London: J. Parry, 1805. With frontispiece and 14 additional engraved plates, all hand-colored. Contemporary half calf on marbled boards; marbled paste-down, text clean with very minor toning throughout. A fine copy. Item #16115
Very rare and curious work which was apparently never finished, illustrating original portraits and caricature etchings. A medley of “extraordinary persons . . . which are seen in the streets in or about London”, the book contains plates and descriptions of 14 characters, including the Irish giant Patrick O’Brien; Miss Lucy Wanmer, a thirty-inch-tall 53 years old woman; Mr. Daniel Lambert, the heaviest man in England; and Alderman Boydell, proprietor of the most successful print empire of the day.
Little is known about the publisher or the engraver, J. Parry. A record at the Folger Shaekspeare Library suggests he is the Manchester painter Joseph Parry (1744-1826). The number of plates varies in each copy; there appears to be as few as 8 plates and as many as 20.
OCLC lists copies at the Folger, New York Public, Yale, Universities of Illinois and North Carolina, and the Wellcome.