HAKEWILL, James. A Picturesque Tour of the island of Jamaica, from drawings made in the years 1820 and 1821.London: Hurst and Robinson, 1825
Folio (319 x 230 mm). , 16 pages. 21 hand-colored aquatint plates, engraved by Sutherland, Clarke, or Fielding after Hakewill's drawings, each followed by a leaf of letterpress text. "Spring Garden" plate watermarked 1822, "Kingston and Port Royal" and "Bridge over White River" plates watermarked 1832, remaining plates without visible watermarks. Original purple-brown cloth, original gilt paper title label on backstrip (corners bumped, slight fraying to edges).
Provenance: from the library of the noted American Indian art collector Paul Peralta-Ramos.
First edition of a beautiful color plate book of Jamaican views, originally issued in parts from 1824 to 1825. "The author-artist was an English architect who resided in the colony for two years. The introduction presents slavery and moral conditions among the islanders who were, of course, his patrons, in a favorable light" (Ragatz). The introductory text consists of an historical sketch of the island, and a list of views drawn by Hakewill, of which a selection was included in the publication. The aquatints depict various major buildings and landmarks in Jamaica, as well as several views of prominent estates owned by the British aristocracy.
This copy contains unrecorded later strikes of at least two of the plates, on paper watermarked J. Whatman / Turkey Mill, dated 1832. The copy is exceptionally fine, free of the usual foxing and with bright, fresh coloring. Abbey,Travel, 683; Prideaux, p. 338; Tooley ("a charming colour plate book that has become quite scarce and valuable"), 240; L. Ragatz, Guide for the Study of British Caribbean History 1763-1834. p. 225. Catalogued by Kate Hunter