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Henderson, Alexander. The history of ancient and modern wines. London: Baldwin, Cradock, & Joy (pr. by J. Moyes), 1824. 4to (27.8 cm, 10.9"). xvi, , 408 pp.; 1 fold. table (incl. in pagination), illus. $1,200.00
First edition of this knowledgeable and enthusiastic view of wine, grape-growing, terroir, wine-related lore, the wine trade, etc. — credited as possibly the first book (and certainly at least one of the earliest books) in English to describe "modern" wines in detail. Henderson (1779/80–1863), a Scottish-born physician whose contributions to medical literature included his translation of the Coup d'oeil sur les révolutions et la réforme de la médicine into English, cites extensive sources both classical and modern, and peppers the text liberally with quotations in Greek, Latin, Italian, and French.
Gabler calls this "a large, well-printed text, tastefully illustrated with => thirty-two vignettes and initial engravings portraying various mythological Bacchian experiences." The wood-engraved decorations were drawn by => William Harvey, Thomas Bewick's favorite and most prominent student; this volume marks one of Harvey's earliest successes as a designer rather than an engraver. In addition to the head- and tailpieces and decorated capitals throughout the text, there is a mounted vignette on the title-page.
Provenance: Front pastedown with armorial bookplate of Joseph Hope of Carlisle, with the "At spes non fracta" motto of the prominent Hope merchant family. Most recently in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
Gabler, Wine into Words, G23690; Bitting 223. Contemporary half red morocco with marbled paper–covered sides, spine with gilt-stamped title and wide decorative compartment bands; binding rubbed overall, spine slightly sunned, paper chipping along board edges, and leather starting from foot of front joint (sewing holding). Bookplate as above; front free endpaper with later pencilled annotations on Harvey. Pages lightly age-toned, with a few scattered spots of foxing. => A landmark work on wine, artistic merit to boot. (38824) Please RESHELVE This.
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