The Dance of Death...in a Series of Fifty-two Engravings on Wood by Mr. Bewick: with Letter-Press Illustrations.
London: William Charlton Wright, 1825. Small slim 8vo, 26pp. of text, frontispiece and 51 full-page woodcuts. Old quarter calf, marbled boards, edges rubbed, head is chipped at spine, joint is split along title page, minor foxing; good copy. First edition of what purports to be the work of John Bewick but probably is not. As Aldred Warthin (The Physician of the Dance of Death. pp. 81-82) writes: "The cuts with several exceptions are imitations of the original Holbein, but are absurdly modernized; both the costumes and the properties are represented in the contemporary style...[they] have somewhat the quality of caricature in them... If these cuts are Bewick's, which Douce seems to doubt, they are far inferior to his other work, and executed in a different style. They represent a far departure from the old medieval conceptions and treatment, and betray the tendency of the early nineteenth century to use the Dance of Death motive for purposes of caricature. Douce, Francis. Holbein's Dance of Death. Lon., 1858. Not in the Susan Minns collection (sold by AAA Galleries in 1922), which contained the other Bewick printings.
(Item Id: 106256)