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    First Edition of Master Humphrey's Clock in the Original Cloth

    Charles Dickens. Master Humphrey's Clock. With Illustrations by George Cattermole and Hablot Browne. London: Chapman and Hall, 1840-1841.

    First edition in book form. Three large octavo volumes (10 x 6.75 inches; 254 x 171 mm.). [4], iv, 306; vi, 306; vi, 426 pages. With 198 wood-engraved text illustrations, including (according to Hatton and Cleaver) two frontispieces (Volumes II and III), 130 illustrations, and twenty-five decorative initials by H. K. Browne ("Phiz"); one frontispiece (Volume I) and thirty-eight illustrations by George Cattermole; one illustration by Samuel Williams (Volume I, p. 46); and one illustration by Daniel Maclise (Volume II, p. 108).

    Publisher's primary binding of dark grayish bold-ribbed cloth. Covers decoratively stamped in blind in an elaborate flower and leaf design within a thick and thin line border, front cover pictorially stamped in gilt with a clock whose hand points to the hour which represents the volume number, spines elaborately stamped and lettered in gilt. Later reddish brown endpapers. Edges of Volumes I and II sprinkled dull red, edges of Volume III marbled. Each volume just slightly skewed; spines very slightly faded; some very slight discoloration to the cloth covers; corners and spine extremities rubbed, with a few tiny splits to the cloth at the spine ends; Volume III with a small split to the cloth on the rear joint. Some mostly marginal soiling and staining. Volume II with a paper repair to the outer blank margin of M4 and M5 (pp. 127/128 and 129/130). Volume III with a paper repair to the upper blank corner of S5 (pp. 201/202), the upper blank corner of FF6 (pp. 335/336) torn away, a small piece torn from the outer blank margin of NN6 (pp. 419/420), and a few pencil annotations in the lower blank margin of p. 85. This is a very bright copy, which despite the above mentioned flaws, shows very well.

    "Master Humphrey's Clock was originally published in 88 weekly numbers, beginning with No. 1 on April 4, 1840, and ending with Nos. 87 and 88 (separately) on November 17, 1841. Every fourth or fifth week the textual portion of the weekly numbers was collected into a single monthly part and distributed in that form. There are 20 monthly parts (April 1840-November 1841), 8 of which consist of 5 weekly numbers each, and 12 of 4 weekly numbers each. After the monthly parts, Master Humphrey's Clock was issued in three volumes with yellow endpapers and with marbled endpapers and marbled edges. The next sequence in the publishing history of Master Humphrey's Clock was the issuance of its two novels, The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge, as separate volumes with and without the Master Humphrey data. Chapman and Hall then continued to publish further issues of the two novels from the first edition plates" (Smith I, p. 57, note 3).

    According to Smith (I, p. 47), some copies have Spanish marbled endpapers with a light brown body and veins of black, blue, yellow, and red and marbled edges; some copies have light yellow endpapers and trimmed edges that are sprinkled dull red; and still other copies have endpapers with a red, blue, and green hair-vein marbled pattern and marbled edges.

    "The first volume of Master Humphrey's Clock was published on October 15, 1840; the second April 12/15 1841; and the third December 15, 1841. Vols. I and II, 8s. each; Vol. III, 10s. 6d. The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge were published as separate novels on December 15, 1841, each in one volume" (Smith I, p. 47, note 4). From the H. Barry Morris Collection.

    Eckel, pp. 67-70. Gimbel A51. Smith I, 6.

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

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
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