2 April 2008
[MASTER HUMPHREY'S CLOCK]. SIBSON, Thomas (1817-1844). Illustrations of Master Humphrey's Clock. London: Robert Tyas, June 1840 - January 1842.
18 monthly parts (268 x 184 mm). 2-page publisher's advertisement dated 15 June 1840 at end of numbers 2 and 5, 4 pages at end number 10. 8pp. preliminaries at end number 18. 72 etched plates by Thomas Sibson, four in each number, original tissue guards (lightly browned, some spotting, a few pale stains). Original blue-green pictorial printed paper wrappers (minimal repairs to backstrips of numbers 2 and 4 only, edges a bit frayed to number 18, else FINE); quarter red roan gilt folding box. Provenance: Contemporary publisher's annotations; Kenyon Starling.
FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL PARTS. Each plate with imprint of R. Tyas including month of publication. Issue number and date on front covers of numbers 3, 8, 17, and 18 changed in manuscript by the publisher or his agent at time of issue to accommodate shortages of supply. Published to coincide with and extra-illustrate Chapman and Hall's monthly issue of Master Humphrey. Subsequently published in one volume by Tyas in 1842 with only 70 plates (excluding "The Barber Relating the History of the Deaf Gentleman's Pipe" and "He Came, He Said, To Conquer or To Die" found here in number 1). Sibson also illustrated a portfolio of plates: Sketches of Expeditions from the Pickwick Club (described as "Racy" on the front wrapper) published London, Sherwood, Gilbert, and Piper in 1838. EXTREMELY RARE: according to American Book Prices Current no sets in original monthly parts have sold at auction in at least 25 years. Yale/Gimbel H1153 recording an incomplete set.
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