Oriental Field Sports Vol. I and II; 1808

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Authors: Capt. Thomas Williamson
Size (WxDxH): 7.25 x 1 x 10.75 inches each
Medium: Antiquarian Book
Year: 1808


Volume I and II of ‘Oriental Field Sports; being a complete, detailed, and accurate description of the Wild Sports of the East’ by Captain Thomas Williamson. There are forty hand-coloured plates all from drawings by Howitt after designs by Williamson. Eleven of these plates depict the tiger. There is also one black and white plate in Volume II. Printed by W. Bulmer and Co. Cleveland Row, St. James, for Edward Orme in 1808. The book was first published in twenty parts between 1805-1807 and was described as 'The most beautiful book on Indian sport in existence '(Schwerdt). It was then published in this reduced format in 1808. There is a dedication page to George the Third in Volume I.
There is a small variation in the heights of the two books. The taller book is 10.75 inches and the shorter one is 10.25 inches.

Background History:
After being recalled to England, "Williamson's knowledge of wild life and Oriental sports had come to the notice of the Orme family" (Rohatgi & Parlett). The Orme's asked the celebrated painter Samuel Howitt to paint watercolours based on Williamson's original sketches in India, and these were then engraved and hand-coloured for the book.

These books are in fair condition. On all the illustrations, the plates have offset to the facing page making a darker area on the text. Internally, generally firmly bound in both volumes, but endpaper and the first illustrations are loose. Repairs evident to the title page and dedication page in Vol I. The pages are toned throughout with some foxing. The corners of some of the pages are missing and there are some tears, but these do not affect text or images. On Volume II there is a reference library stamp from the ‘P & Oudh Provl. Museum Lucknow’. Re-cased in later with red leather, and gilt, some scuffs to these and a white paint mark on front board of Vol I.