London, South Kensington
8 October 1999
[SMITH, John.] The Compleat fisher; or, The true art of angling ... by J.S. a brother of the angle. The fourth edition enlarged, London: printed for G. Conyers and J. & B. Sprint, 1716. 24, woodcut frontispiece, 8 woodcut illustrations of fish (dampstained, more heavily in the earlier part), contemporary sheep (rebacked), late 19th-century red morocco box. Provenance: W. Shoalfeild (contemporary inscription on title verso); 19th-century armorial bookplate.
The fourth of 12 editions issued between 1696 and 1770, and the second to be published in the 18th century. "This minute work by an anonymous writer forms one of the marked features of most angling collections," says Westwood, "partly from its merits as a manual, but far more from its rarity, only a few copies of the earlier issues having escaped the wear and tear of time." The original title The True Art of Angling of 1696 was changed in the 1704 third edition to The Compleat Fisher. The frontispiece to this fourth edition, representing two male anglers, is new and used here for the first time. W. & S. p. 182; Petit 1860.
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