Fine British lithographs of the 1853-56 Crimean War

Owen, Charles Henry. Sketches in the Crimea, Taken During the Late War.

London, Paul and Dominic Colnaghi, 1856.

Oblong folio (570 x 390 mm). 7 ff. comprising 6 tinted lithograph plates, hand-coloured (7 including title page). Original publisher's cloth.


A rare volume of hand-painted lithographed plates, complete in 8 scenes on 6 leaves, the final plate a folding panorama of Sevastopol in the midst of battle. Each scene, including the lithograph title-page, has been hand-painted with delicate watercolours, particularly finely and subtly done, with bright uniforms and delicately painted skies and landscapes. The author, Charles Owen (1830-1921), was a Major in the British Army, and ostensibly a veteran of the 1853-56 Crimean War, fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance between France, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The plates show war scenes on sweeping landscapes, particularly focused on Sevastopol. In full, they are titled: Chapel in the Caves (the title-page lithograph); Dockyard and Barrack Buildings; Balaklava; Sebastopol from the Picket House Battery; Harbour of Sebastopol, from the Crow's Nest, Inkermann; Creek Battery Sebastopol; Monastery of St. George; Valley of Baidar, and finally, Sebastopol from the 2nd Parallel Right Attack, the large folding plate.

Scarce, with only five copies listed in institutions, all currently in the United States or Britain.


With the ex-libris bookplate of Norman R. Bobins, famous collector of coloured plates.


Spine rebacked and endpapers replaced; light foxing, marginal closed tear to title-page lithograph, folding plate reinforced at crease. Bright and beautifully painted.


Bobins I, 207.