Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Pigot's Coloured Views


These seven luscious aqua-tint illustrations (click to enlarge) come from Google Books: Pigot's coloured views. The Isle of Wight: illustr. in a series of views engr. from the drawings of F. Calvert. (Pigot James and co, Frederick Calvert, artist, Percy Roberts, engraver, London, 1837).

Pigot's Coloured Views was published in installments. According to the introduction:
The Work will be elegantly printed in demy quarto, and completed in Seven or Eight Parts, each containing Three Romantic Views.
     A Part will appear punctually on the First of every Month.
     The Prints will be coloured in a superior manner, in imitation of the Original Drawings. A succinct Historical, Geographical, and Topographical Account of the Island; the Seats of the Nobility and Gentry; the Hotels, Inns, and Public Libraries; a Table of Distances to and from the principal Places; and other matter interesting and useful to the Stranger, will accompany the Pictorial Illustrations.
     To the Visitor, this Work, it is presumed, will be found of eminent utility, in facilitating his Tour through this "beautiful Island," and at once acquainting him with the locality of its most romantic and interesting features; whilst, in the mind of the native and resident, it cannot fail of exciting unmingled feelings of delight, as viewing, in " mimic miniature," the scenes and objects "wild and varied," the originals of which he has so often contemplated with sensations of wonder and admiration. 

The hype proved optimistic. This compilation volume (Google Books ID HuEHAAAAQAAJ) contains only 15 plates - of which 8 are monochrome engravings - because the series wasn't completed:
CALVERT (Frederick) Pigot's coloured views : The Isle of Wight; illustrated in a series of views engraved . by P. Roberts, from drawings by ... F. Calvert. Parts 1-6.  London (1837 ?].
"No more published." — B.M. [British Museum]
- page 45, A bibliography of unfinished books in the English language (Corns & Spark, 1915)
Perhaps it was too radical a venture for Pigot & Co, which specialised in commercial directories.

Google Books gives an estimated publication date as c.1845. This is wrong. A number of auction room accounts mention that a Pigot's Coloured Views was advertised in a four-page flyer in the now extremely rare 1837 first book edition of Dickens's The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. This is verifiable as being the same Isle of Wight series in an advert in the 1837 Bent's Literary Advertiser, Register of Books, Engravings, &c; for April 1837, page 46:

The Bodleian Library catalogue entry (oxfaleph013927471) also said c.1845 until this morning, but they amended it to 1837 when e-mailed them with the citations. That's brilliant service!
     Calvert's Isle of Wight works later appeared in a similar volume, moderately rare, The Isle of Wight Illustrated, in a Series of Coloured Views (Illustrator: Roberts, Percy After Calvert, F., pub. G.H. Davidson, 1846); it contains in colour (see Google images) a number of the scenes in monochrome in the Pigot series.


Shanklin Chine

Shanklin Chine


The Needles

- Ray

Addendum: here are the rest of the images.


Carisbrooke Castle


Shanklin Bay


Blackgang Chine


Alum Bay

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