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    Sale 1981

    The William E. Self Family Collection Part I The Kenyon Starling Library Of Charles Dickens

    2 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 116

    DICKENS, Charles. [CHRISTMAS BOOKS]. A Complete Set of the Christmas Books. London: 1843-1848, all FIRST EDITIONS, comprising:

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    DICKENS, Charles. [CHRISTMAS BOOKS]. A Complete Set of the Christmas Books. London: 1843-1848, all FIRST EDITIONS, comprising:

    A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. London: Chapman & Hall, 1843. 8o (162 x 102 mm). 2-page publisher's advertisements at end. Hand-colored etched frontispiece and three plates by John Leech, four wood-engravings in the text by W.J. Linton after Leech (slightly browned). Half-title printed in blue, title-page printed in red and blue, verso printed in blue. (One or two marginal marks, gathering G very slightly sprung.) Original rose-brown fine-ribbed cloth, covers with decorative blind border surrounding central gilt cartouche and lettering on upper, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, all edges gilt, green coated endpapers [Todd first impression, first issue binding variant] (spine lightly faded, endpapers lightly worn as usual); the set in red cloth slipcase. Provenance: C.A.C. (inscription on the front free endpaper of each volume); Kenyon Starling.

    FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, with "Stave I" as the first chapter heading, balance of text uncorrected, red and blue title-page dated 1843, with the earliest state of the binding (the closest interval between blind decorative border on the left and the left extremity of the gilt cartouche measuring 14mm and the "D" of Dickens perfect), and second state endpapers (chalky green). The green endpapers are often described as being 'trial' endpapers rejected by Dickens and Chapman & Hall because: to hand apply the color by sponge or cloth was relatively expensive (compared with the machine coated yellow of the alternatives) and inexpert in appearance; of the tendency for the green to rub off; of the poisonous nature of the green pigment which is cupric aceto-arsenite, commonly called Paris green. Philo Calhoun and Howell J. Heaney, "Dickens' Christmas Carol After a Hundred Years: A Study in Bibliographical Evidence," in: Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 39 (Fourth Quarter, 1945) pp. 286-287; Eckel pp.110-115; Smith II: 4.

    The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In. London: Bradbury and Evans for Chapman and Hall, 1845 [but 1844]. 8o (164 x 10 mm). Engraved frontispiece and additional title by F.P. Becker after Daniel Maclise, wood-engraved illustrations by Groves, W.J. Linton, C. Gray, and Dalziel Brothers after Richard Doyle, John Leech and Clarkson Stanfield. Original red fine-ribbed cloth, covers with decorative blind border surrounding central gilt vignette and lettering on upper, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, all edges gilt (spine very slightly faded). FIRST EDITION, FIRST STATE of the additional title with "Chapman & Hall" centered and curved in cloud at foot of plate. Eckel, pp.116-118; Smith, II: 5.

    The Cricket on the Hearth. A Fairy Tale of Home. London: Bradbury and Evans for the Author, 1846 [but 1845]. 8o (164 x 103 mm). 2-page publisher's advertisements for New Edition of Oliver Twist at end. Engraved frontispiece and additional title by John Thompson and G. Dalziel respectively after Daniel Maclise, wood-engraved illustrations by G. and E. Dalziel, Thomas Williams, John Thompson, J. Swain and Groves after Richard Doyle, Clarkson Stanfield, John Leech, and Edwin Landseer. Original red fine-ribbed cloth, covers with decorative blind border surrounding central gilt vignette and lettering on upper, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, all edges gilt (spine very slightly faded). FIRST EDITION, second issue advertisement leaf. Eckel, pp.119-120; Smith II: 6.

    The Battle of Life. A Love Story. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1846. 8o (165 x 103 mm). 2-page publisher's advertisements at end. Engraved frontispiece and additional title by John Thompson after Daniel Maclise, wood-engraved illustrations by G. and E. Dalziel, Thomas Williams and W.T. Green after Richard Doyle, Clarkson Stanfield, John Leech, and Daniel Maclise. Original red fine-ribbed cloth, covers with decorative blind border surrounding central gilt vignette and lettering on upper, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, all edges gilt (spine very slightly faded). FIRST EDITION, fourth state of the additional title, with cupid added to the scroll but without publisher's imprint. Eckel, pp.121-123; Smith II: 8.

    The Haunted Man and The Ghost's Bargain. A Fancy for Christmas-Time. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1848. 8o (165 x 103 mm). 2-page publisher's advertisements at beginning. Engraved frontispiece and additional title on toned grounds by Martin & Corbould after John Tenniel, wood-engraved illustrations by Martin & Corbould, Thomas Williams, Smith & Cheltnam, and Dalziel after Tenniel, Clarkson Stanfield, Frank Stone, and John Leech. Original red fine-ribbed cloth, covers with decorative blind border, surrounding central gilt cartouche and lettering on upper, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, all edges gilt (spine very slightly faded). FIRST EDITION. Eckel, pp.124-125; Smith II: 9.

    A FINE, HANDSOME AND COMPLETE SET of the first editions of the books that have ensured Dickens's enduring association with the Christmas season.















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