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History, Military, Medieval, Knights, Ancient Costume of England, Antique Prints, London, c. 1810s


Charles Hamilton Smith Esq. (1776-1859) (after)
I.A. Atkinson (engraver)
R. & D. Havell, J. Hill (aquatinters)
The Ancient Costume of England
Colnaghi & Co., London: c. 1811-1818
Color printed aquatints, finished by hand
14.5 x 10 inches
$325 each

Medieval British knights, princes, kings and noblemen are shown in colorful costumes in a series of brilliantly rendered aquatints. Subjects include historical figures identified by name, such as Arthur McMurroch, King of Leinster; Richard Beauchamp, K.G. Earl of Warwick; Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, Leicester, Derby & Lincoln; Sir John Sitsylt, Knight; Sir Roger de Trumpington; as well as others more generically titled figures such as Fools, or Jesters; Military Costume of the Gothic Nations on the Western Coasts of the Baltic; Tournament; Soldiers & Cannon; Knight Templar and Ships of William the Conqueror. Most are posed against simple landscape backgrounds. Also included are scenes of archers, jousters, and the ships of William the Conqueror.

Product description continues below.


Charles Hamilton Smith (1776-1859) was an artist, illustrator, soldier and spy. He served as a British Army officer during the Napoleonic Wars seeing some active service, but spending most of his career in the British Isles in various staff positions. Smith was also a self-taught artist, and an extremely prolific one — by his own estimation he produced over 38,000 drawings over the years. Most of these were of non-military subjects, however over 1,400 were uniform studies, with another 3,000 containing accurate drawings of soldiers. He is also known for his Costume of the Army of the British Empire, originally published between 1812 and 1814. Many of these were reissued in 2002 by Greenhill Books, London, under the title Wellington’s Army.

Condition: Generally very good, the original color bright, with only minor toning and wear.


Burnham, Robert. “Reviews: Wellington’s Army: The Uniforms of the British Soldier, 1812-1815.” The Napoleon Series. September 2002. (10 April 2003).

Additional information


19th Century