Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Campaigns of King William and Queen Anne from 1689 to 1712, also, A new system of military discipline for a battalion of foot on action, with the most essential exercise of the cavalry, adorn'd with a map of the seat of war and a plan to the exercises
/ by Richard Kane (1666-1736)

I cataloged this book today, at the San Francisco library where I work, and discovered the hand-colored engravings shown here. The work was "printed for J. Millan" – one of the London booksellers – in 1745. Sir Danvers Osborn (1715-1753) signed the book on the inside cover (as seen above) when he acquired it in 1746. And pasted in his coat of arms. In an 18th century bookshop these special hand-colored copies would sometimes be offered – at an extravagant price. Impoverished gentlewomen (just as in the slightly later Jane Austen era) could sometimes earn a very small wage applying tasteful watercolor washes to illustrations like these.