(London: John Stockdale, 1804). 275 x 210 mm. (10 3/4 x 8 1/4"). Two volumes. Large Paper Copy.
VERY HANDSOME CONTEMPORARY MAROON STRAIGHT-GRAIN MOROCCO, INTRICATELY GILT, covers with gilt and blind-tooled borders, central gilt armorial device topped with a floral motif, raised bands, compartments with intricate gilt decoration and gilt lettering, gilt-rolled turn-ins, all edges gilt. EACH VOLUME WITH A MODERN FORE-EDGE PAINTING BY MARTIN FROST (signed with his trident monogram) DEPICTING SCENES FROM THE BOOK. With two engraved title pages and 15 engraved plates (including two frontispieces) designed by Stothard. Front pastedown of volume I with armorial bookplate depicting coat of arms of "Le Breton." Lowndes I, 614. Trivial scuffing to extremities, a few very light scratches to covers, but the bindings in excellent condition, the color rich and the gold very bright; mild to moderate foxing to plates and adjacent pages, scattered light marginal stains, but generally the text fresh and clean, and with generous margins.
This is an item with several sources of pleasure, including the lovely bindings, the skillful fore-edge paintings, the famous text, and the attractive illustrations. First published in 1719 and still beloved today, "Robinson Crusoe" is a tale of endurance and ingenuity in which a marooned seaman rises to the challenges of 28 years on a desert island, his solitude relieved only by the eventual appearance of the loyal native, Friday. This edition of the classic adventure tale includes "The Life of Daniel De Foe by George Chalmers, Esq." and engravings by Thomas Stothard (1755-1834), reproduced here from the 1790 edition by the same publisher. According to the DNB, Stothard "illustrated almost the whole range of English literature with a taste that seldom failed and a sympathy that was often remarkable." The fore-edge paintings were executed some years ago by the foremost practitioner of the art working today, Martin Frost. Each painting depicts two scenes featuring Crusoe engaged in various tasks separated by a complex emblem composed of ship materials and tools of survival. Since 1970, the UK-based Frost has done more than 3,000 fore-edge painting, many of them split or double paintings. His work is displayed in the British Library, the Lilly Library at Indiana University, and a number of other notable libraries and museums. In 2019, Frost was honored with the civil award of MBE by Queen Elizabeth II "for services to Disappearing Fore-edge Painting." (ST14310b)
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PJP Catalog: 74.189