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DICKENS, Charles.

The Posthumous Papers of The Pickwick Club.

With forty-three illustrations, by R. Seymour and Phiz.

London: Chapman and Hall, 1837 Stock Code: 138130
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Publisher's deluxe binding

First edition, bound from the original parts, in the rare primary publisher's trade binding of plum coloured full morocco. Upon completion of the publication in parts, Chapman and Hall issued The Pickwick Papers in book form in cloth for 21s., half-morocco for 24s. 6d., and the present full morocco with gilt edges for 26s. 6d. (Patton, p. 326).

They also offered a binding service, so that subscribers who had a set in parts could have them bound in a style matching the book form issue. This is such a public/subscriber bound copy, with the stab-holes generally visible in the gutter.

This plum coloured morocco binding precedes a similar green morocco variant, which was likely issued alongside the primary morocco binding of Nicholas Nickleby in 1839. The spine is here dated 1837, with other examples dated 1838, or undated. Both book forms and public/subscriber bound copies are found in this binding (the determining factor for any primary demy octavo Dickens binding). Whilst both are rare, in this trade morocco binding, book forms outnumber those of public/subscriber-bound copies.

With regard to the oft-cited points, the copy has the two Buss plates replaced by those of Phiz; the early Seymour plates before they were replaced by those of Phiz; "Veller" on the engraved title (irrelevant, as both "Weller" and "Veller" plates were in use simultaneously and there is no means to distinguish which was engraved first); the signature "E" on page 25 indicating that sheet is of the later printing. It is important to note that all these frequently-cited points only have bearing on the priority of the original parts - they do not have any consequence of "issue" for a public/subscriber-bound copy, nor, for that matter, for the book form issue, in which the sheets and plates available when bound up at the end of the 19-month part issue were those of the latest printing.

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Demy octavo (212 x 132 mm). Original deluxe binding of purple hard-grain morocco, spine lettered in gilt, covers panelled in blind, yellow endpapers, gilt edges. Housed in a custom cloth chemise within purple half morocco box, spine lettered in gilt.


Etched vignette title page, frontispiece (with "Veller" on the sign), and 41 plates by Robert Seymour and H. K. Browne.


19th-century bookplate of John Clowes to front pastedown. Recased, sig. A reinserted, spine sunned with light repair, rubbing and splits to joints, hinges split but holding, some foxing to text, plates browned. A good copy.


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