A New Voyage Round the World.Edinburgh: Printed by James Ballantyne and Co. for John Ballantyne and Co. and Brown and Crombie; Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, and John Murray, London, 1810 Stock Code: 127590
A most attractive copy of Defoe's fabricated travel narrative, first published in 1724, in which an "unnamed English captain-entrepreneur... leads three ships in a trading (and occasional privateering) circumnavigation that also includes encounters with native peoples, sometimes violent but more peaceable and profitable" (Richetti p. 222). Howgego remarks that the book was "written to be believed, and to deal seriously with matters in which Defoe had a particular interest, notably his proposal for British colonisation of parts of South America. Defoe used a wide variety of sources, Dampier, Frézier, Narborough and others, to which he added his personal assumptions, the debatable truth of which were secondary to his desire to arouse passions for British mercantile exploitation of the regions he describes".
A loosely inserted note identifies the binding as the work of the atelier of Auguste-Marie, Comte de Caumont (1743-1839), a descendent of a landed Normandy family who arrived in London from revolutionary France around 1790. It is generally accepted that de Caumont was not himself a binder, but rather confined his activities to finding patrons, keeping the accounts and overseeing the running of the workshop. In April 1814 de Caumont returned to France with Louis XVIII and apparently abandoned bookbinding. "In England... he is considered a very great binder, in an age when English bookbinding was temporarily at a high level, and actually far ahead of contemporary French binding" (Ramsden, French Bookbinders 1789-1848, p. 49). While in London he hired some of the leading craftsmen of the day, including Cordavau, Hering, and Kalthoeber, the latter considered perhaps the finest binder of the period, but "because de Caumont employed so many different finishers it is difficult to attribute a distinctive style to his bindery" (Maggs, Bookbinding in the British Isles, II 264).
Provenance: bookplates of Sarah Phillot; born in Stanton Prior, Somerset in 1804, died at Axbridge in 1880. She is described in censuses as "of independent means" and a "landed proprietor", and appears to have been an astute collector as a number of books in similarly fine bindings and bearing her bookplate have appeared in commerce.
2 volumes, octavo (158 x 97 mm). Contemporary diced calf (unsigned but attributed by Comte de Caumont), smooth spines gilt lettered direct and divided by gilt and brown bands, prettily gilt decoration in three of the five compartments, gilt scrolling roll border to sides (repeated in blind on turn-ins), gilt single fillet edge roll, Placard pattern marbled edges, French Shell pattern marbled endpapers.
Bookplate of Robert J. Hayhurst in volume I; Hayhurst inherited and improved a successful group of retail pharmacies, John Hayhurst & Son, based in Nelson, Lancashire, and became an avid and discerning collector of naval history and of eighteenth-century literature in contemporary bindings. Spines uniformly a little sunned, touch of rubbing to extremities, a couple of tiny scuffs and marks to covers, very occasional faint foxing, contents nevertheless notably clean, a particularly pretty set.
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