Antiquates Limited - Logo

AN OLYMPIC FESTIVAL IN CHELSEA

[BERENGER, Charles Random Baron de]. [CRUIKSHANK, George. CRUIKSHANK, Robert]. Particulars and recommendations of the stadium, or british national arena for manly and defensive exercises, equestrian, chivalric, and aquatic games, and skilful andamusing pastimes; at the residence of the late lord cremone...extending from the king's road, chelsea, to the thames, and distant less than 21/4 miles from piccadilly.

London. Published for the proprietor, by T. Hurst, 1835.
8vo. 28pp, [4]. With a half-title and 11 plates and plans, three of which folding, and a printed notice advertising 'sacrifices and alterations from the terms, amusements & regulations' tipped to the inside of the upper wrapper. Original publisher's buff paper wrappers. Some loss to spine, slight marking, but generally a well preserved example. Early ownership inscription of 'Mary Wright Bought this Book at Chelsea on the 21st of July 1838' to inside of upper wrapper.
An apparently unrecorded issue, in original unsophisticated state, of the scarce introductory brochure and guide to the Stadium, a pioneering metropolitan sports club set up at Chelsea Farm in 1831 by convicted stock-market fraudster Charles Random, Baron de Berenger. The contents and fine engravings by the brothers Cruikshank details the decidedly martial athletic opportunities available at the National Sporting Club, which included rifle shooting, archery and equitation. The final section also promotes the opportunity to buy a shareholding of the venture, which was ultimately unsuccessful; the only lasting impact on the surrounding area is recognised by the still extant Stadium Street.

Originally issued in 1834, in 36pp and featuring 7 plates, the text was also incorporated as pp[247-274] of Berenger's popular Helps and hints how to protect life and property (London, 1835). This separate 1835 edition - with 11 plates - however, appears unrecorded in the usual databases. The four additional plates consist of two landscape scenes, and two plans of the site, three of which did feature in Helps and hints.
c/f Cohn 772.
£ 450.00 Antiquates Ref: 19264