Loyal Volunteers Of London & Environs, Infantry & Cavalry, in their respective Uniforms. Representing the whole of the Manual, Platoon, & Funeral Exercise, In 87 Plates.
[n.d., plates dated 1798 - 1799.]
Subscriber's copy, large 4to, original marbled boards, rebacked, uncut; pp. viii incl. dedication, plus list of subscribers & foreign subscribers, and contents; hand-coloured etched titlepage & 86 hand-coloured aquatint plates, many heightened with gold or silver, total 87 as called for. Binding worn, plates generally good with well-preserved vivid colour, occasionally stained. Some offsetting of image to facing text.
The volunteer corps were established as a direct response to the perceived imminent danger of invasion by Napoleon's forces. A volunteer from each London regiment is placed by Rowlandson in a particular drill position, with an etched description below. The corresponding adjacent text sheet gives a brief history and description of the composition of the corps, and lists the commanding officers. Arguably the greatest of all military costume books, no mere record of uniforms but an important social document in its own right that should be viewed in the context it was published - a time of great national peril with Britain under threat of invasion from France.
Abbey Life In England: 379, "Later impressions can be recognised by not being heightened with gold".
[Ref: 7433] £4,900.00