DICKENS, Charles. The Adventures of Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy's Progress. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1846.
10 original parts, 8o (224 x145 mm). Half-title, title, contents and preface in the final part. 24 steel-engraved plates by George Cruikshank (some occasional pale browning, generally very clean and fresh). Original blue-green printed pictorial wrappers with a design by George Cruikshank (some very skillfully rebacked to match, a few small repairs, a few splits along joints); blue cloth folding case. Provenance: G. Tottenham (signature on first part); Stephen M. Dryfoos (bookplate); Kenyon Starling (bookplate).
"COMPLETE SETS OF THE TEN PARTS CAN, WITHOUT EXAGGERATION, BE DESCRIBED AS OF THE UTMOST RARITY, WHETHER IN FINE, MODERATE, OR POOR CONDITION" (Hatton & Cleaver)
FIRST SEPARATE EDITION IN THE ORIGINAL MONTHLY PARTS, with all the advertisements called for in Hatton & Cleaver: the "Oliver Twist Advertiser" in parts 1 and 2 and the single advertisement leaf in part 10.
As in the case of Sketches by Boz, the parts issue of Oliver Twist followed on previous publications. Oliver Twist was first published in Bentley's Magazine from February 1837 (except June 1837) to March 1839. Before the close of the serial, it came out in three volume form (see previous lots).
EXCEEDINGLY RARE: according to American Book Prices Current, only four copies have appeared at auction in the last thirty years:
1. Sotheby's New York, 25 June 1982, lot 270, wrappers repaired and the "Advertiser" in part 2 with 2 leaves only.
2. The Estelle Doheny set, sold Christie's New York, 21 February 1989, lot 1825, foxed and with tears to spines.
3. The Jacobs set, sold Sotheby's New York, 29 October 1996, lot 358, washed and with spines repaired.
4. The Neville L. Fakes set, sold Sotheby's London, 11 July 2002, lot 196: repairs to the wrappers, parts 5, 8 & 9 with substituted wraps from other parts, part 10 with facsimile upper wrapper & with lower wrap substituted from 1art 18 of Dombey & Son and lacking the advertisement in part 10.
THE STARLING COPY IS UNDOUBTEDLY THE FINEST COPY TO APPEAR AT AUCTION IN AT LEAST THE LAST THIRTY YEARS. Hatton & Cleaver, pp. 216-224; Yale/Gimbel A38.