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Creator:
Williamson, Thomas.
Title:
Oriental field sports : being a complete, detailed, and accurate description of the wild sports of the East : and exhibiting, in a novel and interesting manner, the natural history of the elephant, the rhinoceros, the tiger, the leopard, the bear, the deer, the buffalo, the wolf, the wild hog, the jackall, the wild dog, the civet, and other undomesticated animals, as likewise the different species of feathered game, fishes and serpents : the whole interspersed with a variety of original, authentic, and curious anecdotes ... the scenery gives a faithful representation of the picturesque country, together with the manners and customs of both the native and European inhabitants : the narrative is divided into forty heads, forming collectively a complete work, but so arranged that each part is a detail of one of the forty coloured engravings ... / the whole taken from the manuscript and designs of Captain Thomas Williamson ... ; the drawings by Samuel Howett [sic] ...
Alternate Title(s):
Wild sports of the East
Published/Created:
London : Printed by William Bulmer and Co., for Edward Orme, 1807.
Physical Description:
[4], ii, [2], 150 p., 41 leaves of plates : ill. ; 47 x 60 cm.
Holdings:
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio B 2010 5
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: As a COVID-19 precaution, the Study Room is closed until further notice.

Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Classification:
Books
Notes:
Edward Orme, "Printseller to his Majesty," issued Captain Thomas Williamson's Oriental field sports in twenty parts from 1805 to 1807. Williamson provided the descriptive text and rough drawings, which were then redrawn by Samuel Howitt and engraved by Henri Merke and others. Williamson states in the preface that "it is not merely to the sportsman that this work is addressed. It is offered to the public as depicting the manners, customs, scenery, and costume of a territory, now intimately blended with the British Empire" (part 1, p. [1]).
Added engraved title page: Wild sports of the East.
Most of the aquatints are engraved by Henri Merke; two are engraved by J.R. Hamble, one by Thomas Vivarès.
Originally published in 20 parts, 1805-1807. Orme also published two cheaper editions in 1807, reduced in size, in two quarto volumes. Cf. Abbey.
"The printing process of the frontispiece [i.e. engraved title page] and part wrappers, which show a tiger lying on a rock ... appears to be in oil colour ... Register marks in the form of blobs of colour appear on the right and left at the foot of the image. The process might possibly have been a stencil one, and the effect is similar to modern silk-screen work."--Abbey. Samuel Howitt's original watercolor for the frontispiece/wrappers ("A tiger resting") is now in the collections of the Yale Center for British Art (Department of Prints and Drawings, B2006.14.27).
Selected exhibitions: "Paul Mellon's Legacy: A Passion for British Art" (Yale Center for British Art, 18 April-29 July, 2007); "'The Compleat Horseman: Sporting Books from the Bequest of Paul Mellon" (Yale Center for British Art, 17 February-29 April, 2001).
Abbey, J.R. Travel, 427
Podeschi, J.B. Horse and horsemanship, 88
Hardie, M. English coloured books, p. 136-136, 302-303
Prideaux, S.T. Aquatint engraving, p. 281-283, 357
Schwerdt, C.F.G.R. Hunting, II, p. 297
Tooley, R.V. Coloured plates, 508
BAC: British Art Center copy is the Abbey Copy. Original parts in blue paper wrappers with engraved title mounts. Parts 14-20 have autograph of the Hon. Mrs. Meynell, 16 Baker Street. Part 20 lacks the slip note advertising Howitt's British field sports, called for by Tooley.
Exhibition History:
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Paul Mellon's Legacy : A Passion for British Art (Yale Center for British Art, 2007-04-18 - 2007-07-29)

Subject Terms:
Big game hunting -- India.
Engraving, Colored -- Specimens -- 1805-1807.
Game and game-birds -- India.
Hunting -- India.
Meynell, Mrs. -- Autograph.
Natural history -- India.
Orme, Edward -- Publisher.
Tiger hunting -- India.
William Bulmer and Co. -- Printer.
Zoology -- India.
Form/Genre:
Aquatints -- Hand-colored -- 1805-1807.
Contributors:
Howitt, Samuel, 1765?-1822, ill.
Merke, Henri, engraver.
Hamble, J. R., engraver.
Vivarès, Thomas, approximately 1735-approximately 1810, engraver.
Orme, Edward.
Howitt, Samuel, 1765?-1822. Tiger resting.
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