of Parliament”, words which, in that form or with variants, became the familiar appendage to most of the published prints of the eighteenth century.

     Over the next six years Hogarth produced several of his best-known plates, usually based on paintings, including The Four Times of Day, A Midnight Modern Conversation, Strolling Actresses, The Distrest Poet, and The Enraged Musician.

    The engravings of Marriage à la Mode appeared in 1745, in which year Hogarth also tried to dispose of a number of his original oils.  The relatively low monetary value attached to his paintings, with the exception of some of his portraits, demonstrates how little appreciated they were in his lifetime, when the public’s craze was all for the “old masters”.  Even the six paintings for Marriage à la Mode, the engravings of which were published in 1745, fetched only 120 guineas in 1751.

    The most important plates of the final portion of Hogarth’s life include Industry and Idleness (a series of twelve plates, or rather two parallel series of six, depicting the lives of two apprentices) published in 1747, Beer Street and Gin Lane and the Four Stages of Cruelty in 1751, Four Prints of an Election in 1755-58, and Credulity, Superstition and Fanaticism in 1762.  His final years were dogged with criticism and conflict, notably the attacks on him by Charles Churchill the poet and by John Wilkes, to which he responded with his satirical prints of both.

    Hogarth’s plates often combine etching and engraving.  The issues can broadly be divided into four:

    1.      Plates printed during Hogarth’s lifetime, sold as single prints, series, or collected in sewn folios.

    2.      Plates reprinted by his widow Jane in 1783, which she claimed not to have been retouched.

    3.      On Jane’s death the plates passed to Mary Lewis and thence to the publisher John Boydell, who published impressions of all the plates in his possession (103) in atlas folio in 1790.  There was a second edition a couple of years later, and a third in 1795, of 107 and 110 plates respectively, both accompanied by a note to the effect that the plates had not been retouched.[ii]

    4.      In 1818 the plates were sold at Boydell’s sale, and came into the possession of the publishers Baldwin, Cradock and Joy.  Between 1820 and 1822 they were published in 24 monthly numbers of five sheets each, comprising 156 plates on 119 sheets.  Upon completion the whole work was issued under the title The Works of William Hogarth, from the Original Plates, Restored by James Heath.  Heath was a well established and technically highly skilled engraver, an associate fellow of the Royal Academy, who was in his sixties and on the verge of retirement when he undertook the re-engraving of the Hogarth plates.  His restoration of these plates was precise, subtle and restrained.  Hogarth Restored by James Heath marks the fourth and last publication stage of Hogarth’s plates in anything like their original form.  The work was republished at least four times between about 1828 and 1840, though in 1835 the plates themselves had been bought by the publisher Henry Bohn for £250.

    Once in Bohn’s possession the plates were so repaired and reworked as to lose any artistic connection with the originals.  The English Catalogue lists an edition as early as 1837 and Bohn also published a quarto edition of the works about 1861.  After 1864 the plates passed to Chatto and Windus, and thence to Bernard Quaritch.  Some were melted down for munitions in the First World War, but most of the important ones were sold privately into various collections.

    Some of the many editions unconnected with the original plates should be mentioned. In 1768 John Trusler’s Hogarth Moralized appeared in octavo, with Trusler’s own reading of the plates. John Ireland’s Hogarth Illustrated was first published in two volumes octavo in 1790, with subsequent editions in 1793 and 1808, the latter incorporating A Supplement to Hogarth Illustrated which first appeared in 1798.  Samuel Ireland’s Graphic Illustrations of Hogarth (two volumes, 1794 and 1799) included many engravings executed by Samuel and his daughters Jane and Anna Maria based on his collection of Hogarth drawings and prints, some of which have subsequently been found not to have been by Hogarth.  Also in 1794 was published the quarto Sammlung Hogarthischer Kupfer-Stiche (English edition, Prints of William Hogarth) containing a maximum of 88 of Hogarth’s designs engraved by Ernst Ludwig Riepenhausen (1765–1840), which were used to illustrate Lichtenberg’s Commentaries on Hogarth’s prints.  Riepenhausen’s copies are vigorous and vital, and considered by at least one modern authority to be the equal of Hogarth’s own work.  In 1795 was published in folio by G.G. and J. Robinson, first in parts and subsequently as a bound volume, Hogarth Restored … A complete edition of the works of William Hogarth, faithfully copied from his finished proofs, by T. Cook.  (Thomas Cook, engraver, 1744-1818)  This was republished in 1801 with slight variations in the wording of the title and with “S. Gosnell” added to the publishers, and in 1812 by John Stockdale, John Walker and G. Robinson.  Quarto editions also engraved by Cook from this last publisher also appeared in 1808 and 1813. 

    The standard bibliography of Hogarth’s works is Ronald Paulson’s Hogarth’s Graphic Works, third revised edition, The Print Room,1989.

    [i]  These small plates were probably engraved about 1720 or 1721, making them some of his earliest work on copper.  The designs were not entirely his own invention, but were based on a series of plates illustrating a 1710 edition of the work published by Chiswel, Tonson and others.

    [ii]  The copper was prone to wear, not so much from the process of printing itself, but from the wiping of the plates after inking to remove ink from the polished surface. Thus the engraved lines became shallower and weaker over time, and it was common practice for an engraver to deepen and strengthen them.


    Brief Chronology of Lear’s Life

    Born Highgate, north London, 12 May 1812, the twentieth child of Jeremiah and Ann Lear.  Educated by two older sisters, Ann and Sarah.

    1830:  working on illustrations of the psittacidae (parrots);  first published November.

    1831/2:  collaboraton with Gould on The Birds of Europe

    1835/6:  travels to Ireland, Lake District;  becomes interested in landscape painting

    1837-9:  travels in Europe, and especially Italy

    1841:  publication of Views in Rome, containing 25 lithographs by Lear

    1842-5:  travels in Sicily and the Abruzzi

    1846:  publication of Illustrated Excursions in Italy;  publication of the first edition of A Book of Nonsense, under the pseudonym Derry Down Derry.

    1848/9:  travels in Italy, Malta, Corfu, Greece, Egypt etc.

    1850:  first picture accepted by the Royal Academy

    1851:  publication of Journals of a Landscape Painter in Albania

    1852:  publication of Journals of a Landscape painter in Southern Calabria;  association with Holman Hunt etc.

    1853/4:  spends winter in Egypt

    1855:  second edition of A Book of Nonsense

    1856-8:  travels to Albania, Greece, the Holy Land, etc.

    1860:  working on large oils, the Cedars of Lebanon and Masada

    1861:  his sister Ann dies in March;  Cedars of Lebanon well received;  third edition of A Book of Nonsense, under his own name.

    1861-3:  winters in Corfu & the Ionian Islands

    1864:  Corfu again, and winters in Nice

    1865:  writing the Nonsense Stories;  winters in Malta

    1866/7:  winters in Egypt & the Holy Land;  in December writes The Owl and the Pussycat

    1868:  travels in Corsica, winters in Cannes

    1869:  publication of his Journal of a Landscape Painter in Corsica

    1870:  buys land in San Remo. intending to settle there;  Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets published in December, dated 1871

    1871:  More Nonsense published in December, dated 1872;  moves into Villa Emily, San Remo

    1872:  arrival of Foss the cat

    1872-5:  travels in India and Ceylon

    1876:  publication of Laughable Lyrics, dated 1877

    1877-81;  spends time in England and Switzerland;  moves into Villa Tennyson, San Remo in 1881

    1887:  Foss dies, November

    1888:  Lear dies in San Remo on 29 January


  • TIM BOBBIN – the “Lancashire Hogarth”

    John Collier (pseudonym Tim Bobbin) was born at Urmston, near Manchester, in 1708, son of John and Mary Collier.  He was the third of nine children.  His father was a curate and schoolteacher, first in Eccles and later at Hollinfare in Warrington.   Such clerical posts were very poorly paid, and Collier junior’s  later attacks on corrupt clergy probably originated in the family’s poverty when he was a child.

    John Collier senior lost his sight suddenly around 1722, and the burden of supporting the family then fell upon his wife and children.  At the age of fourteen John was apprenticed to a weaver, but after about a year he left and became an itinerant schoolteacher.  In 1729 he took the post of Usher at Milnrow School near Rochdale, and in 1739, the year his father died, he became headmaster.   In 1744 he married Mary Clay.  They had nine children, three of whom became painters.  They lived at Milnrow until their deaths in 1786, Mary in April and John in July.  John Collier was therefore an almost exact contemporary of Dr Johnson (1709 – 1785).

    His published works consist of writings and illustrations mainly humorous and often satirical.   His first work was his View of the Lancashire Dialect, published under the name of Tim Bobbin about 1746, relating in dialogue a series of comic episodes illustrated by naïve engravings.  It ran to several editions during his lifetime.  He wrote other dialogues, stories, poems and essays as well as producing paintings; one of his specialities seems to have been painting inn-signs, an occupation for which his love of inns and ale-houses would have made him especially well-suited.

    But his most popular and enduring work was The Human Passions Delineated, first published in 1773, at the core of which is a series of 38 etched caricatures printed two to a page with accompanying verses, some of social and some of political comment.  An example is shown below.  A second edition was published by Robert Collier, Bobbin’s grandson, in Rochdale, dated 1809 on the title-page and 1810 on the cover, and a deluxe but abridged edition in landscape format with the caricatures one to a page, re-engraved and nearly always coloured, also dated 1810.  There were two issues of this re-engraved edition, both printed on Whatman paper, the first watermarked 1805/6, the second 1825.  The second issue is perhaps the more common of the two.  Apart from the watermarks, the two issues are indistinguishable.  There was also a lithographic facsimile of the original 1773 edition published byJohn Heywood in Manchester in at least two issues, the first of which probably appeared in 1858.

    The Works of Tim Bobbin Esq. in Prose and Verse, with a Memoir of the Author by John Corry, published in 1862, also by Heywood, is a collection of his works excluding The Passions.



    John Martin (1789-1854) was born at Haydon Bridge near Newcastle, and in 1803 at the age of 14 moved to that city to take up the post of apprentice to a coach-builder.  In 1804 he met Boniface Musso, an Italian master-painter, from whom he received some artistic instruction, and through whom he became acquainted with two important engravers, Bartolozzi and Schiavonetti.  In 1806 he moved to London and for a few years worked in a glass and china painting business owned by Musso’s son Charles.  In 1809 he married and after the collapse of Charles’s business was employed as a glass-painter by the firm of William Collins.  His early struggles are related by him in his Sketches of my Life.

    He had been producing small watercolours and sepia sketches for several years, but in 1811 he had a major oil-painting, entitled  A Landscape Composition, hung at the Royal Academy.  A year or so later he left his job at Collins, feeling confident enough to embark upon a career as a professional artist.  Between 1812 and 1816 he supported himself and his family “teaching – painting small oil pictures, glass and enamel paintings, watercolour drawings; in fact, the usual tale of a struggling artist’s life” (Sketches of my Life).  But during the same period he was experimenting with large canvases, and has also tried his hand at etching, translating some of his small drawings onto the copper plate.

    In 1816 came a turning-point, with the exhibition at the Royal Academy of Joshua Commanding the Sun to Stand Still upon Gibeon, the first of the major large spectacular oils for which he is now famous.  The painting in fact measures about five feet by seven and  a half, and the multitude of figures are dwarfed by the immensity and the sense of mass of the landscape.  Of course, Martin’s main artistic interest in the preceding years had been in landscape, but now the massive increase in scale had been accompanied by an equal increase in weight and substance, and, equally interesting and innovative, in motion.

    Further success followed.  Joshua was re-exhibited at the Royal Institution in 1817, to even greater acclaim.  In 1819 Martin sold his painting The Fall of Babylon for 400 guineas, which liberated him from debt.  That painting exemplified his interest in architectural mass and perspective, whilst paintings such as Macbeth (1819) refelcted his love of landscape.  In a sense, these two sides of his artistic expression sprang from the same root – the desire to manifest the sense of great mass and substance, whether it be the creation of God or Man.   In 1821 he exhibited the greatest and still the most famous of his large paintings, Belshazzar’s Feast, and a year later he sold The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum for 500 guineas.

    At this point in his career he was being asked to produce prints of his great paintings so that the public demand for copies might be met.  At first his idea was to etch the outlines of his designs on large copper plates which would then be passed to specialist mezzotint engravers to complete.  Mezzotint seemed the ideal medium to reproduce the swirling skies and ragged heights of his work.  (For mezzotint, a plate is treated with a ‘rocker’, an engraving tool which has the effect of raising a fine burr over all of its surface, so that if inked and printed it would print solid black.  The “engraver” then produces the design by scraping off this burr to varying levels:  if completely removed, the result when printed is blank, or white.  The overall effect of mezzotint printing is a velvety texture, amenable to gentle gradations of shade.  It was extensively used in the late eighteenth century for portraits, where it could beautifully express the soft folds of clothing and drapery, and the misty distances behind the sitters.)  He asked Charles Turner, one of the foremost engravers of the time, to work on the plate of Joshua he had prepared, and later G.H. Phillips to execute similar work on a plate of his Pan and Syrinx.  The agreement with Turner specified a fee ” not exceeding 500 guineas”, which gives some idea of the prestige attached to the process of engraving at the time.  (Twenty years earlier, when John Boydell had commissioned paintings and engravings of those paintings for his Shakespeare Gallery, the engravers were usually paid many times the fees paid to the artists!  The art of engraving was viewed in quite a different light from that of the modern age.)

    But Martin subsequently cancelled the contract with Turner, and decided to engrave his own works with his own hands – a bold decision, given the little experience he had in the practice of mezzotinting.  It has been suggested by Michael Campbell, author of the definitive bibliography of Martin, that he was influenced by the creative flexibility of the medium as demonstrated by the other engraver, Phillips, who was able by skilful alteration to completely change the subject of the Pan and Syruinx plate.  Moreover it was unusual at this time for a painter to engrave plates of his own work, let alone to engrave original designs straight onto the plate, as Martin did. (It was thought quite out of the ordinary, for instance, that Turner should be involved in etching the original outlines of his designs of the plates for the Liber Studiorum.)  By 1824 he had produced a number of small mezzotints, and in the same year he was approached by a publisher, Samuel Prowett, who proposed the production of twenty-four mezzotints to illustrate a new edition of Paradise Lost, for which Martin was to be paid 2,000 guineas.  Martin eagerly undertook the engraving of these plates, which were completed during the course of 1824 and 1825, as well as a second series of plates in slightly smaller format.  (The images on the larger plates measure about 20 x 27 cms. or vice versa, the smaller ones about 15 x 21 cms.)  The volumes were published in 1827.

    The plates for Paradise Lost were engraved on steel, and represent some of the earliest steel engravings, and certainly the earliest steel plate mezzotints published.  Before 1820 nearly all metal engraving had used copper plates, the softness of the metal making them amenable to the engraving tools.  But around 1820 Thomas Lupton had perfected plates of soft steel, which, though still not as soft as copper (and therefore not providing quite the same degree of artistic freedom in the use of the graver) could now be engraved without difficulty.  The new steel plates were much more resistant to wear than copper and could therefore produce many more impressions before any re-engraving was necessary.

    The innovation caused a revolution in the production of prints.  In a single decade steel had ousted copper as the prime material for printing plates: in 1820 99% of metal engraving plates were of copper; by 1830 probably 80% were of steel, and as the century progressed the steel plate soon became the normal choice for the engraver.  The harder texture of the material, its ability to accept finer and closer lines and greater detail, changed the nature of intaglio printing.  This change was more evident in pure line engraving, but Martin was dealing primarily with mezzotint, though his plates do contain others forms of engraving, such as drypoint.  It is arguable that a mezzotint scraped from a steel plate has a slightly different appearance to one scraped from a copper plate; and theoretically the harder metal should allow for a finer burr, offering the possibility of a denser blackness and finer gradations of darkness, which may have aided or helped to form Martin’s conceptions.  Martin, unusually, designed his images on the plate, not from prepared drawings, demonstrating his enthusiasm for the process of engraving.  He also involved himself in the whole process of printmaking, frequently supervising the printing of his plates and setting up his own printing-room in the basement of his house in order that he might experiment with techniques of inking and printing.  And in the late 1820s he also published many of his own prints.

    The Paradise Lost mezzotints were a huge success, both commercially and in terms of Martin’s artistic prestige.  At the same time as he was working on them, he produced a large mezzotint of Belshazzar’s Feast, which was published in 1826.  And he continued to produce his large, spectacular oils – in 1825 The Creation, in 1826 The Deluge.  He was now at the height of his fame, which was perhaps the source of a certain amount of jealousy, and criticism from other artists who saw his type of art as showy or cheap.  And throughout his career he felt slighted by the Royal Academy, which he believed had denied him recognition as an important artist.

    In 1829 his brother Jonathan set fire to York Minster, and was declared insane and detained in Bethlem Hospital, where he died in 1838.  John, however, had by now perfected his engraving technique, and continued his ferocious programme of work, producing his famous Illustrations of the Bible in 1831, and many fine watercolours, whilst also working on his project to provide London with a new system of water-supply and drainage.  During the 1830s, however, his fortunes began to decline; despite the fact the standard of his work in mezzotint, watercolour, and even lithography, was at its height, he could not translate it into commercial success.  By 1837 he was almost bankrupt.   The next year sold his plates for the Illustrations of the Bible to the publisher Charles Tilt, who already had some of the Milton plates.  By 1848 he had sold off most of his major plates and closed his printing-room.  His last major work, completed shortly before his death in 1854, was the trilogy of huge oil paintings, The Last Judgement, The Great Day of His Wrath, and The Plains of Heaven.

    Editions of Martin’s plates for Paradise Lost

    Apart from separately-issued sets of proofs without text, in 1827 Prowett published four editions of the work:

    Imperial Folio, about 55cms. tall, containing lettered proofs of the large prints, limited to 50 copies;

    Imperial Quarto, about 39 cms. tall, containing fully-lettered large prints;

    Imperial Quarto, about 39 cms. tall, containing lettered proofs of the small prints, limited to 50 copies;

    Imperial Octavo, about 28 cms. tall, containing fully-lettered small prints.

    Each edition was issued in twelve monthly parts intended to be purchased by subscription.  Single prints were also available.

    Later editions:

    >1833:  Octavo edition of the small prints published in parts by Charles Tilt;

    1833:  Octavo edition published by Charles Tilt containing the small prints;

    1838:  Octavo edition published by Charles Tilt containing the small prints;

    1846:  Quarto or Folio edition, published by Charles Whittingham, about 37 cms. tall, containing the small prints;

    1849:  Large Octavo edition, published by Henry Washbourne, about 29(?)cms. tall, containing the small prints;

    1850:  Large Octavo edition, published by Henry Washbourne, about 29(?)cms. tall, containing the small prints;

    1853:  Imperial Quarto edition, published by Henry Washbourne, containing the large prints;

    1853:  Large Octavo edition, published by Henry Washbourne, about 29(?)cms. tall, containing the small prints;

    1858:  Large Octavo edition, published by Henry Washbourne, 29 cms. tall, containing the small prints;

    1866:  Folio edition, published by Sampson, Low, 38 cms. tall, containing the large prints.

    It is probable that some re-engraving of Martin’s small plates began when they passed into the hands of Charles Tilt, and continued during the publication of subsequent editions.  This re-engraving was not usually of high quality, and tended to be confined to the more obvious features of the designs; as time went on, the subtle lines and tones of Martin’s backgrounds tended to disappear.  However, it should be said that between the first Tilt edition of 1833 and the Washbourne editions of 1849/50 the deterioration in the prints is slight, only apparent under magnification, and mainly due to a loss of definition in the detail, which can be attributed to natural wear.  And during this period at least, the publishers seem to have been cautious in interfering with Martin’s work.  The large plates were also re-engraved for the editions of Whittingham and Sampson Low, and this work was generally of good quality.

    Because different plates tended to wear at different rates, and because repair and re-engraving were executed ad hoc, in these later editions the plates in any single edition are unlikely to be in uniform state, and moreover any two examples of the same edition may contain the same plate in differing states of preservation.

    Moreover, there are rare examples, not recorded in the bibliography, of later editions containing the original smaller proofs, as distinct from re-engraved plates to which the word “proof” has been added: (see, for example, book No. 1027BS in the catalogue).  There are also examples of late editions containing what appear to be early non-proof impressions.  In short, it cannot be assumed that the state of the plates in any edition conforms with rational expectations for that edition.  It is possible that early impressions of the plates passed from Prowett to later publishers along with the plates themselves.

    [The factual content of this article is largely based on the standard bibliography of Martin’s work, John Martin, 1789-1854: Creation of Light by Michael J. Campbell, Valencia 2006.]