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Charles Dickens First Edition
In our auction last week, we had a fantastic Charles Dickens first edition. None other than “David Copperfield”; please see below:
Rare collection of the 20 installments of ”David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens first edition, as first published in serialized form from 1849-1850. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1849. Before publication in book form, ”David Copperfield” (Dickens’ favorite of his novels) was published in 20 parts in 19 monthly serials, from May 1849-November 1850, all present here and housed in a beautiful custom leather clamshell box. With the original 40 plated illustrations by H.K. ”Phiz” Browne. Bound in original green printed wrappers each measuring 5.75” x 8.75”. Some rebacking and restoration to wrappers, and with some minor toning, soiling or wear. Ownership signatures on a few front wrappers. Some of the plates browned and foxed. Part IV lacks first leaf of ”Advertiser”. Part VII lacks the Punch slip. Part VIII lacks the 12-page ”Advertiser”, and the rare Letts fold-out ad, but has seven diary leaf samples from the Letts ad and an ad in front (”New Illustrated Work by John Leech”). Parts XII, XIII and XVIII lack the 8-page ”Advertiser”. Part XIV lacks the front slip. Part XIX/XX lacks the final leaf of ”Advertiser” and the Douglas Jerrold slip, with several cracked gutters. Overall a very good set of ”David Copperfield”, one of the rarer serialized titles and a great Charles Dickens first edition. Sold at $3,125:
Please see the other Charles Dickens first edition books & autographs that we have sold in the past with prices realized:
Very scarce carte-de-visite photograph of Charles Dickens, signed once “Charles Dickens” upon the lower margin with his usual paraph emphasizing the signature, and again signed upon the verso. Photograph, circa early 1860’s shortly after the publication of “Great Expectations,” is by the photography studio of John & Charles Watkins, with the backstamp showing their 34 Parliament Street address. Photograph captures a somewhat disheveled Dickens in a contrast of both casual and formal attire, standing by an ornate table. It was during Dickens’ lifetime that photography became accessible to most people, although the ability to sign a photograph, such as this, wasn’t available until the invention of the carte-de-visite printed upon paper. The CDV format became popular during the 1860’s, just years before Dickens’ death in 1870. As a result, this signed photograph by Dickens came at a brief intersection of the author’s life and growing photo technology, making it very scarce. CDV measures 2.5″ x 4″. In very good condition with light soiling. Sold for $10,251.86.
Beautiful Charles Dickens First Edition Set of Five Christmas Books — Including Scarce Charles Dickens First Edition, First Printing of “A Christmas Carol”
Rare complete Charles Dickens first edition set of Dickens’ Christmas books, beautifully bound in deep red morocco. London: Bradbury & Evans: 1843-48. A complete set of the five novels that forever wed Dickens’ legacy to the celebration of Christmas. Volumes include “A Christmas Carol,” “The Chimes,” “The Cricket on the Hearth,” “The Battle of Life” and “The Haunted Man.” First edition, first printing of “A Christmas Carol”; first edition, second printing of “The Chimes”; first edition, second printing of “The Cricket on the Hearth”; first edition, fourth printing of “The Battle of Life”; first edition of “The Haunted Man.” With original illustrations, including four full-color plates in “A Christmas Carol.” Books are uniformly bound in sumptuous red crushed levant morocco with gilt spine titles inside five raised bands. Inner covers decoratively tooled with designs unique to each title and double-ruled borders in gilt. Marbled endpapers and top edges gilt. In very good condition with moderate wear and light, expected soiling. Spine has been rebacked on “A Christmas Carol” and its original endpapers are not present. Overall, a very good, scarce first edition set of Dickens’ wondrous holiday works. The best Charles Dickens first edition to own. Sold for $4,440
Charles Dickens autograph letter signed from 1854, shortly after writing ”Hard Times”. Dickens writes from Tavistock House in London on 23 December 1854, writing ”Dear sir, Let me amuse you that your explanation was not at all necessary. I fully understood that you had a great deal to do, and never for a moment accused you in my thoughts of the slightest omission. The result of the night is very gratifying indeed, and fills me with pleasure. There is no hope of Sir towards Dalmer Lytton. He told me only the other day, that he was quite bewildered by such applications, and that where a speech hanging on him was to cast a shadow on his daily life. We resolve of never to ask any such service of each other and your letter binds me for the first time what I promise.” Dickens signs ”Faithfully yours / Charles Dickens” with his ornate paraph to second page of 2pp. letter on two sheets. Matted to blue background underneath brown wooden frame with engraving of Dickens. Letter measures 4.25” x 6.5”, framed to 20.25” x 26”. Light soiling to bottom of second page of letter, and very small tears to top of each sheet. Very good condition overall. Sold for $3,781.
Charles Dickens First Edition of, “A Christmas Carol” — in Original Binding
Lovely first edition, second printing of “A Christmas Carol,” scarce in its original brown binding. Published by Chapman & Hall: London: 1843. With all four color engravings by John Leech present. A remarkably well-preserved copy of Dickens’ classic holiday tale of redemption and grace, peppered generously with his satirical wit. Book has been gently read and is in very good condition, with binding somewhat cocked and light wear to spine and boards; internally, book is very sound. Overall, an attractive and nicely presentable copy. A classic Charles Dickens first edition. Sold for $2,281.05
Charles Dickens autograph letter signed, dated 15 March 1867 from Dublin. Written on Gads Hill Place stationery, his Kent estate where he lived from 1867 until his death in 1870. Shortly after this letter, Dickens began a grueling reading tour of the United States and then a series of ”farewell readings” in England, Scotland and Ireland. Letter addressed to Major Colonel Cunningham mentions one of his readings: ”Dublin Friday fifteenth March 1867 / Dear Sir / I am heartily glad to hear from you again and should have been delighted to dine with you today but that I ‘Read’ tonight. Indeed then I am so engaged which is but occasionally. I thank my stars all social pleasures is denied me, and I lead a mere working life. Believe me always / Very faithfully yours / Charles Dickens / Major General Cunningham”. Written in blue ink, letter measures 4” x 7”, framed to an overall size of 13” x 22.5”. Light folds, else near fine. Sold for $1,892.
Scarce 1838 Charles Dickens First Edition of “Oliver Twist” in Its Original Brown-Purple Cloth Boards
Very rare 1838 Charles Dickens first edition set of his landmark Victorian novel, “Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boys Progress.” Published by Richard Bentley: Burlington Street, London: 1838. Complete in three volumes with “Boz” printed on the spine; unique to the first edition, Boz was Dickens’ pseudonym which was later replaced with “Dickens” at his request. Beautifully bound in the publisher’s original brown-purple cloth, with blindstamped arabesque motifs to front and back boards, and gilt bands and lettering to spines. Twenty-four steel engraved plates by George Cruikshank, some with the footnote: ”London, Richrd Bentley, July 1st, 1837.” Volumes two and three are entirely unrestored and in their original condition. Volume one has been rebacked, preserving the original pastedowns and endpapers. All advertisements and halftitles, as called for, are present in each volume. Each volume bears the bookplate of Susannah Oxenham, the daughter of Hugh Oxenham, a well-known 19th century Englishman, along with a gift inscription from father to daughter. An exceptional set well-preserved and in very good condition with expected foxing, rubbing to the spines and some fading to the boards. Internally in very good condition with tight hinges and clean text. Extremely rare in the publisher’s original boards. A stellar Charles Dickens first edition. Sold for $1,625.
Nineteen Volumes of “Household Words” — A Weekly Journal Conducted by Charles Dickens — First Appearance of His Novel “Hard Times”, One of His Most Sought After Rare Books
London: Office, 16, Wellington Street North, 1855. Includes first appearance of his rare book, “Hard Times,” as well as Elizabeth Gaskell’s “North and South,” and Wilkie Collins’ “The Dead Secret and A Rogue’s Life.” Hardcover cloth boards, binding tight with slight foxing and wear to covers. Text block is clean and bright. Very nice rare book. Sold for $1,460.08.
Charles Dickens First Edition of “Little Dorrit” — 1857 With Illustrations by H. K. “Phiz” Browne
“Little Dorrit” by Charles Dickens. London: Bradbury & Evans: 1857. Charles Dickens first edition, first printing hardcover with H.K. “Phiz” Browne illustrations. Includes all first printing points: B2 instead of BB2 on p. 371, and “Rigaud” for “Blandois” on p. 469, 470, 472 and 473. Quarter-leather boards date from the mid-19th century, upper spine has been internally reinforced. In very good condition with only a few small stains and minimal foxing. Inexpensive Charles Dickens first edition. Sold for $600.
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