A History of the University of Cambridge, Its Colleges, Halls, and Public Buildings

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ACKERMANN, Rudolph (publisher) - COMBE, William (1741-1823). A History of the University of Cambridge, Its Colleges, Halls, and Public Buildings. London: L. Harrison and J. C. Leigh for R. Ackermann, 1815.


2 volumes. Large 4to (425 x 320 mm). viii, [2], ix-xii, 296, [6]; [4], 324, [8] pp. Engraved portrait on india proof paper mounted, 95 hand-colored aquatint plates, including the RARE 16 portraits of Founders, after Pugin, Westall, Mackenzie, Uwins, and Pyne (one gathering loose). Untrimmed in original boards, printed spine-labels (rebacked preserving most of original spines, one joint cracked). Preserved in 19th-century half tree-calf marbled paper boards clamshell boxes

Provenance: James Devereux Hustler [1784-1849], Trinity College mathematician and the author of Elements of Conic Section, 1820 (bookplate); E.L.H. Jones (ownership inscription recording gift from his mother, 1903); Colin Franklin.

First edition, one of 50 large paper copies, this copy untrimmed and in original boards, with the 16 hand-coloured stipple-and-line engraved portraits of the founders of the various colleges, published separately and not always found with the set. RARE. The third in the series of works on England's universities and public schools brought out by Ackermann. The work was originally published in 20 monthly parts from 1 May 1814 onwards.

Ackermann's reputation as the publisher of colour-plate books of the highest quality was established with the publication of "The Microcosm of London", which appeared from 1808 in parts, completing publication in 1810, and contained 104 large folio hand-coloured aquatints. The text of the last volume was by Combe, better known as the author "Dr. Syntax" who continued to work on a series of topographical and historical works for Ackermann, including "Westminster Abbey" (1812), "York" (1813), "Oxford" (1814), "Cambridge" (1815), "Colleges of Winchester, Eton, and Westminster" (1816), and "Madeira" (1821). Abbey Scenery 278; Tooley 5Abbey Scenery 80; Prideaux pp 125-126, 332; Tooley 4.