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posed to be influenced by ancient friendship, that they form the most extraordinary effort of the art of engraving upon wood, that ever was produced in any age, or
any country. Indeed, it seems almost impossible that such delicate effects could be obtained from blocks of wood.*
"Of the Paper it is only necessary to say, that it comes from the manufactory of Mr. Whatman.”
The chief wood-engravings in this beautiful volume are the following :-The Traveller, T. Bewick sculp.; The Sad Historian, John Bewick del. and sculp.; The Departure, R. Johnson del. T. Bewick sculp.; The Hermit at his Morning Devotion, R. Johnson del. T. Bewick sculp.; The Hermit, Angel, and Guide, R. Johnson del. T. Bewick sculp. Besides the above, the work was embellished with eight very superior vignettes. - The biographical Sketches of Goldsmith and Parnell, prefixed to the work, were by Isaac Reed. This volume was highly appreciated by the public; two editions of it in quarto were sold, and they produced a profit to the ingenious printer, after payment of all his expenses, of
7. Stimulated by the great success of the work, Mr. Bulmer, in 1796, was. induced to prepare an embellished quarto edition of "Somerville's Chase." Three copies were printed ON VELLUM. It is thus dedicated:
"To the Patrons of fine Printing :"
"When the exertions of an individual to improve his profession are crowned with success, it is certainly the highest gratification his feelings can experience. The very distinguished approbation that attended the publication of the ornamented edition of Goldsmith's Traveller, Deserted Village, and Parnell's Hermit, which was last year offered to the public as a specimen of the improved state of Typography in this country, demands my warmest acknowledgments; and is no less satisfactory to the different artists who contributed their efforts towards the completion of the work.
"The Chase, by Somerville, is now given as a companion to Goldsmith; and it is almost superfluous to observe, that the subjects which ornament the present volume, being entirely composed of landscape, scenery, and animals, are adapted, above all others, to display the beauties of wood engraving.
"Unfortunately for his friends, and the admirers of the art of engraving on wood, I have the painful task of announcing the death of my early acquaintance and friend, the younger Mr. [John] Bewick. He died at Ovingham, on the banks of the Tyne, in December last , of a pulmonary complaint. Previously, however, to his departure from London for the place of his nativity, he had prepared, and indeed finished on wood, the whole of the designs, except one, which embellished the Chase; they may therefore literally be considered as the last efforts of this ingenious and much-to-be-lamented artist.
"In executing the engravings, his brother, Mr. Thomas Bewick, has bestowed every possible care; and the beautiful effect produced from their joint labours will, it is presumed, fully meet the approbation of the subscribers."
"The Chase" is embellished with twelve uncommonly fine cuts, all drawn on the block by Mr. John Bewick, and engraved by his brother Thomas, and may perhaps
* It is said that his Majesty George III. entertained so great a doubt on the subject, that he ordered his bookseller, Mr. George Nicol, to procure the blocks from Mr. Bulmer for his inspection, that he might convince himself of the fact.
be considered as chefs-d'œuvre of those celebrated engravers on.wood." graphical sketch of Somerville was by Isaac Reed.
In 1804 the above two works were reprinted in one octavo volume, by Mr. Bulmer, with the same embellishments, for Messrs. Cadell and Davies, who had purchased the blocks.
8. Odes, English and Latin, 1798 [by T. J. Matthias, Esq.], sm. 8vo. not pub. lished. Mr. Bulmer printed several other publications on Italian literature for Mr. Matthias.
9. Museum Worsleyanum, 1798-1803, 2 vols. fol. English and Italian. Sir R. Worsley expended 27,000l. on this work, which was never published. Four hundred pounds has been given for a copy at a book-sale.
10. Dissertation on the Greek Games, 4to. 1800, with engravings. [By James Christie.]
11. The Father's Revenge, a Tragedy, and other Poems, by the Earl of Carlisle, 4to. 1800. Not published.
12. The Passage of Mount St. Gothard, a Poem, by the Duchess of Devonshire, with an Italian translation by Sig. Poliodori. Privately printed.
13. Anacreontis Odaria, Greek, à E. Forster, A. M. 1802. Ornamented with vignettes by Miss Bacon (afterwards Mrs. Forster). Mr. Bulmer justly prided himself on this beautiful work, the effect of which is like copper-plate of exquisite workmanship. A few copies were taken off on French paper, and certainly nothing ever exceeded the clearness of these impressions.
14. Giraldus Cambrensis Itinerarium Cumbria, 4to. à R. C. Hoare, Bart. 4to. 1804.
15. The Itinerary of Abp. Baldwin through Wales, 2 vols. 4to. Translated by Sir R. C. Hoare; illustrated with views drawn by Sir Richard, and engraved by Byrne, 2 vols. 4to. This publication is in every respect admirable.
16. A Tract on the Architecture of Wales. By Sir R. C. Hoare and John Carter. Only 20 copies for private circulation, 1806. [This tract has recently been re
printed for sale.]
17. À Disquisition on Etruscan Vases, 1806 [by James Christie]. Small folio, with engravings, privately printed.
18. Bentleii et doctorum Virorum Epistolæ, à Rev. Car. Burney, 1807, 4to. Privately printed. 150 large, and 50 small copies.
19. Prolegomena in Homerum, &c. à R. P. Knight, 1808, 8vo. Privately printed; 50 copies.
20. Memoir of the Life of the late Duke of Devonshire, 1811, sm. 4to. Privately printed; 25 copies.
21. History of Ancient Wiltshire, by Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Bart. 4 vols. folio.
22. A Catalogue of Books relating to the History and Topography of Italy, collected 1786-1790, 8vo. 1812, by Sir R. C. Hoare, Bart. I'rivately printed. Only 12 copies. This valuable collection of topography has since been given by the public-spirited Baronet to the British Museum.
23. Letters and Miscellaneous Papers of Barrè Charles Robarts, 1813, 4to. Privately printed.
24. Translation of the Andria of Terence, 1814, sm. 8vo. By a well known Baronet. Privately printed. Eight copies on Imperial 4to.
25. Life of Lord Viscount Barrington, 1814, 4to. By his brother, Shute,
Bishop of Durham. Privately printed; 100 copies. This was reprinted in 8vo. in 1815.
26. William of Malmesbury, translated by Rev. John Sharpe, 4to. 1815. Only 57 on large paper.
27. A Catalogue of Books relating to the History and Topography of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland; 1815, 8vo. 25 copies; only six of which were on
28. Portraits of the Sovereigns of the Turkish Empire, with biographical sketches in French and English; large folio. By John Young, Esq. This work was at the expense of the Sultan Selim, and the whole impression was sent to the Ottoman Court.
29. The Antiquities of the Arabs in Spain, by Cavannah Murphy, 1816, large folio. This herculean folio rivals Denon's Egypt, in nobleness of design, splendour of execution, and richness of material.
30. The History of the Arabs in Spain, &c. 4to. 1816. panion to the above.
31. The Typographical Antiquities of Great Britain, by T. F. Dibdin. Vols. II. III. and IV. The union of the red and black inks, the proportioned spaces, and the boldness and singularity of the cuts, render these books very beautiful of their kind.
This volume is a com
32. Bibliotheca Spenceriana, 4 vols. 8vo. This work, considering the bulk of the volumes, and the quantity of matter introduced, is perhaps the most brilliant bibliographical production in existence, on the score of mere typographical excellence. Only 55 copies were struck off upon LARGE paper, in royal 4to., eight of which were reserved by Earl Spencer for presents. Upon the completion of this work, carried on without intermission for nearly four years, the printer presented Dr. Dibdin with a richly-wrought silver cup, of an antique form. (See Bibliographical Decameron, II. p. 394.)
33. The Bibliographical Decameron; by T. F. Dibdin. Of all the works executed at the Shakspeare Press, the present is acknowledged to be the most eminently successful in the development of all the skill and beauty attached to the art of printing. Mr. Hansard (vide postea) has not overpraised its excellence on this score. Never was such a variety of ornament - in the way of wood-cuts and red and black ink exhibited. The quantity of matter, by way of note, is perhaps no where exceeded, in a performance which unites splendour of execution with curiosity of detail. The paper is also of the finest quality. This work continues to maintain a high price.
We have not space to enumerate the private reprints by Mr. Bulmer for the Roxburgh Club, the history of which will be found in Dr. Dibdin's Bibliographical Decameron, vol. iii. pp. 69-74.
One of the chief difficulties Mr. Bulmer had to contend with, was the providing of good black printing ink. That formerly used by printers was execrable. Baskerville had made his own ink, as well as type, about 1760, which enabled him to produce such fine work; and Mr. Robert Martin, his apprentice, was still living when Mr. Bulmer began business. He first supplied Mr. Bulmer with fine lampblack, for his experiments in fine printing. But the
difficulty of obtaining any adequate supply, induced Mr. Bulmer to erect an apparatus for the purpose of making his own ink, and he succeeded to the extent of his wishes in producing a very superior black, "The most anxious scrutiny (observes Mr. Hansard, in his Typographia) cannot, in his Shakspeare or Milton, find the least appearance of failure of that beautiful velvet richness of colour which the ink originally possessed. In the Shakspeare, which was nine years in hand, the same harmony of tint and richness of colour prevail, as if the ink had been all made at one time, and the last sheet inked by the same hand in the same hour as the first this single work probably contains more pages than all that Bodoni ever printed. But the finest criterion by which to judge of the perfection of ink and work is offered in the volumes printed by Mr. Bulmer, of Dr. Dibdin's Decameron; the numerous wood engravings in which the ground is an entire black, and others with parts of the figures black on white ground, exhibit such an evenness and intensity of colour, as nothing but ink of the most perfect compound for the purpose could effect. Much, of course, must have been owing to the aid of good and congenial quality in the paper, and ensured in effect by the experience and skill which Mr. Bulmer was so competent to impart to his workmen ; and that a great deal must have depended on, and been effected by, the two last-named requisites, is very apparent, from his being able to produce the same effect in ink of another colour-namely, red."
After continuing in business with the highest credit for about thirty years, Mr. Bulmer retired in 1819, with a well earned fortune, to a genteel residence at Clapham Rise, and was succeeded at the Shakspeare Press by his partner Mr. W. Nicol, the only son of Mr. Bulmer's firm friend, the late G. Nicol, Esq. Mr. Nicol, in his Octoglot folio edition of Virgil, edited by W. Sotheby, Esq., has proved himself a most diligent and able successor; while, in publications of smaller dimensions, such as Major's editions of Walton's Angler and Lives, he has not been less eminently successful.
But whilst we have justly placed Mr. Bulmer in the first rank of his profession, let us not forget that he had equal claims to distinction among those whose memory is revered for their many private and domestic virtues. We may then truly say, that his art has been deprived of one of its brightest ornaments, and his friends have to lament the loss of one not easily surpassed in every moral excellence.
Mr. Bulmer was younger brother of Sir Fenwick Bulmer, who died May 4. 1824, aged 79, the senior member of the Honourable
Band of Gentlemen Pensioners.
The late Mr. Bulmer was also for a long time one of the Gentlemen Pensioners; to which corps the late Wm. Gifford, Esq. was Paymaster. Some pleasant poetical letters from Mr. Gifford to Mr. Bulmer will soon appear in a sixth volume of Nichols's "Literary Illustrations."
Mr. Bulmer died at Clapham Rise, on the 9th of September, 1830, in his 74th year, and his remains were interred on the 16th, at St. Clement Danes, Strand (in which parish his brother had long resided), attended to the grave by a numerous and respectable company of mourning friends. He has left a widow; but had no children.
A portrait of Mr. Bulmer will be found in Vol. II. of Dr. Dibdin's Bibliographical Decameron; but having been taken when he was a young man, the resemblance is not recognisable by us. Nor can we speak favourably of an engraving in wood of Mr. Bulmer in Hansard's Typographia. A more faithful portrait was executed in lithography, in 1827, painted and drawn on stone by James Ramsay.