"The Chalees Satoon In The Fort Of Allahabad On The River Jumna", a pleasure pavilion built by Akbar near the junction of the Yamuna and Ganges river. Hand-coloured aquatint drawn and engraved by Thomas Daniell, published July 1795 (Oriental Scenery, First Series, plate VI) View larger
"The Chalees Satoon In The Fort Of Allahabad On The River Jumna", a pleasure pavilion built by Akbar near the junction of the Yamuna and Ganges river. Hand-coloured aquatint drawn and engraved by Thomas Daniell, published July 1795 (Oriental Scenery, First Series, plate VI)
Spectacular copy of the Daniells’ great work Oriental Scenery (1795-1808), for many years the fullest and most faithful record of the landscape, buildings and antiquities of India
Daniell (Thomas), 1749-1840; Daniell (William), 1769-1837

Oriental Scenery

London, 1795-1807 (1808)
Complete set of “the finest illustrated work ever published on India” (Tooley). The work comprises six series of engravings of Indian views, three published under the title “Oriental Scenery”, and three as “Twenty Four Landscapes, Views in Hindoostan”, “Antiquities of India”, and “Hindoo Excavations in the Mountain of Ellora”, with altogether 144 hand-coloured aquatint plates (and six sepia aquatint title-pages). An octavo volume of text was issued with each part, probably when each series reached completion. Perfect sets like the present one, in fine original condition, including all plates and text volumes, very rarely appear on the market.
Subjects
Archaeology, Indian
Book illustration - Artists, British - Daniell (Thomas), 1749-1840
Book illustration - Artists, British - Daniell (William), 1769-1837
India - Description and travel - Early works to 1800
Authors/Creators
Daniell, Thomas, 1749-1840
Daniell, William, 1769-1837
Artists/Illustrators
Daniell, Thomas, 1749-1840
Daniell, William, 1769-1837
Wales, James, 1746/1748-1795
Printers/Publishers
Bowyer, Robert, active 1795?-1819

Daniell, Thomas & William Daniell
Kingston-on-Thames 1749 – 1840 London; Chertsey, Surrey 1769 – 1837 London

[First Series, text:] Oriental Scenery. Twenty-Four Views in Hindoostan, taken in the years 1789 and 1790; drawn and engraved by Thomas Daniell, and, with permission, respectfully dedicated to the Honourable Court of Directors of the East India Company. [First Series, plates:] Oriental Scenery. Twenty Four Views in Hindoostan Drawn and Engraved by Thomas Daniell, and with permission respectfully dedi­cated to the Honourable Court of Direc­tors of the East India Company.

London, March 1, 1795 [text booklet; but possibly issued after completion of the prints, issued in pairs in twelve parts, March 1795–January 1797]

Text, octavo (230 × 145 mm), (26) ff. letterpress, signed (A)2 (half-title; title) B–C8 (D)8 and pagi­nated (4) 1–47 (1). Atlas, broadsheet folio (780 × 580 mm), (25) plates, comprising: sepia engraved title-plate and twenty-four hand-coloured aquatints numbered i–xxiv,1 drawn and engraved by Thomas Daniell (plates tipped onto guards and interleaved; title now detached from guard; minor foxing affecting last plate; several tears in interleaves).

bindings brown paper wrapper; half-roan marbled boards, gilt lettering-piece on spine Daniell’s Indian Views First Series (hinges broken; binder’s lower endleaf lacking).

[Second Series, text:] Oriental Scenery. Twenty-Four Views in Hindoostan, taken in the year 1792; drawn by Thomas Daniell, and engraved by himself and William Daniell; and, with permission, respectfully dedicated to The Right Honourable Henry Dundas, one of His Majesty’s Principal Secretaries of State, President of the Board of Commissioners for the affairs of India, Treasurer of the Navy, &c. &c. &c. [Second Series, plates:] Oriental Scenery. Twenty Four Views In Hindoostan, from the Drawings of Thomas Daniell, Engraved by himself and William Daniell, and with permission respect­fully dedicated to the Right Honourable Henry Dundas, one of His Majesty’s Prin­cipal Secretaries Of State, President of the Board of Com­missioners for the Affairs of India, Treasurer of the Navy, &c. &c.

London, August 1797 [text booklet; but possibly issued after completion of the prints, issued in four parts, August 1797–December 1798]

Text, octavo (230 × 145 mm), (26) ff. letterpress, signed (A)2 (half-title; title) B–D8 and paginated (4) 1–47 (1). Atlas, broadsheet folio (780 × 580 mm), (25) plates, comprising: sepia engraved title-plate and twenty-four hand-coloured aquatints numbered i–xxiv,2 drawn by Thomas Daniell and engraved by Thomas and William Daniell (plates tipped onto guards and interleaved; minor foxing affecting two plates).

bindings green paper wrapper; half-roan marbled boards, gilt lettering-piece on spine Daniell’s Indian Views Second Series (binder’s lower endleaf lacking)

[Third Series , text:]3 Oriental Scenery. Twenty-Four Views in Hindoostan, drawn and engraved by Thomas & William Daniell, and, with permission, respectfully dedicated to the Right Honourable George Viscount Lewisham, President of the Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India. [Third series, plates:] Oriental Scenery. Twenty Four Views in Hindoostan, Drawn and Engraved by Thomas and William Daniell, and with permission respect­fully dedicated, to The Right Honourable George Viscount Lewisham Presi­dent of the Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India.

London, June 1801[text booklet; but possibly issued after completion of the prints, issued 1 August 1801–1 June 1803]

Text, octavo (230 × 145 mm), (14) ff. letterpress, signed (A)4 (half-title; title) B–C4 D2 and pagi­nated [1]–28. Atlas, broadsheet folio (780 × 580 mm), (25) plates, comprising: sepia engraved title-plate and twenty-four hand-coloured aquatints numbered i–xxiv,4 drawn and engraved by Thomas and William Daniell (plates tipped onto guards and interleaved; tears in interleaves).

bindings brown paper wrapper; half-roan marbled boards, lettering-piece on spine Daniell’s Indian Views Third Series.

[Fourth Series, text:] Twenty Four Landscapes, The Fourth Series. Views in Hindoostan; drawn and engraved by Thomas Daniell and William Daniell, with permission respectfully dedicated to The Right Honourable George O’Brien, Earl Of Egremont. [Fourth Series, plates:] Twenty Four Land­scapes, Views in Hindoostan. Drawn and engraved by Thomas and William Daniell, with permission respectfully dedicated to the Right Honourable George Obrien Earl of Egremont.

London, May 1807 [text booklet; the plates carry publication dates of January–November 1804 and January 1805]

Text, octavo (230 × 145 mm), (28) ff. signed (A)2 (half-title; title) B–D8 E2 and (4) 1–52. Atlas, broadsheet folio, (25) plates (c. 560 × 760 mm),comprising: sepia engraved title-plate and twenty-four hand-coloured aquatints numbered i–xxiv,5 drawn and engraved by Thomas and William Daniell (with­out interleaves; occasional dust-soiling).

bindings brown paper wrapper; the plates appear never to have been bound and are preserved in a box.

[Fifth series, text:] Antiquities of India. Twelve [or rather, twenty-four] Views from the drawings of Thomas Daniell, R.A. & F.S.A. Engraved by himself, and William Daniell. Taken in the years 1790 and 1793. Dedicated respect­fully to The Society of Antiquaries of London. [Fifth Series, plates:] Antiqui­ties of India. Twelve [or rather, twenty-four] Views from the drawings of Thomas Daniell R.A. & F.S.A. Engraved by himself and William Daniell. Dedicated respectfully to the Society of Antiquaries of London.

London, 1800 [text booklet, however pp.25–46 printed circa 1808; publication lines of plates i xii dated 1797–1799; plates xiii xxiv added to the series in December 1808]

Text, octavo (230 × 145 mm), (26) ff. letterpress, unsigned, final leaf blank, paginated (4) 1–46 (2); latter quires (pp.25–46) describing pls. xiii–xxiv loosely inserted). Atlas, broadsheet folio (780 × 580 mm), (25) plates, comprising: sepia engraved title-plate and twenty-four hand-coloured aquatints num­bered i–xxiv,6 drawn and engraved by Thomas and William Daniell (plates tipped onto guards and interleaved; several tears in interleaves).

bindings blue paper wrapper; half-roan marbled boards, lettering-piece on spine (incorrectly) Daniell’s Indian Views Fourth Series (hinges broken).

[Sixth series, text:] Hindoo Excavations. In the Mountain of Ellora, near Aurungabad in the Decan, in Twenty-Four Views. Respectfully dedicated to Sir Charles Warre Malet, Bart. Late the British Resident at Poonah. En­graved from the drawings of James Wales, by and under the direction of Thomas Daniell. [Sixth Series, plates:] Hindoo Excavations. In the Mountains of Ellora, near Aurungabad, in the Decan, in Twenty-four Views respectfully dedicated to Sir Charles Warre Malet, Bart. Late the British Resident at Poonah. Engraved from the drawings of James Wales, by and under the direction of Thomas Daniell.

London, June 1, 1804 [text booklet; engraved title and plates dated ‘London June 1st 1803’]

Text, octavo (230 × 145 mm), (16) ff. letterpress, signed A–B8; unpaginated. Atlas, broadsheet folio, (25) plates (c. 560 × 760 mm), comprising: sepia engraved title-plate and twenty-four hand-coloured aquatints numbered i–xxiv,7 drawn by James Wales, and engraved by Thomas Daniell (with­out interleaves; title and some margins dust-soiled; tear in margin of last plate). Five plates are joined to form two panoramas (nos. iiii, xvxvi).

With

Plans of Hindoo Excavations in the Mountain of Ellora.

Plates, folio (470 × 615 mm), (8) plates, comprising: sepia engravings lettered a–h, drawn by James Wales, and engraved by Thomas Daniell (publication line: Published as the Act directs, by Tho.s Daniell, r.a. Howland Street, Fitzroy Square, London, June 1 1803).

contents a. Upper story of Jagannâtha Sabhâ, Paraswa Râma Sabhâ, Upper part of Indra Sabhâ, Ground plan of Indra Sabhâ – b. Doomar Leyna, Junwassa – c. Râmêswara, Nilakanta, Durvâsa Rasi – d. Plan of Kailâsa – e. Das Âvatâra Upper Story, Ground Plan of Das Avâtarâ, The Ashes of Râvana – f. Tin-Tali Second-Floor, Tin-Tali Third Floor, Tin-Tali Ground Floor – g. Do-Tali First Floor, Do-Tali Second Floor – h. Viswakarmâ, Upper Story of Viswarkamâ, Dehr Warra.

bindings the plates appear never to have been bound and are preserved in a box; ‘Plans’ in original blue paper wrapper, upper printed Plans of Hindoo Excavations in the Mountain of Ellora (stitched in left margin; defects)

Complete set of ‘the finest illustrated work ever published on India’.8 The work comprises six series of engravings of Indian views, three published under the title ‘Oriental Scenery’, and three as ‘Twenty Four Landscapes, Views in Hindoostan’, ‘Antiquities of India’, and ‘Hindoo Excavations in the Mountain of Ellora’, with altogether 144 hand-col­oured aqua­tint plates (and six sepia aquatint title-pages). An octavo volume of text was issued with each part, probably when each series reached completion (Fig. 4). Perfect sets like the present one, in fine original condition, including all plates and text volumes, very rarely appear on the market.9

Fig. 1 ‘The Chalees Satoon In The Fort Of Allahabad On The River Jumna’, hand-coloured aquatint drawn and engraved by Thomas Daniell, published July 1795 (First Series, plate vi)
Fig. 2 ‘Viswakarma, Exterior View’, hand-coloured aqua­tint drawn by James Wales and engraved by Thomas Daniell, published June 1803 (Sixth Series, plate xxii)
Fig. 3 Plans of Jagannâtha Sabhâ, Paraswa Râma Sabhâ, and Indra Sabhâ, drawn by James Wales and engraved by Thomas Daniell (Plans of Hindoo Excavations in the Mountain of Ellora, plate a)

The work was published by subscription, initially with two plates delivered every two months, commencing on 31 March 1795. Subscriptions for the First Series were taken by Robert Bowyer at the Historic Gallery, Pall Mall (price 18 guineas; 24 guineas to non-sub­scribers); the subsequent Series were published by Thomas Daniell himself (evidently at higher prices). Since a number of copies are recorded in harmonious bindings with inter­leaves taken from similar paper stocks, it is speculated that as each Series was completed Daniell offered it ready-bound.

The bindings on the First-Third and Fifth Series in our set match descriptions of the sup­posed ‘Daniell bindings’: half-roan with a skiver lettering-piece, marbled boards, the plates tipped on guards and interleaved (Fig. 5). The interleaves in these volumes are water­marked respectively 1805, 1795, 1804, and 1800.10 The Fourth and Sixth Series were the last to be issued. In our set, these Series have never been bound; it could be that the original owner commenced his subscription while the Sixth Series was in course of publication (1803–1804), subsequently received the Fourth Series (1804–1805), and completed his set by purchasing the other series ready-bound.

‘The size of the editions published by Daniell is not known but the copper plates used for aquatinting are quickly worn and the print run cannot have been large – perhaps not more than two hundred’.11 Despite the East India Company taking thirty sets, and advertising the work in both England and India, sales were disappointing. In 1810, Thomas Daniell contracted with William Miller, the publisher in 1809 of Henry Salt’s Views and Valentia’s Voyages and Travels, to sell the ‘Oriental Scenery’. Miller apparently was authorised to sell twenty-five sets, and Daniell constrained from selling any of his own sets until Miller’s had been sold, ‘or [else] to pay Miller a proportion of his profits’.12 The copies of ‘Oriental Scenery’ distrib­uted circa 1810 by William Miller probably are identifiable: each plate was ‘mounted’, and then housed by Miller in one of six large portfolios. Miller priced an individual Series £35 and asked £210 for a set.13 The Daniells, meanwhile, were offering sets, unbound, for £180.14

Fig. 4 Octavo text booklets (First-Sixth Series)

Fig. 5 A ‘Daniell binding’ (Oriental Scenery, First Series)

Fig. 6 Original wrapper for Plans of Hindoo Excavations in the Mountain of Ellora, a rare series of eight sepia engraved plans (included in Oriental Scenery, Sixth Series)

After the death of Thomas Daniell, the bookseller H.G. Bohn acquired the ‘materials’ (unsold copies and copper matrices) of many of his publications, including ‘Oriental Scen­ery’. Bohn offered copies of the First, Third, Fifth and Sixth Series in ‘old half binding[s]’, presumably the Daniells’ left-over stock in their bindings, and these are likely indistin­guishable from volumes earlier retailed by the Daniells. Complete sets were offered by Bohn only in new bindings, either gathered in three volumes and half-bound (£52.10s), or in three volumes and bound in full green morocco (£84), and can be recognised by their three-volume arrangement even when rebound.15 It is believed that Bohn restruck some matrices in order to produce his complete sets, however evidence that he did so has yet to be gathered.16 Bohn was still advertising the work for sale in 1857–1858.

Our copy features a suite of eight ‘Plans of Hindoo Excavations in the Mountain of Ellora’, a series of aquatints by Thomas Daniell after drawings by James Wales (1747–1795) depicting the rock-cut temples around Bombay, as well as those at Karli, near Poona, and on Salsette Island (Fig. 3). The eight plates were to be the first part of a projected set of twenty-four ‘antiquities’, a miscellany volume quickly abandoned. Although mentioned in the text volume for the Sixth Series, the eight folio plates are seldom present, and both Thomas Sutton and Michael Oliver (cataloguer of Abbey’s collection) doubted their existence;17 Mildred Archer writes ‘Very few copies appear to have been made and only one complete set, in the India Office Library, is at present known’.18 In our set, the original printed wrapper for these plates is preserved (Fig. 6).19

references Thomas Sutton, The Daniells: artists and travellers (London [1954]), pp.156–160 no. 12; John Roland Abbey, Travel in aquatint and lithography, 1770–1860 from the library of J. R. Abbey: a bibliographical catalogue (London 1956–1957), ii, pp.372–377 no. 420; Mildred Archer, Early views of India: the picturesque journeys of Thomas and William Daniell, 1786–1794: the complete aquatints (London 1980); British Architectural Library, Early printed books 1478–1840: catalogue of the British Architectural Library Early Imprints Collection. Vol.1, A–D, compiled by Nicholas Savage [et al.] (London 1994), pp.442–445 nos. 799–804

1. First Series: For the subjects of the views and plate captions, see Abbey, op. cit., p.374 (no. 420, Part 1); Sutton, op. cit., pp.156–157 no. 12/1; Archer, Early views, op. cit., p.234 and pls. 21–24, 26–27, 30, 32, 35–38, 42, 64, 66, 68–69, 71, 74, 80–82, 88, 91. An uncoloured proof impression of pl. xvi is in the British Architectural Library (Mildred Archer, Indian architecture and the British 1780–1830, Feltham 1968, pp.14–15 pl. 9; Catalogue of the drawings collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects, C–F, London 1972, p.69 no. 107).

2. Second Series: For the subjects of the views and plate captions, see Abbey, op. cit., p.374 (no. 420, Part 2); Sutton, op. cit., p.157 no.12/2; Archer, Early views, op. cit., p.234 and pls. 93–99, 108–111, 113–118, 124–125, 129–133.

3. Although chronologically the fourth series, following the ‘Antiquities of India’ series which had closed prematurely in 1800 (after publication of twelve plates), this became the ‘third series’ in the final arrangement of the six series of Oriental Scenery, and was published as ‘part third’ in the reduced version of the work issued 1812–1816. See British Architectural Library, op. cit., pp.444–445 nos. 801 and 803.

4. Third Series: For the subjects of the views and plate captions, see Abbey, op. cit., p.374 (no. 420, Part 4); Sutton, op. cit., pp.157–158 no. 12/3; Archer, Early views, op. cit., p.234 and pls. 19, 25, 31, 33–34, 43, 56, 58–63, 65, 67, 70, 72–73, 83, 87, 103–106.

5. Fourth Series: For the subjects of the views and plate captions, see Abbey, op. cit., p.376 (no. 420, Part 6); Sutton, op. cit., p.158 no.12/5; Archer, Early views, op. cit., p.235 and pls. 18, 20, 44–45, 57, 75, 79, 107, 112, 119–123.

6. Fifth Series: For the subjects of the views and plate captions, see Abbey, op. cit., pp.374–375 (no. 420, Part 3); Sutton, op. cit., p.159 no. 12/5; Archer, Early views, op. cit., p.235 and pls. 39–41, 76–78, 84–86, 89–90, 92, 100–102, 126–128, 134–139.

7. Sixth Series: For the subjects of the views and plate captions, see Abbey, op. cit., pp.375–376 (no. 420, Part 5); Sutton, op. cit., p.159 no. 12/6; Archer, Early views, op. cit., p.235 and pls. 149–172.

8. R.V. Tooley, English books with coloured plates, 1790–1860: a bibliographical account of the most important books illustrated by English artists in colour aquatint & colour lithography (London 1954), no. 172.

9. No set including the six text volumes has been seen in the auction rooms for at least forty years. These sets are recorded by American Book Prices Current (since 1977) ● Bradford copy (plates only, bound as six volumes in 19th-century morocco), Sotheby’s, 15 October 1999, lot 16 (£210,000) ● Derby copy (plates only, with extraneous material, bound in three volumes, in 19th-century half-morocco), Sotheby’s New York, 4 December 1996, lot 52 ($250,000) ● anonymous consignor (plates only, in contemporary half-morocco bindings), Sotheby’s, 27 June 1994, lot 310 (£85,000) ● Bradley Martin copy (plates only, bound as six volumes in 19th-century half-morocco), Sotheby’s New York, 14 June 1990, lot 3515 ($130,000).

10. Cf. Abbey, op. cit., p.373. The interleaves in Abbey’s copies of same volumes are dated respectively 1804 or 1805, 1804, 1805, 1805.

11. Archer, Early views, op. cit., p.223.

12. Archer, Early views, op. cit., p.223. Archer implies that Miller took off new impressions from the copper matrices to pro­duce ‘a further twenty-five complete sets’; this seems unlikely.

13. ‘A Catalogue of the Principal Books published by William Miller, Albemarle Street, up to the Spring of 1811’, p.1: ‘Daniell’s Oriental Scenery, in Four Series. – Excavations of Ellora, one Series. – Indian Antiquities, one Series. Each plate mounted, and the whole done up in six portfolios complete, with the octavo letter-press…’. Cf. The Morning Chronicle (London), no. 12970, 4 December 1810, for Miller’s adver­tisement: ‘…each plate is mounted, and the whole placed in six large portfolios, with a short printed description attached to each’.

14. Broadsheet advertisement, circa 1814, headed ‘Prints engraved and published by Mr William Daniell, No. 9, Cleveland Street, Fitzroy Square’: ‘The Oriental Scenery, in 6 folio volumes complete, each series, unbound… £30’ (reproduced by Sutton, op. cit., opposite p.57). An interlinear pencil notation adds to the list William Daniells’ The Adventures of a Hunchback (published June 1, 1814).

15. H.G. Bohn’s Catalogue of Books (London 1847), i, p.93–94: ‘In consequence of the death of the artists, the whole property has been purchased by the advertiser, who offers the few remaining cop­ies…’. In an earlier Catalogue of Books (London 1841), pp.39–40, Bohn had offered partial sets: four unspecified Series plus the first twelve plates of the Fifth Series, 113 plates altogether (item no. 416), the First Series, 25 plates (no. 417), and the First Series and part of the Second, 36 plates altogether (no. 417*).

16. On the vexed question of whether Bohn restruck, or merely reissued remainder stocks of the plates, see Abbey, op. cit., pp.377, 404; British Architectural Library, op. cit., p.446.

17. Sutton, op. cit., p.156 no.11, states ‘We have never been able to trace a copy of this work’, and cite it on the authority of W.T. Lowndes, The Bibliographer’s Manual of English Literature, revised ed. by H.G. Bohn (London 1869), ii, p.589. Like Sutton, Oliver also knew only the reduced, line-engraved versions of the eight plates, made for the quarto edition of ‘Oriental Scenery’ published by the Daniells in 1812–1816; see Abbey, op. cit., p.377. We locate the plates in ● British Library, Tab. 599b ● British Library’s India Office Library, P. 165–172 (Archer, Early views, op. cit., pp.221–222 and pl. 143) ● National Library of Wales, A:7:7 ● London, School of Oriental & African Studies, FOC.L.135 /131979. An incomplete set was sold by Christie’s, ‘Arts of India’, London, 24 September 2003, lot 52.

18. Archer, Early views, op. cit., pp.221–222; cf. Mildred Archer and Ronald Lightbown, India observed: India as viewed by British artists, 1760–1860 (London 1982), p.66.

19. Cf. Bernard Quaritch, ‘A Catalogue [no. 266] of Oriental History Languages and Literature includ­ing works on Oriental Art and Natural History’ (London 1908), p.55 item 661, offering a set of ‘Oriental Scenery’: ‘Six series complete, comprising 144 magnificent coloured plates and 8 plans. 6 vols., elephant folio; original issues in the original half binding … [including] Plans of Hindoo Excavations in the Mountains of Ellora, 8 plates, oblong folio, in wrapper 1803.’

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