WELLINGTON, Arthur, Duke of.
The Dispatches, during his Various Campaigns in India, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, the Low Countries, and France.
Compiled from Official and other Authentic Documents by the late John Gurwood.
“New and Enlarged Edition”, much preferred and genuinely uncommon. A great deal of extra material has been added to the coverage of both the Wars in India and Europe, “extracts from the Instructions for the movements of the Army, and from the General Orders, circulated by the Quarter Master General and Adjutant General, in the Peninsula, France, and the Low Countries, have also been added to this edition”. A substantial production, this set very little diminished in the binding having lost perhaps just a couple of millimetres in the process, remaining handsome and imposing, the best set we have handled. When he finished his apprenticeship Francis Bedford entered the workshop Charles Lewis of Duke Street, St. James’s “one of the best bookbinders of the day … He was Lewis’s foreman for many years and, when Lewis died in 1836, managed the business for Lewis’s widow, Maria. It was during this period that Bedford’s talent was noticed by the duke of Portland, who became not only a patron but a friend” (ODNB). In 1841, Bedford entered into partnership with John Clarke of Frith Street, Soho, carrying on their business in Frith Street until 1850, when the partnership was dissolved due to Bedford’s ill health. Bedford convalesced at the Cape of Good Hope “where he remained for several years, the expenses of his stay being met by the duke of Portland, and on his return to England he established himself in Blue Anchor Yard, York Street, Westminster … Bedford was considered the leading English bookbinder of his time, surpassed only by the best French binders …The number of volumes bound by him is large, and according to his obituary in The Bookbinder, ‘year after year a constant stream of beautifully bound books went forth from his hands'”. A superb copy in a strictly contemporary by one of Britain’s finest binders for his noble friend and patron.
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8 volumes, octavo (235 145 mm). Contemporary full red morocco extra gilt by Francis Bedford (ink-stamped fillet on front free endpaper verso in each volume) for the Duke of Portland, brown morocco double lettering-pieces, flattened bands with twined foliate roll gilt, compartments gilt with central lozenge composed of floral and foliate tools, stylised foliate corner-pieces, all compartments with double fillet gilt panel with dog-tooth roll top and bottom, both boards with concentric panels in gilt, floral finial corner-pieces, double-ruled edge roll, all edges gilt, marbled beneath, marbled endpapers, gilt floral roll to the turn-ins edged with a dog-tooth roll. Mezzotint portrait frontispiece by Burgess after Lawrence to Volume I, general title with engraved arms of Wellington to each volume. Armorial bookplates of the Duke of Portland. The lightest shelf wear, pale browning, overall very good, a superb set.