The Bewick Collector
The names of Thomas Bewick (1753–1828) and his brother John (1760–1795) are synonymous with beautiful, delicate and accurate woodcuts of the natural world. Their instantly recognisable style was to influence book illustration well into the nineteenth century. The antiquary and print collector Thomas Hugo (1820–76), best known as a collector of Bewick woodcuts, first published this two-volume catalogue of his extensive collection in 1866–8. It has since emerged that many of the items sourced from printers' offices and booksellers across the country – including Thomas Bewick's own publisher, Emerson Charnley – cannot be authenticated as the Bewicks' work. The collection was nonetheless a remarkable assemblage of valuable materials, including uncut first editions, woodblocks, handbills and broadsides (all regrettably dispersed after Hugo's death) which might otherwise have been lost. Lavishly illustrated throughout, Volume 1 comprises the catalogue, which includes an appendix of Bewick portraits, letters and memorabilia.