With an Especially Fine Painting and 11 Works, including Five Firsts, by Byron
(FORE-EDGE PAINTING). BYRON, GEORGE GORDON NOËL, LORD.
THE GIAOUR, A FRAGMENT OF A TURKISH TALE. [bound with] THE SIEGE OF CORINTH. [bound with] THE PRISONER OF CHILLON. [bound with] POEMS. [bound with] POEMS ON DOMESTIC CIRCUMSTANCES. [bound with] MONODY ON THE DEATH OF . . . SHERIDAN. [bound with] THE LAMENT OF TASSO. [bound with] MANFRED. [bound with] MAZEPPA. [bound with] BEPPO. [bound with] THE AGE OF BRONZE.(London: Printed by T. Davison, For John Murray (except as indicated), 1813; 1816; 1816; 1816; For J. Bumpus, 1816; 1817; 1817; 1817; 1819; 1818; For John Hunt, 1823). 216 x 140 mm (8 1/2 x 5 1/2"). 11 separately published works bound in one volume.. FIRST EDITIONS of "Corinth," "Chillon," "Poems," "Manfred" (second issue), and "Mazeppa." Third Editions of "Giaour," "Tasso," and "Bronze." Fifth Edition of "Beppo." "New" Edition of "Monody." Presumably later edition of "Domestic Circumstances."
ATTRACTIVE BLACK STRAIGHT-GRAIN MOROCCO, rebacked with very great skill in the style of the period, covers framed with simple gilt rules, decorated raised bands flanked by gilt rules, spine panels with blindstamped foliate cornerpieces and gilt hexagonal centerpiece, turn-ins with decorative gilt roll and unusual delicate floral and foliate gilt border on purple silk doublures and free endleaves, all edges gilt. In a (slightly worn) fleece-lined cloth slipcase. WITH A VERY FINE FORE-EDGE PAINTING OF THE CASTLE OF CHILLON. Four engraved plates. Verso of front endpaper with book label of "HNF" (Helmut N. Friedlaender). First Editions Club Byron Bibliography, 19a, 16, 14, 21b, 25. A hint of rubbing to leather, leaves adjacent to plates a little offset, a dozen leaves a bit foxed or soiled, light uniform browning in one publication and to edges of two others, but A VERY ATTRACTIVE COPY, the binding quite lustrous and with no significant wear, the painting especially well preserved, and the various texts mostly quite clean, fresh, and bright.
Very possibly a piece of work that is contemporaneous with the binding here, the fore-edge painting on this volume is among the finest we have offered for sale. Partly because the thickness of the book has put at the artist's disposal an ample amount of space, there is considerable precisely realized detail almost everywhere. The Castle dominating the background provides an example, as one can glimpse a subtle reflection of the structure in the lake it fronts as well as see roof tiles on the various castle towers. Eight persons are walking along the wooded pier that occupies the right third of the scene, and at least five of these are individuated (a servant woman and her son, a gentleman in pantaloons, and an aristocratic couple smartly dressed in expensive clothes, including straw hats). In addition, the two commercial vessels in the painting are depicted with enough specificity that one can determine something significant about their occupants and the activities they are involved in. Over the whole scene the colors are rich, and the shading is extraordinarily sophisticated. Although this item is of considerable interest as a finely executed fore-edge painting, it also comprises a substantial collection of first and early editions of works by Byron, ranging from youthful pieces like "The Giaour," exotic and wildly romantic, to the much more lighthearted "Beppo," written during Byron's happier years in Venice. "Poems on Domestic Circumstances," which appears midway through our volume, alludes obscurely to the dark and mysterious scandals that caused his divorce and his final departure from England. All of the Byron items bound in this volume are textually complete. Our copies of "Corinth," "Chillon," "Manfred," "Mazeppa, " and "Poems" are identical with the described first printings in the First Editions Club Byron Bibliography, with the exceptions that all are bound without the half title, and "Chillon," "Manfred," and "Mazeppa" lack the final leaf or two of ads. In addition, the title page for "Manfred" includes the quotation (probably added early in the press run) that comprises a second issue point, and our final leaf of "Poems" has the Notes transferred to what is supposed to be a blank verso, and an unlisted dedicatory verse on the recto. (ST11700)