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121025 121025_1

The Laying of the Foundation Stone of the New Chamber of the House of Commons by the Speaker 26th May 1948.

Availability: In stock

Published: London printed for H.M. Stationery Office by the Curwen Press Ltd., 1948

Stock Code: 121025

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


First and only edition. The limitation statement at the rear reads: "twenty-four copies printed on hand-made paper for presentation to His Majesty the King, the Library of the House of Commons and those who took part in the ceremony". Copac shows just five locations in the UK: BL, Oxford, Cambridge, Guildhall, and Chartwell; OCLC adds Houghton Library, Harvard, Universities of Toronto and Alberta, and Milwaukee Public Library Service.
The exact details of publication seem somewhat muddied. Cohen explains that "the normal edition of the work, for distribution to the Members of Parliament, was in wrappers. By order of the Speaker, however, 24 copies were printed and bound in full green morocco by Sangorski and Sutcliffe for presentation I have also examined a cloth-bound copy. A folder of loose photographs of the occasion (reproduced by collotype at the Chiswick Press) was attached to the inside back cover". Which is much the same as Woods's account of the piece, but does not clarify the status of the present copy. This is the third such copy examined by this cataloguer, who has never encountered a wrappered copy.
The text reprints Churchill's speech as Leader of the Opposition: "The House of Commons is a living and deathless entity; it survived, unflinching, the tests and hazards of war; it preserved our constitutional liberties under our ancient monarchy in a manner which has given a sense of stability, not only in this island, but as an example to nations in many lands". He features in all but two of the images. This copy with a gift inscription to civil servant Catherine Elfrida Barson from one John Edwards to the front free endpaper. Barson worked for the Water Division of the Ministry of Works during the Second World War, later for the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. With a clipping from The Times laid in, dated 18 October 1950, "The New House of Commons. Conflict between Ancient Forms".

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Foolscap folio. Original green buckram over bevelled boards, title gilt to the spine and front board, quadruple fillet gilt panel to both boards, Palace of Westminster portcullis centre-tool gilt the lower.


5 collotype plates with two images per plate, title page printed in green.


Very slightly rubbed, spine perhaps a touch dulled, a very good copy.


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