The Royal Navy - with - The Royal Navy; 1872-80. In a Series of Illustrations Lithographed in Colors, from Original Drawings. - W. F. Mitchell 1875 - Griffin & Co., Portsmouth - Third Edition, Revised and Corrected (First Published 1872) A beautifully presented two volume set of ‘The Royal Navy’ containing 49 large colour chromolithographic plates (complete as published) from original drawings and water colours by William Frederick Mitchell, each accompanied by a description and statistical information, both volumes contain an introduction by Francis Elgar.

Originally owned by Lieutenant-Colonel Granville William Richard Somerset, son of the second Baron Raglan, and a Naval Cadet (1875) gaining the rank of Lieutenant, with his inscription ‘Granville W Somerset, Royal Navy, July ‘82’ to the front of each volume, together with his bookplates and those of the library of Lord Raglan.

In the publisher’s blue pictorial cloth, decorated and blocked in gilt to spines and front panels. Contents loose as is common with these volumes that used gutta-percha to keep the pages attached to the binding, a natural latex that breaks down over time.
  William Frederick Mitchell (1845-1914) was a British artist commissioned to paint many naval and merchant ships.
Mitchell's collected works were originally published in
The Royal Navy in a series of illustrations. Many are in the National Maritime Museum Collection in Greenwich, England. Mitchell lived most of his life near Portsmouth and painted pictures of Royal Navy and merchant ships for their officers and owners. He also illustrated Brassey's Naval Annual. Mitchell's works are numbered and run to more than 3,500. His medium was principally watercolour but he painted some oils as well.

Mitchell wrote a short autobiography for the 1904 May/June issue of The Messenger, a magazine for deaf people, in which he describes how scarlet fever deprived him of his hearing but at home his father, an HM Coastguard stationed at Calshot Castle, taught him to speak. The autobiography relates his move to Ryde on the Isle of Wight, shortly after marriage to Miss Woodman in 1881. It also claims Queen Victoria, Edward, Prince of Wales, the German Emperor,[clarification needed] and the Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia among Mitchell's patrons.

Francis Elgar (1845-1909) naval architect, leading authority on the stability of merchant ships, was the first Professor of Naval Architecture at Glasgow University, from 1883 until 1886. He was awarded an LLD in 1885. Born in Portsmouth, Elgar was educated at the Royal School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and worked for the Admiralty as a naval architect. From 1879 to 1881 he was in Japan as adviser upon naval construction to the Japanese government before becoming a consultant. He resigned the Chair at the University in 1886 to become Director of the Admiralty Dockyards and in 1892 he was appointed Naval Architect and a Director of the Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. He was made Chairman of the company and of Cammell Laird in 1907.

Provenance: Lt Col Hon Granville William Richard Somerset (1862-1901) - third son of the second Baron Raglan. With his name inscribed to the front of each volume. His later bookplate of ‘30, Milner Street, S.W.’ and the bookplate from the library of Lord and Lady Raglan, from their personal library at Cefntilla Court, Llanderry, Wales.

Two large quarto volumes pp. [8] 15 [1] - followed by 24 colour plates each with one descriptive sheet (with the exception of the first vessel - H.M.S. Royal Alfred - used as frontispiece) [2]; [10] 11 [1] - followed by 25 colour plates each with one descriptive sheet (with the exception of the first vessel - H.M.S. Inflexible - used as frontispiece) [2]. In publisher’s blue pictorial cloth, decorated and lettered in gilt to spine and front panels, brown coloured endpapers, all edges gilt.
  Condition: Near fine, some rubbing to bindings, and minor wear to corners, contents loose.   Ref: 107806   Price: HK$ 12,000