This celebrated pictorial bookplate has been illustrated in bookplate literature innumerable times. Its owner was an amateur etcher. F.10493.
Brian North Lee selected this for inclusion in his British Bookplates – A Pictorial History,
and he wrote the following: Heneage Finch, 4th Earl of Aylesford (1751-1812),
was educated at Westminster and Corpus Christi College, Oxford; he was MP first
for Castle Rising and then for Maidstone from 1772 until his father’s death in 1777.
A friend of Horace Walpole and Fellow of the Royal Society, he also collected Rembrandt etchings and painted and engraved as
an amateur; he received tuition as an artist from John Baptist Melchiar, and
was sufficiently successful to be an honorary exhibitor at the Royal Academy.
There is an article on Finch’s engravings in Volume XI of The Print Collectors’
,Quarterly, by A. P. Oppé. Most of his subjects are architectural and landscape
scenes, but there is a group of five pictorial bookplates, and these are also listed in A. K. Pincott’s article ‘Bookplates by the Earl of Aylesford’ in
The Bookplate Society Newsletter, No. 18, June 1977. Four of them were apparently
for the Earl’s own use, and the only one
familiar to collectors is illustrated here. The second has scrolls with Greek
inscriptions, with his title under a butterfly on a twig; the third is an open
book, standing on books above a label with his title; and the fourth is a closed
book on other books, without inscription. The fifth bookplate shows an open
scroll on closed books, and was known by Oppé in two early states, one without inscription,
the other with ‘Viscount Lewisham’ on the scroll. A presumably later state has
the inscription ‘Lord Viscount Lewisham’, and the final state or reproduction reads
‘Earl of Dartford’; this must date from after 1801 when he took the senior
title. George, Viscount Lewisham was cousin of Heneage Finch and married one of
Finch’s sisters in 1782. All the ex-libris except the final state of the last
probably date from the 1780s. The suggestion often made that the Finch
bookplate shown here was the work of Piranesi is erroneous, and probably arises
from the reference to the Aylesford sale at Christie, Manson and Woods in The
Athenaeum for 28th April, 1888, where it is stated that ‘the Aylesford
bookplate was engraved by Piranesi, perhaps the only one he executed’.
Dimensions of paper: 88x100mm.
Condition: Average to Good. Some scuffing to verso where the paper has been strengthened by mounting tape (not sellotape).
In all cases please wait to be billed before making payment.
NOTES ABOUT POSTAGE COSTS
Postage & Packing for sales outside UK: A flat-rate £2.50 has been put into the eBay system but you will be charged less or more according to the size and destination of the item.
Please note that if no insurance is paid then item(s) will be sent at buyer's risk. A proof of posting is always obtained, which may give cover up to £20, if a claim is successful. UK purchasers may request that items be sent Signed For (previously Recorded Delivery), for which there is an extra charge of £1.22, in which case the level of cover is £50 and items are carried by Royal Mail in the normal post. UK purchasers may alternatively request Special Delivery Next Day and purchasers outside the UK may request International Signed. In each of these last two services there is a choice of levels of cover available, and items are handled separately from ordinary mail.
The seller is a member of The Bookplate Society, an international society of collectors, bibliophiles, artists and others dedicated to promoting the study of bookplates. For details visit: www.bookplatesociety.org