London, T. Bensley & V. Figgins for P.W. Tomkins, 1797. Royal folio (18 1/2 x 14 1/2). Frontis + 20 other hand colored stipple engravings (6 full page, others in text) all with their original guard sheets. Eight leaves: engraved half title, printed title, engraved calligraphic dedication, Subscribers list, List of Engravings, (1)-244 pages. On the dedication page Tomkins has neatly penned "Engraver to Her Majesty."
Modern tree calf, new end papers (one creased), all edges gilt over old marbling. Leather turn-ins (of the original binding) have offset onto edges of half title & title; the plates which are not on Whatman paper have some toning & marginal foxing; the page pages are clean and crisp; small bookplate inside front cover. A very handsome copy. Item #16707
A magnificent printing, each page deeply impressed, by T. Bensley in the types of Vincent Figgins on Whatman handmade paper. Bensley, along with Bulmer, is credited with elevating the standards of British printing. H. V. Marot, writing of The Seasons title page, calls it "one of the most remarkable exhibitions of virtuosity to be found in any place or age...Considered as a piece of sheer technical exuberance, both of material and structural complexity, it takes one's breath away." He follows with a detailed analysis of those 19 lines which use 6 founts of type in thirteen varieties. The hand colored engravings are delicately done. Abbey Life #252.