(London: Trübner & Co., 1889). 190 x 142 mm. (7 1/2 x 5 5/8"). xx, , 23-254 pp. No. 17 OF 126 COPIES of the Large Paper Edition.
Very attractive navy blue crushed morocco, gilt, by Morrell (stamp-signed on front turn-in), covers with frame of multiple gilt rules with elaborate fleurons at corners, raised bands, spine compartments with central fleuron, gilt titling, gilt-ruled turn-ins, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt. With frontispiece portrait, full-page endpiece, and 15 illustrations in the text by Alfred Crowquill. Houfe 273. Frontisipiece tissue guard with small finger smudge, the occasional marginal stain, otherwise AN EXTREMELY FINE COPY, clean, fresh, and bright internally, in a virtually unworn binding.
This is a finely bound copy of a work supposedly based upon the real-life adventures of Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Munchausen, a man known for his original and imaginative stories about his military exploits in Russia. Munchausen was such a popular storyteller that travelers in the area would seek him out just to hear him. It has been conjectured that Raspe (1737-94) was one such listener, though it is unclear how much of Raspe's book came directly from Munchausen. Originally published in 1786 as a 42-page chapbook, it was not even attributed to Raspe until 1824, "by which time it had been reprinted, expanded, illustrated, and translated in a vast number of editions." (DNB) Alfred Crowquill was the name used by brothers Alfred (1804-72) and Charles Forrester, who together wrote and illustrated a number of books. Our copy is notable for its pristine binding by Morrell. Prideaux in her "Modern Bookbindings" says that Morrell had a very large business that supplied "all the booksellers" with bindings "designed by his men" that were "remarkable for their variety and merit." (ST14429)
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