11 Mc. Lean Thomas /The Military Costume of Turkey 117


Description: Artist Mc. Lean Thomas (1788-1775) London
Title The Military Costume of Turkey
Year 1818
Description Very decorative book, early issue, splendidly bound and illustrated, with hand-colored engraved frontispiece and 30 hand-colored aquatint plates by John Heaviside Clark after original drawings by Octavien d’Alvimart. The book depicts the costumes of the turkish military. 1 title page with description, 1 portrait of Anotaki Ramadani, index and 5 pages foreword. Turkish costume is “well calculated to give importance and even majesty to the wearer. A splendid turban, in rich and massy folds, surrounds the head; a loose and flowing robe, often of the most costly materials and exquisite beauty, covers the form; a sash, which frequently exceeds the richness of the turban, is wound about the waist;… here the ataghan, the handjar, the pistols are worn, and suspended from which, is to be seen the highly valued Damascus scimitar” . This handsome work depicts Turkish soldiers and officers of various ranks in attire from the height of Turkish military power— the period of Suleiman the Magnificent. Each hand-colored plate, drawn from life in 1798 by Octavien d’Alvimart and etched in aquatint by John Clark is accompanied by explanations of the figure’s rank, role, and details about his uniform, written by William Miller (from whom Thomas McLean purchased the rights). Plate I, “The Grand Vizier, is represented in the vignette title on horseback, at the head of his army which is on the march.” Though the engraved title page bears the date 1818, same as the first edition, the plates are watermarked 1822 (first-issue plates are watermarked 1816).
Dimensions 36,5 x 26,5
Condition Binding in hardcover with leather gilt
Coloring original colored
Technique Copper print- Aquatinta
Place of Issue London
  • Number: 1170258
  • Dealer: Speculum Orbis Nauticum

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