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KENTISH, Thomas.

The Pyrotechnist’s Treasury The Complete Art of Making Fireworks.

Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged.

Published: London: Chatto and Windus, 1887

Stock code: 87259

Price: £2,500

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This item is on show at 100 Fulham Road (map)

The uncommon, definitive second edition of Kentish’s classic of pyrotechnics – “one of the greatest classic how-to-do-pyrotechnic books that have ever been written” (Philip) – just four copies of this edition recorded on Copac – NLS, Oxford, Cambridge, and TCD – no copy in BL; OCLC adds 11 copies in the US. First published in 1878, the text of the second edition was expanded by 18 pages, and 10 plates added, as the new preface explains; “The present edition contains much additional information, many fresh illustrations, and several pieces of a construction entirely new … For the rest, I have carefully revised the book throughout, and have supplied the minutest information in every instance in which it appeared to be defective … The work appears to me now complete”. All subsequent printings of Kentish’s work, from the 1899 third edition down to the current facsimile and print-on-demand editions are based upon this version. A practical manual, designed for use in the workshop and on the show-site, it is extremely uncommon to find a copy of any edition in anything approaching collector’s condition, rendering this copy of the most desirable edition in its original cloth particularly desirable.

Octavo. Original red cloth, decorative titling in black and silver to spine and upper board, charcoal grey surface-paper endpapers. 25 plates, 32-page publisher’s catalogue dated November 1896 at the rear. Cloth somewhat sunned on the spine, and along the tops of the boards, mild mottling at the fore-edge of both boards, spine ends a touch crumpled and mildly chipping, hinges just starting, light toning, overall a very good copy.

Bibliography: Philip, Bibliography of Firework Books, K010.2

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