LOFTIE, W J Kensington Picturesque & Historical London: Field and Tuer, The Leadenhall Press, 1888.
Large 8vo,. Presentation binding of full morocco ruled and lettered direct to boards, with gilt crown embossed to lower corner; four raised bands ruled in gilt, lettering direct to spine; all edges gilt, elaborately decorative gilt turn-ins over marbled endpapers; decorative fore-edge painting beneath gilt, showing two scenes; a sunset with figure and cow, and another figure standing before a lake; pp. [vii], viii-xix, [ii], 3-287, lxiv [subscribers], [viii, ads]; a near-fine example, very light spotting to the leather, light foxing to the gutter of the front endpapers. Provenance: Book plate of Sir Alfred Sherlock Gooch to the front paste-down.
One of just 50 proof copies, complete with the decorative fore-edge painting. This copy no.32. As well as the fore-edge painting by William Luker, the volume comes complete with over 300 images, including some which are both full-page and full-colour, showing various scenes around Kensington, as well as full and double-page maps of the area.
'By command dedicated to Her Majesty the Queen', this lavish volume traces the history of the parish of Kensington, as well as providing chapters on it's geography. Kensington Palace and Gardens are also featured in their own chapter.
W. J. Loftie , was born in County Armagh, Ireland, and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. After holding church appointments, he joined the staff of the Saturday Review, and in 1894 that of the National Observer. He is best known as a writer on antiquarian subjects, where he combined learning and picturesque statement. Prolific in his time, he published almost 40 books in his lifetime on the history of London, travel, art and architecture.
William Luker was the son of an accomplished landscape painter, who was particularly known for his pastoral scenes of horses, cows, sheep and Scottish highland cattle. This knowledge of painting he imparted to his son,, whom he saw as possessing natural artistic genius. He went on to paint numerous portraits and London city scenes, but he experienced his greatest success painting animals. In 1897 he painted Florizel II, a prized bay racehorse of Edward, Prince of Wales (eldest son of Queen Victoria, and himself the eventual King Edward VII). Luker's preferred medium was oil on canvas, but he also painted in watercolor on ivory and executed many fine pen and ink drawings (many of which were used as illustrations in books and magazines of the period). He exhibited extensively at the Royal Society of British Artists (of which he was also a member) from 1895 to 1945; and he exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1915 to 1919. He is known to have works in collections of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (the Royal Collection Trust) and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York).