William Daniell

Seacombe Ferry, Liverpool

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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
William Daniell 1769–1837
Copper plate
Object: 229 × 305 mm
Presented by Tate Gallery Publications 1979

Catalogue entry

T02415-T02720 [from] ENGRAVED COPPER-PLATES FOR ‘A VOYAGE ROUND GREAT BRITAIN’ 1814–25 [T02415-T03024; T03239-T03240; complete]

Engraved with titles and publication lines
306 copper-plates, various sizes, each approximately 9 × 12 (22.9 × 30.5)
Presented by the Tate Gallery Publications Department 1979
Prov: Longman & Co. and William Daniell, the original publishers;...; Henry G. Bohn c.1850–64; probably one of Bohn's successors, either George Bell & Co. or Chatto & Windus;...; Armand Maurice, whose business was taken over by Putnam's 1931 and renamed Nattali & Maurice; The Bodley Head, who acquired Putnam's and Nattali & Maurice 1962; purchased from The Bodley Head by the Tate Gallery Publications Department 1972.
Exh: William Daniell R.A., A Voyage Round Great Britain 1814–1825, An Exhibition of new impressions ..., The British Council 1980 onwards (three touring exhibitions, each including two of the copper-plates).
Lit: Iain Bain, William Daniell's A Voyage Round Great Britain... a note on its production..., 1966; [Iain Bain], William Daniell R.A. A Voyage Round Great Britain... A prospectus for a new issue..., 1977; Iain Bain, William Daniell's A Voyage Round Great Britain... A note on its production ..., 1978.

William Daniell's A Voyage Round Great Britain was the most ambitious of the many topographical publications produced in England during the early nineteenth century and its plates are a highpoint in the history of aquatint engraving. The work comprised a lengthy descriptive text and 308 aquatints, engraved by Daniell himself and hand-coloured through the agency of William Timms. The first half of the whole work, i.e. volumes I–IV, was issued both in parts (two prints to a part) and in volumes between 1814 and 1820. Volumes V–VIII appeared in volume form only between 1821 and 1825. Daniell made the original pencil drawings on a series of tours between 1813 and 1823, the first two in company with Richard Ayton, who wrote the text for volumes I–II. The remaining six volumes have text by the artist himself. Daniell's route took him clockwise round the coast, commencing and finishing at Lands End. For the first four volumes the firm of Longman shared the risk of publication with him. The retail price of parts was originally 10s. 6d. and of volumes 7 guineas. The last four volumes were published by Daniell alone. Much information about the production and financing of the Voyage survives in the Longman account books (see Iain Bain's publications of 1966 and 1978 cited above).

Some of the plates were reissued after Daniell's death, for example by Bohn in the 1850s. In the present century, Thomas Ross & Son held a contract from Nattali & Maurice from 1948 onwards for printing and publishing the Voyage. At an unknown date two of the copper-plates (‘Dunsky Castle’ and ‘Hull’) were losT0 A final edition of the surviving 306 plates was published in 1978–9 by the Tate Gallery Publications Department in association with Editions Alecto. This edition, limited to 90 sets, was printed by Tisiphone Etching Ltd and the Islington Studios, under the supervision of Charles Newington and Frank Tinsley. The impressions were left uncoloured, thus displaying the delicate tones of Daniell's aquatinting. Ayton's and Daniell's 900 page text was also reprinted on this occasion and published in two volumes in 1978 by the Tate Gallery Publications Department and the Scolar Press. These volumes also include small monochrome reproductions of all the plates.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1978-80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981

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