[Rarebooks] fa: THOMAS NOBLE - BLACKHEATH - 1808 (Scarce Poem w/ Engravings, Handsomely Bound)

Ardwight Chamberlain ardchamber at earthlink.net
Thu Feb 4 12:28:45 EST 2010

Listed now, along with some other 19th-century British literature,  
auctions ending Sunday, Feb. 7. Details and images can be found at the  
URL below or by searching under the seller name arch_in_la.


Ardwight Chamberlain

T[homas] Noble: Blackheath; A Poem, in Five Cantos. Lumena; or, the  
Ancient British Battle: and various other Poems; including a  
Translation of the first Book of the Argonautica of C. Valerius  
Flaccus. London: Printed for the Author, by H.K. Causton; Published by  
J.B Courthope..., 1808. FIRST EDITION. Hardcover 4to (23 x 19 cm) in  
period marbled boards, professionally and sympathetically rebacked in  
modern calf with gilt-stamped morocco spine labels; with the half- 
title, subscribers list, and terminal leaf of directions to binder;  
engraved title-page with vignette, five engraved plates, woodcuts.

An uncommon and handsomely produced collection by Thomas Noble, a  
local poet and historian of the Blackheath area in what is now  
southeast London. Noble was also an artist and teacher of perspective  
at Maize Hill, Blackheath, and published Practical Perspective,  
Exemplified on Landscapes in the following year (1809). He seems to  
have come from an artistic family, as the charming plates were  
engraved by S. Noble from designs by W. Noble, presumably Samuel Noble  
(1779-1853), a distinguished engraver who later went blind and became  
a Swedenborgian minister, and his brother William Bonneau Noble  
(1780-1831), a landscape painter and teacher of drawing. The volume's  
title work, "a didactic and descriptive poem," according to the  
author, must have been popular with the locals — or else Noble was a  
relentless salesman — because the 7-page Subscribers list includes  
seemingly half the population of Blackheath. Also featured in the list  
are the Earl and Countess of Oxford (subscribing separately), Lady  
Dacre, the Duchess of Northumberland, and His Excellency Sidki Efendi,  
Ambassador from the Porte (one can only imagine how he and the poet  
ever crossed paths). The volume is prefaced with a dedicatory epistle  
to Caroline, Princess of Wales, unhappy and notorious wife of the  
future George IV.

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