Men of Mark; A Gallery of Contemporary Portraits, Photographed by Lock and Whitfield, Thompson Cooper, 1876-1881. Chiswick Press.
Men of Mark; A Gallery of Contemporary Portraits of Men Distinguished in the Senate, the Church, in Science, Literature and Art, the Army, Navy, Law Medicine, etc. Photographed from Life by Lock and Whitfield, with Brief Biographical Notices by Thompson Cooper, F.S.A.. Preface by George C. Whitfield. 5 Volumes.
Published by Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington, London, 1876. Printed by Chiswick Press, C. Whittingham, London. These volumes are uncommon. First editions.
Each volume features a series of outstanding Photographic portraits reproduced in very high quality using the Woodbury Process and mounted into the book on a heavy paper stock, accompanied by a separate biographical note page. These Woodburytype images provide beautiful continuous tone images which are highly stable, and retain all their vibrancy over time.
A good set of green cloth hardbacks with elaborate gilt decoration. Covers are worn, scuffed and bumped. Frayed to head and tail of spine and extremities and 2 volumes with nicks in the cloth on the spines. Most of the endpapers are cracked at joints to various degrees. Some with small booksellers' stickers to endpapers.
On the whole, the text pages are very good - bright and clean throughout, with occasional spotting, and the photographic plates are very well preserved indeed. Some spotting to some of the plate mounts.
Some spotting to blank endpapers, and occasional thumb mark stain. The second series volume has some damp staining to prelim pages, and the last few text pages also have some marginal staining. A couple of the volumes are weaker in their binding with cracking at the gutter in places. One pressed plant offsetting between blank pages.
Gilt edges to text block, and all still bound.
The highlights of this set are the beautiful steel engravings which are in near fine condition, and all are present as called for, in the list of illustrations in Volume IV. All titles pages are also present. As is often the case with this type of book, which was originally issued as a subscriber's partworks set, to be bound in the manner of the Owner's choosing at a later date, the plates have been bound at the front of the volume, rather than inserted into the appropriate place in the text.
Despite faults, a desirable set of scarce volumes.
Text in English.
First series: 1876; Frontispiece portrait + Prelims + 36pp, each followed by portrait page;
Second series: 1877; Premlims + Prelims + 36pp, each preceded by portrait page;
Third series: 1878; Prelims + 36pp, each preceded by portrait page;
Fourth series: 1880; Frontispiece portrait + Prelims + 36pp, each followed by portrait page;
Fifth series: 1881; Frontispiece portrait + Prelims + 36pp, each followed by portrait page;
Weight: a heavy set weighing 6kg unpacked.
Each volume approximately 280mm high x 222mm wide x 25mm deep.