London: Printed for B. Blake, 1815. Item #02669
The First Dr. Syntax Imitation
In a Superb Inlaid Binding by Rivière & Son
[COMBE, William, after]. RIVIÈRE & Son, Binders]. The Adventures of Doctor Comicus or The Frolicks of Fortune. A Comic Satirical Poem for the Squeamish & The Queer. In Twelve Cantos, by a Modern Syntax. London: Printed for B. Blake, n.d. .
First edition. Octavo (8 13/16 x 5 1/4 in; 224 x 132 mm). , 269,  pp. Fifteen hand-colored aquatint plates, including frontispiece and extra engraved title.
Bound c. 1925 by Rivière & Son (stamp-signed) in full antelope brown crushed morocco with gilt fillets surrounding an elaborately gilt frame enclosing a reproduced portrait of Dr. Comicus from the extra titlepage comprised of multi-colored calf onlays. Spine compartments reiterate gilt decoration to boards. Broad turn-ins with gilt rules and corner-pieces. Moire silk endpapers. Expertly and almost invisibly rebacked with the original spine laid down. A very attractive example.
One of the many imitations noted by Hardie of William Combe and Thomas Rowlandson's Dr. Syntax trilogy.
"This is the first of many imitations of Dr. Syntax" (Tooley). The success of Dr. Syntax "produced a host of parodies and spurious imitations. Among them the best perhaps is the Tour of Dr. Syntax through London...Others were Dr. Comicus, or the Frolics of Fortune, in 1815, with fifteen plates [reprinted in 1820 with only twelve plates]...It looks as if Com-icus were a pun on Combe's name, to add insult to injury" (Hardie).
Abbey, Life 254. Tooley 431. Prideaux, p. 334. Hardie, p. 317.