Sporting sketches : consisting of subjects relating to sports of ... the whole illustrative of landscape scenery

Collection History

This digital presentation brings together two distinct holdings of work by Henry Alken (1785-1851), the best-known English sporting artist of his day and still one of the most popular. The two holdings are a group of 11 original pencil drawings and watercolor paintings, and Alken's classic portfolio Sporting Sketches of hand-colored lithographs, issued in 6 parts dated Feb. 1, 1817-Feb. 2, 1818. In addition to the 36 projected prints, The Library's copy contains an additional 28 images from other Alken series.


Noted for his graphic precision as a painter and printmaker, Alken was one member of an extended family of sporting artists; his father and his son, both named Samuel, also specialized in sporting subjects. Alken worked for sporting periodicals as an illustrator and provided plates for the volume National Sports of Great Britain (London, 1821), where he pictured hunting, coaching, racing and other animal subjects.

Related Resources

American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, inc., New York. Sporting and colored plate books illustrated by Henry Alken, Thomas Rowlandson, Edward Orme and other famous artists, with many superb original drawings, the ... collection of Fitz Eugene Dixon ... to be dispersed at public sale ... January 6 and 7 [1937] ... by his order. (1937) "Sale number 4286."

Noakes, Aubrey. The world of Henry Alken [1952] (Old sporting series)

Schwerdt, C. F. G. R. Hunting, hawking, shooting; illustrated in a catalogue of books, manuscripts, prints and drawings (1928-37) 4 v.

Sparrow, W. Shaw. Henry Alken (1927) (The sport of our fathers. vol. I)

Collection Data

Alken, Henry Thomas (1784-1851) (Engraver)
Dates / Origin
Date Issued: 1817-08-01
Place: London
Publisher: Published by S. and J. Fuller, at the Temple of Fancy
Library locations
George Arents Collection
Shelf locator: Arents BIP (Alken, H.T. Sporting Sketches) 84-57
Great Britain
Lithographs -- Hand-colored
Content: Schwerdt describes original issue: 6 pts. (36 art prints, dated Feb. 1, 1817-Feb. 2, 1818) issued in paper covers numbered 1-6; advertisement on p. [2] of covers has date 1816. Cover title; engraved title (letters composed of sporting motifs): Sporting sketches / by H. Alken. London : S. & J. Fuller, Augst. 1, 1817. 'This work will be completed in six monthly numbers, each number containing six plates'--Cover.
Content: 'This work will be completed in six monthly numbers, each number containing six plates'--Cover.
Content: Arents copy: 6 pts. (61 art prints, dated Feb. 1, 1817-July 1,-1819), each pt. in dark buff paper covers numbered in ms. 1, [2],3-4, 8 [corrected to 5], 6; advertisement on p. 2 of covers has date 1818. Other advertisements vary. Covers repaired. The 6 plates in Schwerdt's pt. 1 are here in pts. 1-3; those in Schwerdt's pt. 2-6 are here in pts. 1-5 respectively.
Statement of responsibility: by Henry Alken
Physical Description
Extent: 6 pts. (art prints) : lithograph, hand-col. ; 28 x 44 cm. ; [61 pl.]
Type of Resource
Still image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b10851877
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): c26cbaf0-c6d7-012f-d4fe-3c075448cc4b
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