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The birth and triumph of Cupid in Her Majesty?s Collection, from papers cut by Lady Dashwood (title taken from dedication leaf).

Elizabeth, Princess of Great Britain, artist) (Tomkins, P.W., engraver).

Published by London, Tomkins 1795., 1795
From Hugh Pagan Limited ABA ILAB (Brockenhurst, HANTS, United Kingdom)

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First and only edition of this rare suite of engravings reproducing elegant cut-out silhouettes by Princess Elizabeth (1770-1840), third daughter of King George III and Queen Charlotte, and much later to become the wife of Friedrich, Hereditary Prince and Landgraf of Hesse-Homburg. What distinguished Princess Elizabeth from her numerous royal brothers and sisters was that she was an unexpectedly capable amateur artist, and these cut-out images, illustrating the career of Cupid from his birth to his triumphant arrival at the Temple of Venus (acquiring bow and arrows and climbing the Hill Difficulty on his way), have a genuine charm in their engraved form. Since it was felt inappropriate that the Princess?s name should be associated with a publication of this nature, the images are described on the volume?s dedication leaf as being from ?papers cut by Lady Dashwood?, one of the Princess?s Ladies in Waiting, but the publication was paid for by King George III, the Princess?s father, and the Princess?s responsibility for the artwork, acknowledged privately from the start, is visibly evidenced by the fact that the binding of the present copy carries her initials at the foot of the spine. The contemporary presentation inscription on a preliminary leaf, recording that this set of the engravings was a gift from Princess Elizabeth, originally read ?These engravings were given to the Countess of?, but, rather sweetly, the words ?Countess of? have been scratched out and ?me? substituted, leaving the identity of the original owner uncertain. By the middle of the nineteenth century the volume had passed into the ownership of Maria, Gräfin Quadt Isny (1825-1869), born Gräfin von Schönburg-Glauchau, and the linking factor is likely to have been that the Gräfin had had an English grandmother, Mary Day Beauclerk, Gräfin von Jenison-Walworth, daughter of Horace Walpole?s friend Topham Beauclerk and his wife Lady Diana Beauclerk (herself, like Princess Elizabeth, a pioneer female book illustrator).No copy of this title is held in the British Library or is recorded in ESTC, and we note that although several copies have occurred in the auction rooms or otherwise in the book trade, ours is the only such copy that appears to be in what was evidently the binding for presentation copies (we have found only one other copy in Book Auction Records described as having been bound in ?morocco? (Sotheby 12 December 1924, lot 1153), but that copy had had portraits inserted and was therefore most probably in a later nineteenth century binding). Oblong folio. Engraved dedication leaf, (26) engraved plates, all with original protective tissues (complete thus, no title leaf issued). Contemporary full gilt-panelled straight-grain brown morocco, gilt spine, all edges gilt, a little rubbed at head of spine and outer corners (evidently the original binding designed for presentation copies, with Princess Elizabeth?s crowned initials EP at the foot of the spine). Contemporary ink inscription on a preliminary blank leaf recording that ?These engravings were given to me by Her Royal Highness the Princess Elizabeth?, with date 1795 added in a different ink. Ink ownership inscription of Maria Gräfin Quadt Isny, ?gb Gräfin Schoenburg? (i.e., born Countess Schönburg), and two circular mid-nineteenth century ink ownership stamps of the Gräfich von Quadt Isny Bibliothek on dedication leaf, of which one extends into a blank area of the engraved surface. A good copy with wide margins. Bookseller Inventory # 13034

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The birth and triumph of Cupid in Her ...

Publisher: London, Tomkins 1795.

Publication Date: 1795

Binding: Hardcover

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Hugh Pagan Limited is a private limited company Registered in England No.2079552; the Registered Office of the company is Unit 7, Hayters court, Grigg Lane, Brockenhurst SO42 7PG. The VAT Registration No. is GB 468 6672 90

The person to contact should any queries arise is Hugh Pagan at the business address PO Box 354, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7QZ, telephone 01590 62445...

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