ca. 1820] · [London
Dress of the lower-class denizens of the streets of London, depicted in => 23 hand-colored plates: vibrant, expressive representations of characters including the ballad singer, the watchman, the chimney sweep, and the scissors grinder, along with sellers of matches, watercress, milk, mackerel — not to mention the raree showman, plus the (metaphorical?) horn-blower of the engraved title-page. Many sources attribute these plates to Thomas Busby, and the title-page is signed "T.L.B."; the images here are not identical to those in Busby's Costume of the Lower Orders of London, and Lipperheide hints that they might have been done by another hand inspired by Busby's work, with 13 of them differing in subject matter entirely. (In the same vein, these are not the images of Rowlandson's Characteristic Sketches of the Lower Orders, although the Lilly Library notes similarities between some of the designs here with those in Beall E40).
Binding: Signed 19th-century half brown morocco and marbled paper–covered sides, leather edges ruled in double gilt fillets, spine with gilt-stamped title and gilt-stamped decorations above and below two raised bands surrounding title. Top edge gilt. Front free endpaper stamped "Morrell binder."
Provenance: Back pastedown with ticket of New York bookseller William Salloch; most recently in the children's book collection of Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
Lipperheide 1026. Not in Abbey, Life in England in Aquatint and Lithography; Beall, Cries and Itinerant Trades, E43. Bound as above; front board reattached, volume showing minimal wear otherwise. Some light offsetting to guard leaves; a few plates with small spots of minor foxing, plates otherwise pleasingly clean. => Uncommon, with images both visually striking and sociologically intriguing. (Inventory #: 39553)