The Posthumous Papers of The Pickwick Club.
With forty-three illustrations, by R. Seymour and Phiz.London: Chapman and Hall, 1837 Stock Code: 148088
First edition, bound from the original monthly parts as published from March 1836 to November 1837, with the stab-holes visible; a handsome copy. Pickwick was Dickens's first great success, the novel that transformed him from an obscure journalist into England's most famous writer in a matter of months.
Bound into this copy is both the Buss plates, that facing p. 74 also with its Phiz replacement, the front wrapper of an original part, an additional portrait of Dickens, the Seymour plates re-engraved by Phiz, and with the earlier states of the plates before Chapman and Hall's imprint was added; it has the "Veller" state to the engraved title. Towards the end of the 19th century, as Pickwick entered the canon of the highspots of collectable literature, binders enhanced copies by including the Buss plates and their replacements, seeking out the earlier states of plates and parts, and binding in additional plates and wrappers as here. The then-large number of surviving parts, following the great number printed during the Pickwick phenomenon, made this an easier task for the late-Victorian binder than would be possible today. It is worth noting, despite bookseller fashion, that any copy bound from the 19 original parts will always be a mix of issues (and the key indicator of issue for the parts, the wrappers and advertisements, will be gone), and as of such any copy with an issue statement is erroneously described.
Octavo (209 x 132 mm). Late 19th-century tree calf by Mansell, twin red and brown morocco labels, spine gilt in compartments, marbled endpapers, gilt edges.
Engraved title page, frontispiece, and 40 plates by H. K. Browne (Phiz), and 2 plates by Buss; extra-illustrated with an additional portrait of Dickens, and the front wrapper of the original part VI.
Bound without half-title. Joints and extremities neatly restored, light browning and foxing to plates as often else contents clean; an excellent copy.
Eckel pp. 17-78; Hatton and Cleaver pp. 1 ff; Kremers pp. 54-69; Smith, I, 3.
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