London: J. Murray, 1778. Octavo. xlv, 256pp. This copy is extra-illustrated with four inserted plates by Bartolozzi, which are printed in bistre. Bound in full vellum by Edwards of Halifax. Both covers are underpainted in black, with a bucolic scene of a couple courting beneath a tree in a park on the front panel, while the rear panel depicts another couple fleeing a lightning storm. Gold-tooled borders over a blue wash background on each cover, and the spine gilt with dark blue wash. The fore-edge is painted in green, brown, and black with a scene showing a large country manor in the right background, and a large field in the foreground dotted with small figures engaging in equestrian events. Faint wear to binding, some light foxing, else a fine copy. A.e.g. Bookplates of previous owners on front endpapers. Housed in the original green morocco slipcase.
The family of Edwards of Halifax developed the technique of rendering vellum transparent in 1785, which made it possible to underpaint a picture thus rendering it impervious to wear. This same family also perfected the technique of painting the fore-edge of a book in a fanned position. According to Weber, the sixty year period in which the Edwards family flourished is unequalled in the entire history of fore-edge paintings. Item #30743