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E. C. Rare Books

Almanacks

Almanacks

Greenaway, Kate (Illustrated) A set of Kate Greenaway Almanacks’ Including 6 in the Scarce Dust Jacket 1891 & 1892 with almost perfect postage sleeve still attached to the inside front board as issued, 1895 only the front part of the postage sleeve is present, 1894, 1889 & 1890 showing signs of wear and minor loss but still wonderfully preserved in what was such a fragile way to send a book through Royal Mail. Thirteen twentyfourmo volumes (the Almanack for 1887 being oblong twentyfourmo), measuring approximately 3 7/8 x 2 13/16 inches; 99 x 71 mm, and one twelvemo volume of the Almanack for 1884), measuring approximately 5 3/16 x 3 5/8 inches; 132 x 92 mm. No almanack for 1896 was published. Numerous wood-engraved text illustrations after Greenaway printed in color by Edmund Evans. Original bindings of glazed pictorial boards with cloth spines (1883, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888 (white Cloth) 1889, Brown Cloth Gilt design in Postage Sleeve) 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, and 1895), glazed pictorial sides. All beautifully housed in full tan Morocco Solander Box with leather pictorial on-lays from the cover of 1893 Almanack. The Almanack for 1884 is in color pictorial wrappers. The almanack for 1890 is in the original printed mailing wrapper (i.e. dust jackets). An excellent, all that one could hope for set of these charming little books. The mailing wrappers (dust jackets) are as scarce as can be; they were routinely thrown out as soon as the books were received. Their survival is nothing short of miraculous. "The beginning of 1883 had seen the publication of Kate Greenaway's first Almanack. Published at one shilling by George Routledge & Sons, and of course engraved and printed in colours by Mr. Edmund Evans, it achieved an enormous success, some 90,000 copies being sold in England, America, France, and Germany. It was succeeded by an almanack every year (with but one exception, 1896) until 1897, (not present in this set) the last being published by Mr. Dent. The illustrations were printed on sheets with blank spaces for the letterpress, in which English, French, or German was inserted as the market demanded. There are various little conceits about these charming productions which are calculated to appeal to the 'licquorish chapman of such wares'; so that complete sets of them already fetch respectable sums from the collectors of beautiful books, especially when they have not been divested of the paper envelopes or wrappers in which they were originally issued" (Spielmann and Layard (1905), p. 122). Schuster & Engen 3-16.
Works of Byron: With His Letters and Journals and His Life

Works of Byron: With His Letters and Journals and His Life, By Thomas Moore Esq.

Byron, Lord George 17 volumes, octavo Finely bound by Root & Son in ½ light blue Morocco, elaborate gilt tooling to spines in compartments separated by raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt. Very good condition, Vol I has signs of light water stain to first few leaves including portrait, it is lightly stained not affecting text, spines are uniformly sunned yet still a handsome set. Engraved half-titles and title pages. A very attractively bound library set of Byron's works, complete with the three Don Juan volumes added to the edition, including all his poems and plays, letters and journals, and the Life by his friend Thomas Moore. As well as the sympathetic biography written by his friend and literary executor Thomas Moore. DNB admires "the skill with which Moore constructed his portrait" and proclaims his biography "indispensable for students of Byron." (The memoir Byron had entrusted to Moore for publication after his death was determined to be too scandalous to see print and was burned in the presence of Lady Byron and others.) Day notes "the vigor and movement in Byron's letters, a compelling rhythmic prose that sweeps and punches”. The London bindery of W. Root & Son consistently turned-out excellent work, both on fine bindings as here, and on trade bindings and sets. Packer lists the firm in business in Red Lion Square in 1899-1901, and the December 1942 issue of The Rotarian notes with regret that W. Root had been uprooted from their premises on Paternaster Row during the 1941 Blitz. There is a record in the June 10 1905 issue of The Academy "Esteemed Editions of various Authors, some scarce, all in new extra leather bindings W. Root & Son, 29-30 Eagle Street, Red Lion Street, Holborn, W.C." Root & Son are also recorded at the same address in The Literary Year-Book, 1909 (thirteenth annual volume). The British Library have five examples of bindings by Root & Son.
The Life of Sir David Wilkie

The Life of Sir David Wilkie

Cunningham, Allan First edition complete in three volumes. Matching red morocco half binding with marbled boards. Marbled edges. Spine decorated in gilt compartments between 5 raised bands, decorated with vignettes and gilt lettered title and volume compartments. Marbled paste down and end papers. Frontispiece of the subject in first volume. Condition of all three volumes is Very good, some light rubbing to the boards, Printed by A. Spottiswoode in London. 8vo, 5 ½ x 8 ¾ in. Published in 1843, two years after Wilkie’s sudden death while on a tour of the Mediterranean, and containing extracts from his journals and letters. Born in Scotland trained at the British Royal Academy, Wilkie became the originator of British genre painting. In 1830 he was appointed painter-in-ordinary to King George IV. Well-known examples of his works depicting everyday life, including The Blind Fiddler, The Village Festival, and Blind Man’s Bluff hang in the National Gallery of London, the Tate Gallery, Buckingham Palace, and Windsor Castle. Includes letter of introduction to Mr. Vogle, the Principal Painter to His Majesty, The King of Saxony, from Wilkie signed as “David Wilkie.” Red wax seal present, small piece of paper filled in where the seal created a hold, else near fine. Bi-fold 4.5 x 7 in. “ This will be delivered to you by Mr. Charles McGrigor who is the son of my very esteemed neighbor and friend, Sir James McGrigor If you will be pleased to show him the works you are now engaged upon, and inform him of what he should see in Dresden, you will greatly oblige ”