WILLIAMSON, Thomas (1790-1815) and Samuel HOWITT (?1755-1822). Oriental Field Sports; being a complete, detailed, and accurate description of the wild sports of the East. London: William Bulmer and Co. for Edward Orme, [1805-]1807.
Oblong folio (454 x 580 mm). Additional color-stencilled title, 40 hand-colored aquatint plates by H. Merke, J. Hamble and Viveres after Howitt and Williamson, on paper watermarked "E&P 1804". (A few plates with minor mostly marginal repairs, a few text leaves with short marginal tears, slight spotting, minor offsetting.) Contemporary brown morocco, covers with elaborate Greek-key border gilt surrounding gilt and blind center lozenge enclosing gilt armorial device, spine in 6 compartments with 5 raised bands, red morocco lettering piece gilt, gilt animal motifs in the rest (some scuffing, joints starting, front endpaper loose).
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, with plate 31 captioned "Hunting Jackalls." A fine copy of "the most beautiful book on Indian sport in existence" (Schwerdt). "The book is not only a mine of information as to the manners, customs, scenery, and costume of India, but contains one of the finest series of sporting plates ever published" (Hardie). Abbey Travel 427; Hardie English Coloured Books 135-36; Nissen ZBI 4416; Schwerdt II, pp. 297-298; Tooley 508.
Estimate $ 10,000-15,000
Provenance: Sold Sotheby's New York, 1 June 1995, lot 359.