Farm Yard and Printing House at Strawberry Hill.the Seat of the Hon. H. Walpole.
London Published as the Act directs [n.d., c.1790.]
Etching and aquatint with original hand colour, image 180 x 232mm. Trimmed to image top and sides.
View in the grounds of the fancifully 'Gothic' villa of Horace Walpole, a folly which he purchased in 1748 and rebuilt in stages to his own specifications, expanding the little property from five acres to forty-six over the years. Walpole built the Printing House in 1757. In September 1759 he wrote to the Earl of Strafford “…I have begun to build a new printing-house, that the old one may make room for the Gallery and Round Tower.” It was finished at the end of October when he wrote again to Strafford “My new printing-house is finished, in order to pull down the old one, and lay the foundations next summer of my round tower.” It was in use by the end of the following May. Although it possessed no Gothic features, it was probably the most important building as it was the headquarters of Walpole’s private press, “the Offinia Arbuteana or the Strawberry Hill Press.” The first book issued from the press was an edition of the Odes of Thomas Gray (1757), Walpole’s old schoolfriend. Amongst Walpole’s own works printed here were the Mysterious Mother (1768), a blank-verse drama, and the Essay on Modern Gardening (1785). A work particularly important for its documentary value was issued from the press in 1774. This was Walpole’s 'Description of the Villa of Mr Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill near Twickenham, with an inventory of the furniture, pictures, curiosities etc'. The 'Description' was subsequently revised and reprinted in 1784, accompanied by engravings.
[Ref: 8004] £220.00