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    [Edward Lear]. Book of Nonsense. London: Thos. McLean, 1846. First edition. Two volumes in one; small oblong folio (5.625 x 8.125 inches; 143 x 207 mm.). Unpaginated; seventy-four lithographic plates, of which two are title-leaves, drawn by Lear with limerick captions; three plates supplied ("Old Man of Berlin," "Young Lady of Troy" and "Old Sailor of Compton") from two different sources (each with three-line limericks); "Old Person of Ems" bound upside-down. Slightly later black half-calf over marbled paper-covered boards; sympathetically rebacked with the original spine laid down; spine lettered and double-ruled in gilt; page edges seemingly sprinkled red with most ink since worn away; endpapers renewed. Boards lightly worn with some larger bruising to the rear board; board edges worn; corners worn and slightly bent. Front pastedown with remnants of a bookplate since removed; front free endpaper with bookseller notes written in pencil over a faint gray blotch from earlier erased pencil; typed letter, signed, from a bookseller requesting collation information about this book, dated 1951, on Scribner's of New York letterhead, tipped to the rear pastedown; endpapers lightly foxed. Plates faintly foxed, edges worn; "Old Person of Ems," "Old Person of Chester," "Young Lady whose Eyes" and "Old Man of Kilkenny" fore edges with old paper repairs; "Old Person of Chester" with a small chip to the lower margin "Young Lady" with two closed tears on the lower edge, mended with old tape repairs, and two soft vertical creases; small interior puncture to "Old Man of Nepaul" just below the caption; the three plates following the second title-leaf with a faint dampstain to the upper margin, only slightly affecting any illustrations; sizeable, but very faint, tidemark to the last five plates; some trace soiling and marginal wrinkling. Very good. A significant and uncommon children's book, credited with popularizing the limerick. Justin Schiller's 1988 Nonsensus located just twenty-three copies, of which only eleven were complete.

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2018
    7th Wednesday
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