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A Catalogue Of One Hundred Proofs From Gems, Engraved In England, By E. Burch, R. A. Engraver To His Majesty, For Medals And Gems; And To His Royal Highness The Duke Of York. Dedicated By Permission To His Majesty.

Edward Burch RA

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Variant Title

Proofs From Gems, Engraved In England


London:: Printed For The Author, No. 2, Payne's Place, Kentish Town., 1795.

Physical Description

xiv, 30 p.: 260 mm. (Small folio).

General Note

Between p. vi and p. vii a slip has been bound, on which is printed a note, 'In this publication the word original is intentionally omitted, as it would too frequently occur ...'.


[Half-t., t.p., dedic.] - [Slip, with printed note] - Introduction - [Text].

Responsibility Note

The work is dedicated by Edward Burch to the King (George III).


ESTC, T144598
Engraved gems: survivals and revivals, ed. C.M. Brown (1997)
G. Seidmann, 'A very ancient, useful and curious art', in The virtuoso tribe of arts and sciences, ed. D.G.C. Allan and J.L. Abbott (1992), p.120-31.

Summary Note

A variant title appears on the half-title page: 'Proofs From Gems, Engraved In England, By E. Burch, R.A.'

Edward Burch became the first elected Royal Academician in 1771, presenting as his diploma work a cornelian intaglio gem depicting Neptune 'resting on his trident after having crowned the British Navy with victory' (inv. ref. 03/3595). For some fifteen years he had great success engraving Greek and Roman subjects, allegories and portraits of historical persons - he also modelled horses for Wedgwood's jasper ware. It was when his fortunes had begun to decline that he published this catalogue of his gems, many of which were for sale. The year before, he had been given the post of Librarian to the Royal Academy; and he continued to exhibit at the Academy until 1808.

Burch is shown, seated at the feet of the model, in Zoffany's 'The Life School at the Royal Academy of Arts' (Royal Collection). John Yenn's set of plaster proof impressions of the gems described in this catalogue was presented to the Royal Academy by Mrs Augusta Thackeray in 1865 (inv. ref. 10/3065).


An electronic reproduction was published in 2003 (Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale). A microfilm version was published in 1986 (Woodbridge CT: Research Publications).


Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1802.

Copy Note

This copy is inscribed in ink on the front endpaper, 'a descriptive. Catalogue EBurch Libr.'

Binding Note

19th-century half calf, brown cloth-covered boards; rebacked; red morocco spine label, lettered, 'Proofs From Gems Burch'.

Name as Subject


Gems - History
Collections - Great Britain - 18th century
Catalogues - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century


George III King of Great Britain, dedicatee
Royal Academy of Arts (London), Librarian (1794-1814: Burch).