DANIELL, William - CAUNTER, John Hobart (1794-1851). Tableaux pittoresques de l'Inde. Traduction de l'oriental annual par P.J. Auguste Urbain. Paris: Bellizard, Barthes, Dufour et Lowell, 1836.

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Large 8vo., (9 4/8 x 6 2/8 inches). Half-title. 22 steel engraved plates after William Daniell. EXCEPTIONALLY FINE BINDING OF PRISTINE WHITE PAPER BOARDS ELABORATELY DECORATED IN GILT SIGNED C. THEVENON, WITH ORIGINAL WHITE STIFF PAPER DUST JACKET, all edges gilt.


Provenance: from the library of Jacques Levy, his sale, Sotheby's, 20th April 2012, lot 340.  


First published in English as the third volume in a series of books called the "Oriental Annual".

Caunter  "went to India about 1810 as a cadet with the 34th foot, but was soon disgusted with his situation and, 'having discovered, much to his disappointment, nothing on the continent of Asia to interest him', he returned home. He recorded his impressions of India in a poem entitled The Cadet (2 vols., 1814)...Caunter was well known in London as a fashionable preacher and was a minor author and poet of some substance. India remained a preoccupation, treated in several volumes including India (3 vols., 1836) (part of the Romance of History series). He published five volumes entitled The Oriental Annual of Science (1834-8). Caunter's other works include The Island Bride (1830), a poem in six cantos; The Fellow Commoner (3 vols., 1836), a novel; St Leon: a Drama (1835); and several works of theology" (H. C. G. Matthew for DNB).  

The fine and evocative plates are after William Daniell who initially accompanied his celebrated uncle Thomas Daniell to India between 1786 and 1793. On his return to London in 1794, Daniell spent the next fifteen years working on the aquatints for their joint work "Oriental Scenery" published in six volumes between 1795-1808). "Unlike his uncle, William increasingly produced representations of Indian figures and small, waterside scenes, concentrating less on topography than on oriental fantasy, [he] was an extremely accomplished aquatinter and etcher and at times experimented with the latest printmaking techniques as adopted by J. M. W. Turner, for instance wiping out highlights in his watercolours... He was a prolific printmaker, producing a series of high-quality productions that included A Brief History of Ancient and Modern India (1802-5); Interesting Selections from Animated Nature (1807-12); A Familiar Treatise on Perspective (1810); View of London (1812); Illustrations of the Island of Staffa (1818); Sketches of South Africa (1820); Views of Windsor, Eton and Virginia Water (1827-30), and the Oriental Annual (1835). His most famous independent work was his Voyage round Great Britain (4 vols., 1814-25), which made extensive use of sepia wash (Natasha Eaton  for DNB).  Catalogued by Kate Hunter