London: Charles Knight, 1839.
With upwards of three hundred illustrations, engraved on wood, by John Jackson.
An important and influential work on wood engraving conceived, written, and illustrated by a master artist of the medium, John Jackson (1801 - 1848). Early chapters catalogue the history of the medium at length, from antiquity to the creation of block books in the fifteenth century. Chatto and Jackson examine the emergence of typography and conduct a detailed analysis of the period in which Albert Durer flourished, from about 1498 to 1528. There is a chapter on the principal wood cuts by Holbein, exploring improvements to the art throughout the sixteenth century. After further investigation into the history of the process leading from the eighteenth century until the date of publication, a highly technical series of instructions delineate the basic process of wood engraving, the best mode for printing wood cuts, superior tools and materials, good methods for lowering the block, and how to repair errors by plugging. Relationships between traditional wood engraving and nineteenth century metallic relief engraving with examples by William Blake, Thomas Bewick among others form the conclusion.
First Edition. Large octavo, 256 mm x 175 mm, 749 pages, a few tiny spots but an excellent copy in a most attractive contemporary binding of half green hardgrain morocco with marbled boards, spine gilt.