A Famous Bibliographical Travelogue Dressed in Lovely Matthews Morocco


(London: Printed for the author by C. Richards, 1838). 251 x 156 mm. (9 7/8 x 6 1/8"). With the list of subscribers in volume I. Two volumes. FIRST EDITION.

HANDSOME EARLY 20TH CENTURY RED MOROCCO, GILT, BY MATTHEWS (stamp-signed on front turn-in), covers with gilt French fillet border enclosing a simple lobed panel, raised bands, spines very attractively gilt in compartments with spiral cornerpieces and centerpiece featuring either a fleur-de-lys, a manuscript scroll and quill, or Dibdin's cipher, gilt inner dentelles, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. With numerous engravings in the text, and 44 ENGRAVED PLATES, as called for, including portraits, views, antiquities, and manuscript facsimiles. Jackson 89; Windle & Pippin A-65; Lowndes I, 641. ◆Plates with occasional minor foxing, otherwise A VERY PLEASING SET IN ESPECIALLY FINE CONDITION, the text clean and bright, and the decorative bindings unworn and remarkably lustrous.

This charming bibliographical travelogue takes us from Peterborough to London and on to Lincoln, York, Durham, Newcastle, Carlisle, Dumfries, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St. Andrews, and the border lands of Sir Walter Scott, with many stops along the way at libraries, cathedrals, castles, and ruins. Dibdin (1776-1847) was perhaps the most visible figure among the bibliophiles and bibliographers of the first half of the 19th century. His "Bibliomania" (1809) was an amusing account of the then-current craze of book collecting among wealthy English aristocrats, and the book, while cynical, did much to encourage the mania. And it was at his suggestion that the Roxburghe Club was founded in 1812. Our binding is typical of the elegant work produced by William Matthews, a Scot who became the leading binder in America during the second half of the 19th century. He was head of the bindery at D. Appleton and Company, was an early member of the Grolier Club, and was an important advisor in the formation of the Club Bindery, a firm organized with the (generally realized) intention of executing fine American bindings that rivalled the best being produced in Europe.

Price: $2,900.00