MILTON, Thomas. Select Views in Ireland; from Seats and Demesnes of the Nobility and Gentry of that Kingdom. Engraved by Thomas Milton, from original paintings and drawings. Four parts. London: Published by Hurst, Robinson, and Co. (Late Boydell) 90, Cheapside; and T. Milton, 3, Martlett-Court, Bow-Street, Covent Garden, 1821. Oblong octavo. pp. , 47, 24 (plates). Original pink stitched wrappers mounted on modern matching paper. A very good copy of an extremely rare topographical item.
No copy of this edition located on COPAC or WorldCat. Not in TCD of NLI.
The engravings for Seats and Demesnes of the Nobility and Gentry of Ireland were made between the years 1783-1794 and issued in six parts each containing four views with descriptive texts. This extended publishing period led to differences in printings, which make the Milton a fascinating book. Different manufactures of paper were used in the originals, each with their own distinctive watermarks, some of them beautiful in themselves. There were at least two different type settings of the descriptive texts and many variations in the printing of the plates have been noticed.
These twenty four engravings of Thomas Milton are arguably the finest there are of their kind. Milton (1743-1827) was not prolific. His output was small, his work superb. Sometime a governor of the Society of Engravers, London, Milton came to Dublin in 1783 and established a practice. Quite clearly, Milton was an engraver of the front rank with a powerful and distinctive technique. W. C. Bell Scott, in his Autobiographical Notes had this to say. Milton “… had the unique power of distinguishing the foliage of trees and the texture of all bodies, especially water, as it had never been done before and never will be done again”. The artists who painted the original pictures from which Milton engraved his plates included: Francis Wheatley, William Ashford, Thomas Roberts, and William Pars.
Milton was a grand-nephew of John Milton, the poet and author of Paradise Lost.