(London: [Printed by Charles Whittingham for] William Pickering, 1836). 280 x 188 mm. (11 x 7 1/2"). Two volumes. First Nicolas Edition. A Large Paper Copy.
VERY FINE GREEN PEBBLE-GRAIN MOROCCO, ELABORATELY GILT, BY HAYDAY (stamp-signed on verso of front free endpaper), covers with frame composed of multiple decorative rolls, central vignettes of a cottage by a stream, raised bands, spines gilt in compartments with fish ornament or a cipher of the authors' initials within a floral frame, gilt titling, turn-ins densely gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. WITH 61 ENGRAVINGS on mounted India paper after Stothard and Inskipp, 15 of these full-page. Coigney 44; Oliver 41; Bibliotheca Piscatoria, pp. 228-29. Extremities a little rubbed, otherwise an extraordinarily fine copy--clean, fresh, and bright internally, with generous margins and only the most trivial imperfections, in very decorative bindings with glittering gilt.
This is an especially desirable copy, very attractively bound and in outstanding condition, of one of the finest illustrated editions of "Angler" ever produced. Walton (1593-1683) lived in turbulent times, and he suffered personal tragedy (he endured the deaths of both his wives and eight of his nine children), but, largely because of the present work, he is forever identified with quietude and serenity. First published in 1653, his "Compleat Angler" is the classic work on the art of angling, infused with wise fish lore, written by an indomitable angler who knew every haunt of fresh water fish in the south of England. But, as Day says, "the love of angling is only the outward sign of a gentle inward grace, the soul of a thoroughly good man who loves peace and quiet meditation. If any one man created the idyll of the English countryside, it was Walton." Oliver notes that this edition "is conspicuous for its illustrations" by "some of the most prominent artists of the time," and "Bibliotheca Piscatoria" tells us that "this superb edition contains the variations of all the first five editions, voluminous notes, [and] original and elaborate memoirs of Walton and Cotton, presenting many new facts." According to Coigney, it was produced in a regular and a Large Paper version, the latter (including the present copy) with plates on India paper. The Grolier Club Checklist pronounced that "no finer edition of the 'Complete Angler' will ever be published." Our binder Hayday was known for his decorative work for a large market, using high quality leather and being very liberal with gilt embellishment. In his book on the Oldaker Collection, Nixon describes Hayday as "one of the better documented London binders of the 19th century, since he had the misfortune to go bankrupt in 1861," though "he evidently enjoyed considerable prosperity up to 1848." Our bindings were clearly done when the binder was at the top of his game and are especially impressive specimens of this workshop's products. (ST14920)
Add to Cart Price: $3,900.00
PJP Catalog: 73.110