ALLEN, William.

Picturesque views on the River Niger, sketched during Lander's last visit in 1832-33.


Picturesque views on the River Niger, sketched during Lander’s last visit in 1832-33.

London, Murray, 1840.

In stock


Rare first edition with hand-coloured illustrations depicting the river Niger.

A scarce book in any format – the subscriber list accounts for some 235 copies only – very few of these were hand-coloured and in this format is very rare.

Whilst remembered for commanding the Wilberforce on Trotter’s disastrous Niger expedition of 1841, William Allen (a Royal Navy officer) had already navigated the river in 1832 with Richard Lemon Lander and Macgregor Laird, and published this series of illustrations documenting their trip. Allen was a talented artist whose work was exhibited several times at the Royal Academy. On publication the book attracted a strong list of subscribers, including Robert Schomburgk, the eminent explorer. It includes several panoramas and strip views of the river, its natural surroundings and riverside towns such as Rabba, Nigeria. This work makes a great visual companion to the works of exploration concerning the Niger.


First edition. Landscape folio (27 x 38 cm), vi, [7]-18 pp., hand-coloured lithograph map and 10 hand-coloured lithographs (including one folding panorama and some with two or more images), 2pp. list of subscribers at end, original printed wrappers, spine renewed, well preserved in modern morocco-backed cloth box, a fine copy.


Abbey Travel 284. D. Graham Burnet, Masters of All They Surveyed: Exploration, Geography, and a British El Dorado, page 122.


Stock ID: 90201