History of the Royal Residences [Volume 1] of Windsor Castle, St. James's Palace, Carlton House, Kensington Palace, Hampton Court, Buckingham House, and Frogmore. By. W. H. Pyne. Illustrated by one hundred highly finished and colored engravings


Date: 1819



In the early nineteenth century Great Britain was one of the most powerful countries in the world and the British people had a fascination with their country and its society. This resulted in the production of many exquisite color plate works depicting aspects of their world. Pyne's Royal Residences shows the rich interiors of the rooms at Windsor Castle, St. James's Palace, Kensington Palace, Hampton Court, Buckingham House (later Buckingham Palace) and Frogmore.

With beautiful hand coloring the plates in this book are excellent examples of the fine prints from this era in British history. Pyne had been engaged by Ackermann to write the text of the 'Microcosm of London' in 1808 and working on that book gave him the idea of writing and publishing a similar picture-book of architectural exteriors and interiors. This set of plates could not hope to equal the popularity of Ackermann's 'Microcosm' since there could only be a limited public for a series consisting chiefly of well-upholstered palace interiors, peopled only by the occasional decorous gentleman or lady-in-waiting.

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Pyne's solution was to publish it at twice the price of the 'Microcosm' knowing that it would still sell to its intended market of the court circle and the wealthy bourgeoisie. Its interest today lies in its careful drawing of vanished or altered interiors and furnishings and objects of art long since dispersed, particularly of the Buckingham Palace apartments prior to Nash's alterations of 1825.

The description and twenty-four plates of Carlton House, London, home of the Prince Regent (later George IV) are of particular interest as the structure was demolished in 1826. At the end of the third volume is a list of portraits in the royal collections described in the text. Although the work was successful it landed Pyne in serious financial difficulties. He was more than once confined for debt in the King's Bench Prison. Although a noted artist and engraver in his own right Pyne supplied only the text for this work.

Originally issued in 25 parts with printed wrappers between June 1816 and late 1819. Pyne was succeeded as publisher by A. Dry around the end of 1818 or early 1819. See BAL. Eight parts in three folio volumes (400 x 312mm). Text watermarked 1811-1817. Illustrated by 100 hand-colored aquatint plates engraved by T. Sutherland, W. J. Bennett, R. Reeve, D. Havell and J. Bailey after the original drawings by J. Stephanoff, R. Cattermole, W. Westall and G. Samuel.

Volume I is a valuable record of the state rooms of Windsor Castle formed for Charles II, and concludes with the more domestic scenes of Frogmore, purchased by Queen Charlotte as a country retreat in 1793.

Volume II is devoted to Hampton Court, Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace.

Volume III's subjects are St James's Palace and Carlton House; the 20 plates devoted to the Prince Regent's residence depict what were regarded as the most spectacular interiors in Regency London.


Abbey Scenery 396; Lowndes V, 2015; Prideaux p.348; Tooley 389 pp.197-200. Ray 42;

Publisher: London, Printed for A. Dry ... L. Harrison, printer




Getty Research Institute

ISBN-10: N/A

Date Added: 2019-04-08

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