"The Rarest of all the Jas. Whitcomb Riley Books" - With a Mounted Signed Card

    James Whitcomb Riley. Home-Folks. Indianapolis: Bowen-Merrill Company, [1900].

    First edition. With a small card signed by the author mounted to the front pastedown reading: "Yours truly,/-James Whitcomb Riley/Indianapolis, Ind./Oct. 1895." Twelvemo. 166 pages. Inserted illustrated frontispiece. Printed on laid paper.

    Publisher's full green cloth with gilt lettering, decorations, and rules; top edge gilt. Many pages unopened along bottom edge. Top strip of both boards very slightly darkened. Head of spine lightly frayed; bottom front corner bumped. Gilt leather bookplate of renowned lawyer, politician, and book collector Frank J. Hogan affixed to front pastedown. Dust jacket has browned overall, with a significantly darker spine; minor chipping along edges and spine ends. Generally very good.

    Laid in is the Jacob Blanck Rare Books description of this copy: "The rarest of all the Jas. Whitcomb Riley books, probably a unique copy." Later he quotes Anthony J. Russo's bibliography: "All but a few copies suppressed." Interestingly, even though Blanck was the co-editor of the Bibliography of American Literature, this variant issue - bound in green rather than in red cloth, and with the duplicated subtitle on page 59 - is not noted therein.

    BAL 16647.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2010
    11th-12th Thursday-Friday
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