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    Sale 1922

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana

    3 December 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 577

    WHITMAN, Walt (1819-1892). Leaves of Grass. Brooklyn: [Printed for the Author], 1855.

    Price Realised  


    WHITMAN, Walt (1819-1892). Leaves of Grass. Brooklyn: [Printed for the Author], 1855.

    2o (281 x 200 mm). 8 pages notices and reviews at beginning. Engraved frontispiece portrait (lightly foxed as usual). Original green cloth, gilt-lettered on front cover and spine, blind-lettered on back cover, decorated in blind on front and back covers within a triple blind rule, plain cream endpapers, edges plain (slightest wear at corners and ends of spine, one tiny nick on front cover, otherwise fresh and unsophisticated); quarter morocco slipcase. Provenance: Walter Brown (pencil signature dated 1856 on front free endpaper).

    FIRST EDITION, Second Issue Binding with only title on front cover in gilt and with plain endpapers and edges, etc. (BAL's and Myerson's Binding B); Second State of the frontispiece portrait (on china mounted on heavy paper), second state of the copyright page as usual, second state of p. iv; with the 8 pages of notes and reviews inserted in some copies of the second and third issue bindings. "Whitman was spending nearly every day there [at the printing office of James and Thomas Rome in Brooklyn] that spring [of 1855], writing, revising, reading proof, even working at the type case, just as he had done twenty years earlier as an apprentice printer. Altogether he set in type about ten of the ninety-five pages of a book that he also designed, produced, published, promoted... The 795 copies the Romes ran off on their hand press and delivered to the binder were all there were or could be of the first edition. No plates were made; the book was printed from type, and the type distributed" (Justin Kaplan, Walt Whitman: a Life, Toronto: Bantam Books, 1982, p. 198). Myerson notes that 795 copies were bound: 337 in Binding A in June and July 1855; 262 in Binding B in December 1855 and January 1856; and 196 copies in two other binding styles. BAL 21395; Grolier American 67; Myerson A2.I.a1; PMM 340.

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    Pre-Lot Text