"The Rarest Item in a Cruikshank Collection" (Cohn)
One of the Rarest Items in a Rowlandson Collection
CRUIKSHANK, George, & Thomas ROWLANDSON (illustrators). The Wits Magazine And Attic Miscellany. London: Thomas Tegg, .
First and only edition, twenty original parts in two volumes. Two small octavo volumes (6 3/16 x 3 3/4 inches; 156 x 96 mm.). 360; 360 pp. Forty hand-colored etchings, sixteen by George Cruikshank and twenty-four by Thomas Rowlandson.
Bound ca. 1900 by Rivére & Son (stamp-signed on inside turn-in) in full blue crushed levant morocco. Covers with five gilt line borders and elaborate floral corner decorations. Spines with five raised bands, elaborately decorated in gilt in four compartments and gilt lettered in the remaining two compartments. Gilt ruled turn-ins with elaborate floral corner decorations, maroon paper end-leaves, all edges gilt. Armorial bookplate of Pennsylvania banker and industrialist Reuben Jay Flick (1816-1890) on both front paste-downs, and engraved (George Cruikshank) bookplate of Pennsylvania attorney and noted Dickens and Cruikshank collector Marshall R. Anspach (1895-1962) on both front endleaves. Complete with the front and back printed brown paper wrappers for parts lll & lV bound in at the end of volume one, and the front and back printed brown paper wrappers for part XVl bound in at the end of volume two. The two plates and the two vignette title pages for parts eight and nine in volume one have been expertly re-margined (at the time of binding) with just the loss of the imprint on the two title-pages. Upper joint of volume one very slightly cracked but still sound. Still an exceptionally fine and clean copy of an incredibly rare work.
"This is one of the rarest books illustrated by Cruikshank" (Douglas, The Works of George Cruikshank Classified and Arranged..., p. 8).
Of extreme rarity, only one copy has appeared at auction since 1923 (Bonhams, London. October 3rd, 2000, lot 140 £4,800 / $6,960 - bound in contemporary calf). Incomplete copies came to auction in 1897 (Bruton copy) and 1903 (at Phillips).
OCLC and KVK and COPAC record only five copies worldwide: Yale, Huntington Library, Harvard, Princeton, Univ. of Texas (Ransom Center, imperfect) Univ. of Chicago.
"Originally issued in parts, of which a complete set is unknown. The text is practically identical with the work known as 'Tegg's Prime Jest Book,' published in 1812, which was entirely illustrated by Rowlandson, and also with the 'Sprit of English Wit,' which corresponds with Vol. 2, and the 'Spirit of Irish Wit,' corresponding with Vol. 1, which have as frontispieces one of the plates from the 'Wit's Magazine.' The work contains twenty coloured plates and twenty coloured engraved title page vignettes, of which six plates and six vignettes in Vol. 1, and two vignettes in Vol. 2, are by G. Cruikshank, while the remaining illustrations are by Rowlandson... The work is perhaps the rarest item in a Cruikshank collection. The Douglas-Widener copy [Houghton Library,Harvard], complete, uncut, bound in boards, with three of the wrappers to the original parts, and perhaps the only perfect copy in existence, brought at the former's sale, £205Ö" (Albert M. Cohn. George Cruikshank. A Catalogue Raisonne, p. 243).
The Two Irish Labourers (G.C.)
Irish Gentleman & His Apple Tree (Title-Page Vignette by G.C.)
A Cheap Beating (G.C.)
Lieutenant Connolly (Title-Page Vignette [by G.C.] unsigned)
Peter the Blind Shoeblack and the Louzy Glister Pipe
Pat and the Cookmaid (Title-Page Vignette)
Modesty For Money
Scandal Defeated (Title-Page Vignette)
A Tender Wish (Title-Page Vignette)
Definition of a Drunkard
Irish Recruiting (Title-Page Vignette)
Irish Sermon (G.C.)
Tit For Tat (Title-Page Vignette by G.C.)
Mistakes of a Night (G.C.)
The Sweep (Title-Page Vignette by G.C.)
The Vehicle (G.C.)
The Rehearsal (Title-Page Vignette by G.C.)
Giving up the Ghost (G.C.)
A Hard Head (Title-Page Vignette by G.C.)
The Clown in a Sedan
Your Colours are beautiful said a deeply rouged lady to a Portrait Painter... (Title-Page Vignette)
Not Worth Turning (Title-Page Vignette)
The Monk and the Jew
Gray the Poet... (Title-Page Vignette)
Whilst in the dark on thy soft hand I hung...
Little bandy-legged Thomas went out in a gig... (Title-Page Vignette)
The Epigram and Receipt (G.C.)
Logic (Title-Page Vignette by G.C.)
Plebeian Pleasantry (G.C.)
Affair of Honour (Title-Page Vignette by G.C.)
Consistency (Title-Page Vignette)
As It Happens
A Pick-Poket (Title-Page Vignette)
The Choice of a Wife by Cheese
Practical Joke (Title-Page Vignette)
The Affectionate Wife (Title-Page Vignette)
Cohn, 857. Douglas, pp. 8, 259. Not in Abbey or Tooley.
(To order this item, or for more information, please call 818-222-4103)