1847 The Comic History of England, A'Beckett. Illustrated by John Leech


In handsome contemporary bindings, the first edition (1847) of A'Beckett's Comic History of London, as illustrated by John Leech with 20 full-page color steel engravings and 240 in-line woodcuts.

Much like the modern Horrible Histories, this seminal work gently pokes fun at the history of the United Kingdom, with many great illustrations to accompany the stories.

This copy has rich legal provenance. The California Supreme Court Justice William P Lawlor's ex-libris is on the pastedowns, and a receipt from the 1950s antiquarian shop of M.J. Royer (Los Angeles) sells the books to the Los Angeles lawyer Earl Adams (July of 1959).

Physical Attributes -

Each volume measures approx. 21.5 x 14 x 2.5 cm. Contemporary bindings with calf spines and corners, marbled paper covering hardcover boards. Board and corners ruled in gilt, with some inner blind ruling. Spines decorated in a uniquely 19th century style with gilt decorations, surrounding the title in gilt on red morocco; a cornocopia of wheat is at the bottom of each spine decoration (in gilt). All edges marbled. Marbled endpapers. Illustrated. 20 full-color steel engraving plates (counted, complete). Many in-line woodcut illustrations (240 per title pages). Pages - 320, 304

Condition -

See pictures. Contemporary bindings with some wear. Edge, joint and corner wear. V1 has a tiny chip at top of spine. A little crazing to spine leather. Two ex-libris plates on each pastedown. Numerous bookseller marks on blank 1st endpaper "First issue scarce", etc..

Some toning and foxing throughout, light, as is typical to this period's paper. Tissue guards in place; yet still the plates have ghosted onto the facing pages including the title page. Some thumbing on title page of v1. Ink spot fore-edge margin v1 33/34, small. Fore-edge margin spot (less than 1 cm) 149 v1. Bookseller ticket "M.J. Royer" on rear pastedowns. Scuff line on v2 "Engravings on Steel" index page. When plates mounted with bottom-edge to fore-edge, some text was trimmed at bottom-edge during binding.

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