An Exceptional Copy of the First Edition, First Issue, of "A Christmas Carol"

    Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. London: Chapman & Hall, 1843.

    First edition, first issue, with the text uncorrected, "Stave I" as the first chapter heading, red and blue title-page dated 1843, blue half-title, and yellow endpapers. Small octavo (6.4375 x 4.0625 inches; 164 x 103 mm.). [8], 166, [2, advertisements] pp. Four hand-colored steel-engraved plates (frontispiece and facing pp. 25, 78, and 150) by and after John Leech and four wood-engraved text illustrations (on pp. 37, 73, 119, and 164) by W. J. Linton after John Leech.

    Original publisher's cinnamon vertically-ribbed cloth. Covers decoratively stamped in blind with a single line border enclosing a decorative border of holly and ivy, front cover decoratively lettered in gilt within a gilt wreath of holly leaves. spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt. All edges gilt. Original pale yellow coated endpapers. The binding matches Todd's first impression, second issue, first state, with the closest interval between the blindstamping left border and the left extremity of the gilt wreath measuring 13 mm. and with the upper serif of the "D" in "Dickens" within the wreath unbroken.

    Just slightly skewed; minimal rubbing to corners; upper corners very slightly bumped; one tiny chip to the cloth at the head of the spine and another tiny chip at the foot of the spine; very slight fading to the cloth on the spine and on the covers near the spine and the top edge. Minor paper flaw (small sliver missing) in the lower inner margin of D3 (pp. 37/38), extending onto conjugate leaf D6, where just a tiny sliver is missing. The absolute minimum of faint foxing and soiling. Previous owner's neat penciled signature on front pastedown. An exceptional copy, totally unsophisticated, which shows very well, with the gilt fresh and bright. Housed in a full red morocco pull-off case by Rivière & Son (stamp-signed in gilt). From the H. Barry Morris Collection.

    Eckel, pp. 110-115. Gimbel A79. Sadleir 684. Smith II, 4.

    View all of [The H. Barry Morris Collection of Charles Dickens' First Editions ]

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    3rd-4th Tuesday-Wednesday
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