Book with MANY Points of “Pull”).
Wills, William Henry, ed. Poets' wit and humour. New York:
D. Appleton & Co., 1861. 8vo (22.8 cm, 9"). , 278,  pp.; illus.
Click the images for enlargements.
First U.S. edition: “Illustrated withone
hundred engravings from drawings by Charles Bennett and George
H. Thomas.” The work was edited by a friend and collaborator of Charles
Dickens; from Chaucer to Swift to “Saint Anthony's Sermon to the Fishes,”
Wills's comic selections are delightfully entertaining, and their wood-engraved
illustrations equally amusing.
Publisher's deluxe black calf, covers and spine elaborately embossed and stamped
in blind and gilt with central vignette of a cherub dressed as a jester and
playing a lyre. All edges gilt. The
embossing plaque is signed with the designer's initials: “R.D.”
Robert Dudley. This is an English publisher's binding,
most likely done using the English sheets with an Appleton title-page.
For more POST-1820 AMERICANA,
This work is rarely found in the deluxe binding: The handsomely gilt-stamped
publisher's cloth is the norm.
NSTC 2W24418; Allibone 2762. For binding, see: Morris
& Levin, Art of Publisher's Bookbindings, 44. Binding as above,
showing minor wear to extremities and front cover vignette, original silk
bookmark detached and laid in. Volume slightly shaken with text block starting
to pull away from spine; this is the kind of volume that wants to do that,
and the reader will want to “cradle” it in hand — that done,
no worries. Front fly-leaf with early pencilled gift inscription and with
a Maine druggist's small ticket. Mild to moderate foxing. Both
funny and decorative, in a publisher's binding that may fairly be called “DAZZLING.”
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Philadelphia Rare Books
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