The First American Edition of the Book of Nonsense

A few pages from an eBay auction; from the description:

A BOOK OF NONSENSE. By EDWARD LEAR. From The Tenth London Edition. With Many New Pictures And Verses.

Published by M. Doolady, Agent, New York, [1863]. First American edition, issued simultaneously, and with the same sheets, as the 1863 Willis P. Hazard, Philadelphia printing. Both of these early American printings are quite scarce – it appears that only Yale University has both imprints in their collection. If you also need great deails on metal signs online services, visit for more information.

Hardbound, oblong small folio, 8.75” x 5.75”, Original pictorial yellow paper covered boards, with rear cover numbered 113 containing “Young Lady of Clare,” textured brown cloth spine/spine margins, 112 numbered leaves.  Each leaf is printed on one-side only, and illustrated with a Woodcut Engraving after designs by the author.

CONDITION: Imperfect – lacking 2 leaves containing plates 41 and 77.  The original hardcovers are lightly stained/worn and scraped, and the edges are worn through revealing the boards beneath, the cloth spine covering is faded/chipped/torn and has been amateurishly glue repaired and the front/rear inner hinges reinforced with clear tape, otherwise the covers remain legible and quite bright.  Internally, there is an old Kirby & Co. Booksellers label (upscale 1850-70’s New York City establishment) on the front paste-down; the first two and last two leaves (title page plus leaves 2, 111, and 112) are damaged and worn (mostly at the gutter margins from the glue/clear tape repairs, and with closed tears/finger smudges, edge wear and verso tape repairs) the title page is the most worn and is clear taped to the paste-down and on its verso to the gutter margin of leaf 2, it is edge-chipped/torn, creased and has clear tape repairs to the verso; leaf 27 has a closed tear and BB sized hole in the image; leaf 53 has a stiff gutter margin crease; and leaf 103 has a 2” closed edge tear; there is light shorelining, scattered light foxing, and some small staining throughout, some corner-tip creases/chips, and a few small closed gutter margin tears; nonetheless, despite the flaws, the 150 year old text and woodcut illustrations remain very crisp and bright.  Though flawed – A Rare Example of this 1863 First American Printing.  (Without these flaws, copies of this imprint have been sold in the range of $2000-$3000 dollars.)

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