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Microcosm, Volume 1

Pyne/Hill - Microcosm, vol 1Microcosm: or, a Picturesque Delineation of the Agriculture, Manufactures &c. of Great Britain, Volume 1
Pyne, William Henry, born 1769 - died 1843 (etcher)
Hill, John, born 1770 - died 1850 (aquatinter)

The Microcosm was originally published in 1802 as a subscription series in 30 instalments of 30 plates each, with text by C. Gray. They were only collected into a hardback version in two volumes in 1808 when the work proved to be an immediate success. This work consists of groups of small figures, cleverly drawn, and coloured by hand. The book was very successful, and found many imitators in England and France. Many of Pyne's watercolours, drawings, and books are held by the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

This publication makes use of the aquatinting process to great effect. Aquatinting creates an artwork resembling a watercolour painting; it is made by etching a copper plate with nitric acid and using resin and varnish to produce areas of tonal shading. To preserve these wonderful images some restoration is required on the book as a while - the damage to the spine and covers can be repaired once the book is adopted and therefore kept safe for the future.  

Funding required for restoration: £200.00

  • Replace glues and linings.
  • Repair corners and covers – new marbled paper will be added where boards are showing.
  • Repair but maintain original spinal leather.
  • Feed leather with dressing.

Pyne/Hill - Microcosm, vol 1  Pyne/Hill - Microcosm, vol 1