12mo., pp. , 153, , with an engraved frontispiece, neatly coloured by a contemporary hand; slightly dusty, some light foxing, but a good copy in the publisher’s original quarter red roan and marbled boards; boards and spine somewhat rubbed.
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The History of a tame Robin. Supposed to be written by Himself.
First and only edition. The tame Robin recalls a life of adventure enriched by human and avian friendships. A childhood spent in a school-room helped him attain ‘a sufficient knowledge of literature to relate my adventures’. His life, though happy, is not without its vicissitudes: he loses a close friend, Goldey the goldfinch, to a bird of prey and spends a disconcerting time in the ownership of a spoilt child who starves sparrows to death.
This is the only known work by Marian Keene.
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UNIQUE? [BEWICK, Thomas?]
26 rubbings from engraved woodblocks of the heads of Kings and Queens and England, apparently never published in this form.
26 apparently unrecorded wood-engravings – heads of the monarchs of England from William the Conqueror to George III – these images taken by rubbing from the blocks rather than printing. The engravings bear strong similarity to the 26 which appear in An Abridgement of the History of England … by Dr. Goldsmith … with Heads by Bewick (London, 1803), of which Thomas Bewick apparently bought a copy on 20 April of that year: his account book records a ‘Parcel / Goldsmith Hisy Engd / Grafton Piccy 4s d.’ (A Provisional Checklist of the Library of Thomas Bewick, by David Gardner-Medwin, item 1, online).
C[OLOMBO]. A[POTHECARIES]. CO. LTD.
Caryota Urens (Kitul), Botanical Study,
Charles Scowen arrived in Ceylon around 1873 and was initially an assistant to R. Edley, the Commission Agent in Kandy before opening a photographic studio around 1876. By 1885 his photography firm had studios in Colombo and Kandy. Scowen was a later arrival to Ceylon than Skeen and his work is less well-known, but: ‘Much of Scowen’s surviving work displays an artistic sensibility and technical mastery which is often superior to their longer-established competitor. In particular, the botanical studies are outstanding…’ (Falconer, J. and Raheem, I., Regeneration: a reappraisal of photography in Ceylon 1850 –1900, p. 19). In the early 1890s the firm was being run by Mortimer Scowen, a relative of Charles Scowen. By about 1894 the firm’s stock of negatives had been acquired by the ‘Colombo Apothecaries Co Ltd’. This print is likely to have been made in the 1890s from negatives made earlier.