The History of Ancient and Modern Wines - Alexander Farquharson Henderson 1824 - Baldwin, London - First Edition ‘Turn over these costly pages, and feast your eyes with the delicious vignettes, that ever and anon glance out from between the leaves, like the ruby clusters of Bacchus himself ... The Doctor is, absque omni dubio, the first historian of our age. He unites in his single person the most admirable qualifications of all the other masters in this great branch of literature.’ - William Maginn in 'Blackwood', July 1824.

A finely bound large quarto first edition (28 x 22.5 cm) of one of the earliest works on the history of wines, and only the third book in English to discuss ‘modern wines’, comprehensive, ‘well-printed text, tastefully illustrated with 32 vignettes and initial engravings portraying various mythological Bacchian Experiences... many of his observations are as valid now as then’ (Gabler).
  ‘The work for which Henderson is best-known is his History of Ancient and Modern Wines, an elegant book embellished by engravings of classical figures, grapes, and garlands. Henderson's account of wines and wine production was based on observations made during visits to the wine-growing districts of France, Italy, and Germany, to the sherry-producing districts of Spain, and to Portugal.’

‘His remarks about wine production in Madeira show that he had visited the island. His discussion of wines of the Cape includes comments on the methods used in production, and he remarked that the only exception to their execrable quality was found in wines from farms at the foot of Table Mountain.’ ODNB

‘Henderson's copy of Edward Barry's Observations Historical, Critical and Medical on the Wines of the Ancients (1775) is extensively annotated and appears to form the basis for his own book.’ ODNB

Henderson (1779/80–1863) was born in Aberdeen, where he had his early school; he later attended the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated M. D. in 1803.

References: James M. Gabler
Wine into Words G-23790. André Simon Bibliotheca Vinaria 6.
Large Quarto (27 x 21 cm) pp. xvi [2] 408 [4].
  Bound in contemporary diced calf, re-spined to match, title in gilt to burgundy morocco label, intricately gilt and blind bordered panels, marbled edges and endpapers.   Condition: Very good, some rubbing to original boards, one or scattered light foxing spots mostly to first and last pages.   Ref: 104387   Price: HK$ 9,800