Elizabeth Cobbold: Cliff Valentines, 1814. Ipswich: J. Raw, 1814. WPRP 360.
Two works bound in one volume, small 4to, moderate brown stain on one leaf, small but darker brown stain affecting outer edhe throughout, contemporary black calf gilt, spine gilt, edges rubbed. Inscribed on the first title page by the author to her son and daughter-in-law “Mr. and Mrs. Richard Cobbold.” The wide margins of each page of the first work are illuminated with finely executed pen drawings; a manuscript note, probably in the artist’s hand, describes these as “Etchings from the original cuttings by Harriet Cobbold, Cliff, March 1825,” It may be that this note was intended to printed on the title page of a later edition intended to contain engravings from the drawings. The illustrations in the margins are clearly the original drawings not engravings. Harriet may have been one of Elizabeth’s many children or stepchildren. A most appealing volume.
A comparison of this copy with copies at the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, England, and the Cambridge Library’s Rare Books Room at Cambridge University, England, and the British Library, reveal that the copies held by the Bodleian Library and Special Collections at the University of Colorado, Boulder, are the only copies known to have these illustrations. The illustrations are of the same image but slightly different which might indicate that each copy was illustrated by the artist individually.
Elizabeth Cobbold (1765-1824) was the only child of a wealthy Liverpool merchant, Robert Knipe. She took John Cobbold, widower and prosperous Ipswich brewer, as her second husband in 1791. Among her works she edited the poems of Ann candler and was a frequent contributor to Raw’s Ipswich Pocket Books. She was an enthusiastic philanthropist, and was noted for her Valentine parties which she gave at Cliff House; for these she produced in 1813 and 1814 two annual volumes of Cliff Valentines. Her son, Richard Cobbold (19th child of John Cobbold and 5th son of Elizabeth) is remembered as the author of a couple of dozen novels and books of verse including Valentine verses, 1827, and The history of Margaret Catchpole, 3 vols, 1845. Both Cliff Valentines and Ode on the victory of Waterloo are rare.
This book, bound together with Cobbold's Ode on the Victory of Waterloo, can be viewed in its entirety courtesy of the CU Digital Library here. Landmarks displays pages four and five.