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Creator:
Tomlinson, Kellom, ill.
Title(s):

The art of dancing explained by reading and figures : whereby the manner of performing the steps is made easy by a new and familiar method / being the original work, first design'd in the year 1724, and now published by Kellom Tomlinson, dancing-master ; in two books.

Additional Title(s):

Art of dancing explain'd

Published/Created:
London : Printed for the author : and are to be had of him, at the Red and Gold Flower Pot next Door to Edwards's Coffee-House, over against the Bull and Gate, in High-Holbourn, MDCCXXXV [1735]
Physical Description:
[22], 159, [1] p., [36] leaves of plates : ill. ; 30 cm.
Holdings:
Rare Books and Manuscripts
MT950.A2 T66 1735+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
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Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Classification:
Books
Notes:
Running title: Art of dancing explain'd.
Many of the plates contain tunes for the dances which they illustrate.
Engravings by Richard William Seale, Henry Fletcher, Gerard Vandergucht, J. Smith, J. Clark, George Bickham, G. King, George Vertue; after Kellom Tomlinson.
Includes head- and tail-pieces.
ESTC (RLIN), T153182
BM (compact ed.), v. 25, p. 274
Fairman, Elisabeth R. Pleasures and pastimes, 27
List of subscriber's names: p. [9]-[12].
BAC: British Art Center copy lacks frontispiece. Bound in gilt-tooled speckled calf. Inscribed: A.P. Upton; Eliz. Gelps ex dono Jas. Ware.
The title page indicates the book was completed in 1724. However, the cost of the thirty-five full-page plates precluded publication until 1735. In this treatise of two parts, Tomlinson (c.1690-1753?) sets forth the principles of Baroque dance. Book one covers description of twenty nine steps; book two discusses the minuet, including four methods of performing the minuet step.
"[The Art of Dancing's] thirty-seven illustrative plates of dancers, step notation, and the entire ballroom minuet were the work of seven engravers, including Gerard Van der Gucht, George Vertue, Henry Fletcher, and George Bickham, to designs drawn by Tomlinson himself. The plates alone were considered 'proper Furniture for a Room or Closet ... if put in Frames' ... Tomlinson's treatise is important as the most detailed description of the dance forms and steps current in England by the 1730s, as one of very few eighteenth-century manuals to describe theatrical as well as social dance, and for giving a unique insight into the circles in which Tomlinson was moving; this it achieved by naming in its subscription list 179 patrons, pupils, and professional colleagues, including 33 peers, 107 members of the gentry, and 22 of the leading dancers of the day.”--Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Subject Terms:
Dance -- Handbooks, manuals, etc. -- Early works to 1800.
Gelps, Eliz. -- Pres. insc. from Jas. Ware.
Great Britain -- Social life and customs -- 18th century.
Minuet (Dance) -- Handbooks, manuals, etc. -- Early works to 1800.
Tomlinson, Kellom -- Publisher.
Upton, A P. -- Autograph.
Ware, Jas. -- Pres. insc. to Eliz. Gelps.
Form/Genre:
Engravings -- 1735.
Subscriber's lists -- London -- 1735.
Contributors:
Bickham, George, 1706?-1771, engraver.
Clark, J., fl. 1789-1830, engraver.
Fletcher, Henry, active 1715-1738, engraver.
King, George, fl. 1740, engraver.
Seale, Richard William, engraver.
Smith, J., engraver.
Van der Gucht, Gerard, 1696-1776, engraver.
Vertue, George, 1684-1756, engraver.
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