(London: Edward Moxon, 1830). 188 x 118 mm. (7 3/8 x 4 5/8"). vii, [1], 150 pp., [1] leaf (ads). FIRST EDITION.

SUPERB NAVY BLUE CRUSHED MOROCCO, GILT AND INLAID, BY DE SAMBLANX-WECKESSER (stamp-signed on front turn-in), covers with intricate gilt frame of trumpet vines bearing 36 inlaid scarlet flowers and buds, raised bands, spine gilt in compartments with inlaid trumpet flower at center, gilt titling, turn-ins framed with gilt vine, navy blue moiré silk endleaves, marbled flyleaves, all edges gilt. In a (slightly worn) marbled paper slipcase. Title page with engraving of a putto composing verses. Front flyleaves with bookplates of Edwin Holden (dated 1894) and John Whipple Frothingham. Wise, Ashley Cat. III, 52; Thomson, p. 76. A hint of rubbing to front joint, occasional mild browning (due to paper quality), but A FINE COPY, clean and fresh internally, and in a lustrous binding.

In a lovely Art Nouveau binding by a Belle Époque master, this is a collection of poems assembled by essayist Charles Lamb (1775-1834) to launch the publishing career of his friend and future son-in-law, Edward Moxon (1801-58), to whom he dedicated the work. Composed of rather slight verses composed for the amusement of Lamb’s friends and of more substantial works previously printed in periodicals, this first book bearing Moxon's imprint did well enough to attract the business of other prestigious poets, many of them friends of Lamb. Moxon, who married Lamb's adopted daughter Emma Isola in 1833, went on to print the works of Wordsworth, Shelley, Tennyson, and other luminaries of the Victorian era. The graceful binding is by Belgian master craftsman Charles de Samblancx [or Samblanx] (1855-1943), who began his binding career at age 11, as an apprentice to Coppens. He eventually established his own firm (though from 1889-1909 his gilder Jacques Weckesser was in partnership with him). His binding career extended over several decades, and he worked in a variety of period styles, sensitively reproducing the bindings of previous centuries. His work, often involving great complexity of design, is invariably executed with the highest degree of skill.

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PJP Catalog: 76.082


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