[London]: [T. McLean], [1831-1833]. Hardcover. Oblong octavo (7 x 8 1/2"). Unpaginated.  leaves. Contemporary gilt-stamped blue cloth.
Collection of 18 original hand-colored soft-ground etchings with aquatint from Henry Thomas Alken's famous "Sporting Notions."
Henry Thomas Alken (1785-1851) was the dominant sporting artist and one of the most popular caricaturists of the early 19th century. Throughout his career, he delivered a long series of drawings of sporting subjects and coaching scenes to the leading sporting publishers - S. & J. Fuller, Thomas McLean, and Rudolph Ackermann among others. In 1831, he had a great notion that a series of plates with intelligently downplayed captions satirizing men riding on horses at unsafe speeds would greatly amuse those who find the pretensions of the unqualified or untrained riders very funny. Thus, Alken turned the notion into a concept, the concept into an idea, and "Sporting Notions" was born, twisting the not-so-good notions of foolish people in the saddle into a great satire.
The 18 prints were part of Henry Thomas Alken's famous "Sporting Notions," a book containing 42 equestrian caricatures.
Each aquatint measures appr. 4 3/4 x 6 3/4" (out of the original size of 9 3/4 x 13 1/4") and is mounted onto a tan cardstock (size: 6 5/8 x 8 1/4"). Before mounting the prints, the previous owner trimmed the margins as well as the captions underneath the images. However, some have been identified as the following:
- I have a notion this may be called "riding to the hounds at a smashing rate." (Plate 14)
- This gives me a notion it's better to "look before you leap." (Plate 18)
- I had no notion of the comforts of hunting by water. (Plate 13)
- I had a notion that timber jumping was quite an easy thing.. I held him tight in hand, too. (Plate 16)
- "My good fellows, have you any notion where you can get a saw?" (Plate 17)
- "I have a notion that even Chiffney could not do the thing better but it appears to me the horse's head is getting a long way off." (Plate 2)
Spine rubbed and partly chipped. Previous owner's handwritten inscription (1838) in black ink on upper front free endpaper. Binding in overall good-, interior in very good, plates in fine condition. f to vg. Item #40877