DICKENS, Charles. The Old Curiosity Shop. London: [Bradbury and Evans for] Chapman and Hall, 1841.
Quired in 6s (251 x 167 mm). Dedication leaf to Samuel Rogers (not called for by Smith, but that in vol.1 of Master Humphrey's Clock from which this is separately issued). Illustrations in text by George Cattermole and Hablot K. Browne ["Phiz"]. (Some occasional pale spotting.) PUBLISHER'S PRESENTATION BINDING OF FULL POLISHED CALF, gilt-ruled on covers, gilt-decorated on spine, green and red morocco lettering pieces, edges gilt, ink stamp of Chapman and Hall on front free endpaper and of the binder Hayday on rear free endpaper (some minor scuffing and rubbing).
Provenance: WILLIAM CHARLES MACREADY (1793-1873), actor and close friend of Dickens (presentation inscription from the author); A. Edward Newton (bookplate; his sale Parke Bernet, 18 April 1941, lot 508); Col. John Bancker Gribbel (his sale Parke-Bernet, 8 December 1947, lot 146); Lewis A. Hird (bookplate; his sale Parke-Bernet, 17 November 1953, lot 90); The Rosenbach Collection (slip laid-in); Kenyon Starling (bookplate).
THE MACREADY-NEWTON-GRIBBEL-HIRD-STARLING COPY
FIRST SEPARATE EDITION. A CHRISTMAS PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY DICKENS TO WILLIAM CHARLES MACREADY on the title: "W.C. Macready From his affectionate friend Charles Dickens Christmas 1841."
This separate issue of The Old Curiosity Shop was created from portions of Master Humphrey's Clock, accounting for the irregularities of its bibliographic composition. The binding on this copy is nearly uniform with the publisher's presentation binding on Barnaby Rudge inscribed to Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd (see lot 80, varying tools and lettering piece colors on spine).
This copy, and the copy of Oliver Twist (see lot 51) were inscribed to his close friend Macready on Christmas 1841, prior to Dickens's departure for America. The Old Curiosity shop had only been published 10 days prior, on the 15th, and Dickens was having a quiet end of year with his children in advance of his extended journey. Macready was one of the few people he saw during this period. Just a week later, on the 2nd of January, Dickens and his wife, accompanied by John Forster and his siblings Alfred and Fanny, left for Liverpool to sail to America. Smith I:6A.