Samuel Daniell - Abbey Travel 326

Author: Abbey / Mendelssohn
Category: Website reference service

This article concerns some research regarding the various physical formats of Samuel Daniell's Sketches representing the Native Tribes, Animals, and Scenery of Southern Africa. The sources used are auction and dealer records, as well as information gathered from institutional libraries worldwide through the support rendered by many friendly, professional people.

The research was triggered by the entry in Abbey's Travel in aquatint and lithography pp. 279 ~ 281 which reads as follows:

326  Daniell, Samuel and William
JA 4462

TITLE: Sketches / representing / the Native Tribes, Animals, and Scenery / of / Southern Africa,/ from drawings made by the late Mr. Samuel Daniell, / engraved by / William Daniell. / (swelled rule) / London: / Printed by Richard and Arthur Taylor, Shoe-Lane; / Published by William Daniell, Cleveland-Street, Fitzroy Square; / and William Wood, 428, Strand. / (rule) / 1820.

SIZE: Oblong folio: 10 ¼ x 14 ¼ in.

WATERMARK: Text; Turkey Mills / J. Whatman / 1819.

BINDING: Publisher's [?] green embossed leaf-patterned paper-covered boards, roan spine; dark blue-paper label on front cover printed in gilt within gilt boarder: Daniell's / Sketches of Natives, / Animals & Scenery / of / Southern Africa, / (thick and thin rule) / Forty-Eight plates. / (thin and thick rule) / Price Three Guineas. Yellow endpapers.

TEXT: Title, verso blank; (Preface, no heading), 1 leaf, verso blank; Contents, 1 leaf, verso blank; Text, 48 leaves, each verso blank, the rectos numbered 1 to 48.

PLATES: Signed: Saml Daniell delt and Wm Daniell sculpt; imprint: Published by Wm Daniell London July 15, 1820. Plates numbered at top right 1 [to 48].
1. Harte-beeste.  
2. Ant-Eater.  Artist's signature missing, possibly uninked.
3. Duyker.   No signatures, possibly uninked.
4. Male Eland.  
5. Female Eland.  
6. Female Eland.  
7. Spotted Hyena.  No engraver's signature, possibly uninked.
8. Cape Jackal.  
9. Bosch-Bok.  As No. 3.
10. Cape Polecat.   As No. 3.
11. Gems-Bok.   As No. 3.
12. Caracal.  
13. Silver Mountain, Drakenstein.  
14. On the Orange River.   As No. 3.
15. Ratel.   As No. 2.
16. Bunt Fox.  
17. Striped Hyena.   As No. 3.
18. Sasayby.  
19. Rock Rabbit.  
20. Ree-bok.  
21. Spring Haas.  
22. Residence of a Horde of Caffers.  
23. Cape Mole.   As No. 3. Numbered 32, probably in error for 23.
24. Gonah Hottentot.  No number, possibly uninked.
25. Hottentot.   As No. 24.
26.  Female Hottentot.  
27. Caffres.   As No. 3.
28. Hottentot.   As No. 3.
29. Female Hottentots.   As No. 7.
30. Hottentot - Bosjesman - Booshwana.  
31. Hendrick. Caffer.  
32. Booshwana - Hottentot.  
33. Kaffer.  
34. Kaffer Girl.  
35. Stein-Bok.   As No. 3.
36. Cape Tyger-cat.   As No. 3.
37. The Kokoon.   As No. 3.
38. Female Orabie.  
39. Harte Beeste Fountain.  
40. Blue-Bok.  
41. Korah Hottentot.   As No. 3 and as No. 24.
42. Korah Girls.   As No. 3.
43. Boosh-Wana.   As No. 3.
44. A Boosh-Wana.   
45. A Korah Girl.  
46. Female Bosjesman.  Female
47. Boosh-Wana.
48. T'Kaness.

NOTES: Uncoloured soft-ground etchings.
Gay, No. 3136; Gordon-Brown, page 84; Mendelssohn, Vol. I, page 413; Sutton, pages 107, 117, and No. 3 (page 154).
Published at
£ 3. 3s (see under Binding). See also the following paragraphs.
There appear to have been two editions or issues of this book, one oblong as above, in Mendelssohn, page 413, and in Sutton, No. 3, and the other upright as in the British Museum
(¹), and as in Mendelssohn, page 412. The titles in the upright version make 'and Scenery' a separate line, but otherwise read as above. There seems to be no evidence as to the order of priority.
The question of sizes and prices is somewhat complicated by conflicting evidence, and by the existence of these two versions (i.e. upright and oblong versions). Sutton says that 25 copies on India paper were printed at £ 4.4s., while Bohn, 1841 and 1847, offers a copy which he says is Imperial 4to, large paper, India proofs, and says that only twenty-five copies of this size were printed, and that the published price was £ 8.8s. Thus Sutton and Bohn disagree on whether there were large paper copies, and on the question of the twenty-five copies, the one saying that the twenty-five were on India paper, the other that they were large paper (and possibly implying that there were some ordinary paper copies with the plates on India paper, and even that there were also large paper copies not on India paper). Bringing together Sutton and Bohn therefore, and ignoring for this purpose the disagreement on the nature of the twenty-five copies, one gets three issues and prices, ordinary paper, as above, at £ 3.3s, ordinary paper with the plates on India paper at £ 4.4s, and large paper with the plates on India paper at £ 8.8s. The Victoria and Albert Museum have an oblong 4to copy, definitely large paper (see below), with the plates on India paper.
The above copy correspondents fairly closely to what Suttons says is the normal size for the oblong folio, uncut 10 ½ x 14 ¾ in., Mendelssohn's oblong copy is 11 x 15 in., the British Museum's upright copy is 13 ⅝ x 11 in. and Mendelssohn's upright copy is 'Royal 4to', that is 13 x 10 in [?]. Thus, if Imperial 4to is large paper, as Bohn says, and if a literal Royal 4to were ordinary paper, all the copies except the last one could only have come out of large paper, which would conflict with the foregoing price structure. Even if one assumed that, as is quite likely, Mendelssohn's description 'Royal 4to' is not exact, ordinary paper would then be, uncut, 10 ½ x 14 ¾ in. (although that does not correspond with any usual size of paperof that time), and large paper, Imperial 4to, that is 11 x 15 ⅛ in. This would make the difference between large and small paper copies very small. The Victoria and Albert Museum copy, however, measures 12 ¾ x 16 ½ in., and it is clear that this, and not Imperial 4to, is the large paper size.
As in other cases these problems of sizes and prices can only be settled by the examination of further copies and the accumulation of contemporary evidence on prices.
The above copy lacks the leaf of dedication to Leopold, Prince of Saxe-Coburg, verso blank. This dedication is dated Aug. 25 1820. The Victoria and Albert Museum copy has a half-title.
The circumstances in which Samuel Daniell obtained the drawings from which these plates were made are briefly discussed in the notes to Samuel Daniell's 'African Scenery and Animals', 1804-5, No. 321 (JA3872). Samuel died in Ceylon in 1811.
Of his choice of soft-ground etching for the reproduction of his brother's drawings William says 'he has merely to add
with respect to the Engravings, that he has endeavoured to transfuse into them the spirit of the originals by a process which appeared to him best calculated for the attainment of that object.' It is a most beautiful and sensitive work. One can well believe that William has not intruded himself but has indeed kept the spirit of the originals.

(¹) Abbey's Travel was published in 1956. At that time the British Library still was an integral part of the British Museum.

The entries in Mendelssohn to which Abbey refers read as follows:

Mendelssohn I, p. 412:

*DANIELL, SAMUEL: Sketches representing the Native Tribes, Animals and Scenery of Southern Africa, from drawings made by the late Mr. Samuel Daniell. Engraved by William Daniell. London: Printed by Richard & Arthur Taylor, Shoe Lane. Published by William Daniell, Cleveland treet, Fitzroy Square; and William Wood, 428 Strand. (48 engravings.) Roy. Quarto. 1820.
List of engravings: 1. Harte-beeste.  2. Ant-eater.  3. Duiker.  4. Male Eland.  5. Female Eland.  6. Variety of Female Eland.  7. Spotted Hyena.  8. Jackal of the Cape.  9. Bosch Bok.  10. Cape Polecat.  11. Gems-bok.  12. Caracal.  13. Part of the Silver Mountain near Drakenstein.  14. View on the Orange River, or Gareep.  15. Ratel.  16. Bunt Fox.  17. Striped Hyena.  18. Sasayby.  19. Rock Rabbit.  20. Red Reebok.  21. Spring Haas, or Cape Jerboa.  22. Residence of a Horde of Kaffers.  23. Cape Mole.  24. Gonah Hottentot.  25. Hottentot.  26.  Female Hottentot.  27. Kaffers.  28. Hottentot.  29. Female Hottentots.  30. Hottentot - Bosjesman - Booshwana.  31. Hendrick-Kaffer.  32. Booshwana - Hottentot.  33. Kaffer.  34. Kaffer Girl.  35. Steinbok.  36. Cape Tiger-cat.  37. Kokoon.  38. Orabie.  39. Harte-beeste Fountain.  40. Blue-bok.  41. Korah Hottentot.  42. Korah Girls.  43. Booshwana.  44. Booshwana.  45. Korah Girl.  46. Bosjesman Female.  47. Booshwana.  48. A Korh Girl.
Mr. Samuel Daniell accompanied Dr. Somerville and Mr. (afterwards Sir John) Barrow on an expedition into the interior of South Africa, and the collection of sketches included in this volume are the result of his

Mendelssohn I p. 413:

researches while pursuing those studies in natural history to which he devoted his life.  "He was indefatigable in the pursuit of the various subjects he has delienated ; and it was his constant care to see the animals alive, that he might make himself master of their actions and habits. To the knowledge acquired in this way he added all that could be obtained in the country which produced  the animals he has represented, by conversation with the pesants and natives." The interesting descriptive notes which accompany every drawing were written for the greater part by Mr. Barrow or Dr. Somerville.

See Barrow, Sir John ("An Account of the Voyage to Leetakoo" in the volume entitled "A Voyage to Cohin China, &tc.").

*DANIELL, WILLIAM: Sketches representing the Native Tribes, Animals and Scenery of Southern Africa. . . . 48 full-page engravings and lettrepress. Oblong Folio (15" x 11"). 1820.
A similar production to the preceding volume but in oblong folio form, in the original boards.

During the first half of 2021 we contacted all libraries that are listed in WordlCat having a copy of this book and some dealers who had a copy in stock. We also went through auction records. This to find out the number of large paper copies in existance in institutional libraries and elsewhere, as well to see how many copies have their plates printed on India paper.
The paper sizes differ greatly from 338 x 255 mm (Royal Academy of Arts) to 335 x 430 (one of the two copies in the library of the Smithsonian Institution).
Most copies were in the range from 350/370 x 280/290 mm (upright) or 250/270 x 360/380 mm (oblong).

So defining what exactly is a large paper copy might be arbitrary but five copies have a paper size well over 400 mm, all five copies were printed in oblong format and they all have their plates printed on India paper. These copies are in the following libraries:

Columbia University - Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Library of the Victoria and Albert Museum
State Library of New South Wales
Library of the Smithsonian Institution
The fifth copy is our copy

Neither did we find large paper copies in auction records, nor with rare book dealers.

All large paper copies are complete with half title and dedication page. In all other copies either the half title, the dedication page or both are missing, though we are not sure about the copy auctioned by Christies in their London sale of 30 April 2008, as they do not remark anything about both pages.

Apart from the five large paper copies with the plates printed on India paper we found nine other copies with the plates printed on India paper, of which the smallest measured 344 x 280 mm and the largest was 369 x 300 mm.
These copies are in the following libraries, or were offered by auction houses and dealers:

Yale University - Beinecke Library
Library of Congress
Library of the University of Pretoria
Library at the Royal Academy of Arts
The second Hosken copy
Three copies auctioned by Christies in 1968, 2004 and 2008 respectively
Shapero Rare Books (Travel catalogue 2021, item #16)

In all other copies in institutional libraries, offered on auction or by dealers, the plates are printed on plain paper.

Taking into consideration that (especially) the copies printed on India paper were valuable books at the time of printing and always have remained valuable, it seems not unreasonable to assume that the 25 copies mentioned by Sutton and the 25 copies mentioned by Bohn in fact is the total number of copies, either Imperial 4to or smaller, with the plates printed on India paper, as we have been unable to trace a large paper copy with the plates printed on plain paper, which seems to be logical.