London: Chapman and Hall, 1837. Item #03751
"What was over couldn't be begun,
and what couldn't be cured must be endured"
First Edition 'Pickwick' Bound from the Original Parts by The Hampstead Bindery
DICKENS, Charles. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. With Forty-Three Illustrations, by R. Seymour and Phiz. London: Chapman and Hall, 1837.
First edition in book form of Charles Dickens’s first novel. Bound from the original parts with the original wrappers and some of the advertisements bound in at the end of each volume.
Two octavo volumes (8 5/8 x 5 7/16 inches; 220 x 138 mm.). [iii] - [xiv], [1, directions to the binder], [1, errata], 306;
[i-ii], 307-609, [1, blank] pp. The half-title has been bound at the front of the second volume. Forty-three engraved plates by Seymour, Buss, and “Phiz” (including frontispiece and vignette title), with the Seymour plates from the first steels and the “Phiz” plates from early steels, all without titles or imprints. The two Phiz plates that replaced the original Buss plates are also present making a total of forty-five engraved plates. All errata uncorrected.
Bound ca. 1910 in full green morocco by The Hampstead Bindery (stamp-signed in gilt on front turn-ins. Covers decoratively bordered with gilt flowers and stems, spines with five raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, gilt board-edges, dark green morocco liners, papier vèlin endleaves, top edge gilt. With the original nineteen wrappers (not all first state) from the original parts issue bound in together with several of the 'advertisements' including some of the Pickwick Advertiser. Bookplates of Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey, and blind stamp of M. Scott Chapin on first blank leaves.
Bound from the original monthly parts, with stab-holes present in the inner margins of gatherings. Text with the vast majority of the internal flaws listed by Walter Smith and the following Hatton and Cleaver first issue points: “S. Veller” uncorrected on p. 342; “this friends” on p. 400; the “F” in “OF” imperfect in the headline on p. 432.
First edition of Dickens’s first novel, a publishing phenomenon which transformed the obscure journalist into England’s most famous author in a matter of months. The serial was originally intended to be primarily a vehicle for the cartoons of Robert Seymour, until he committed suicide after the first number was published. Robert William Buss then took over, but he was inexperienced in steel engraving and had to be fired. The last choice, Hablot Knight Browne (“Phiz”), was to be Dickens’s chosen collaborator for the next two decades. Phiz illustrated Parts IV-XX, re-engraved the Seymour plates, and entirely replaced the Buss plates for later issues.
“The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club originally appeared in twenty numbers, bound in nineteen monthly parts, the last part forming a double number, from April 1836-November 1837, except for a lapse of one month—June 1837—when Part 15 was deferred. It was published in book form on November 17, 1837” (Smith).
"Reprints of the monthly parts were clothed in wrappers distinctly at variance with those of the earliest issues, considerable differences in detail and advertisement matter arising, and apart from the first issues of Parts 1 to 8, no less than 13 variants for re-issues of parts 1 to 15 were printed and circulated in the first seventeen months." (Hatton & Cleaver, p. 24).
The Hampstead Bindery was founded by Frank Karslake in 1898. It was the brother organization of the Guild of Women-Binders which was also founded by Karslake. At one time it had a staff of seven including Alfred De Sauty, Harold Karslake and P.A. Savoldelli. As announced in its prospectus: "Its workmen are professionals of great experience in the best English and Continental ateliers. Every book that is bound is never repeated unless ordered".
The men of the Hampstead Bindery apparently trained many of the women, who were culled from such groups as the Edinburgh Social Union, the Kirkby Lonsdale Handicraft Class, the Chiswick Art Workers' Guild, and Miss Bassett's Leighton Buzzard Handicraft Class for crippled girls, among others. The Hampstead Bindery, together with the Guild, published The Bookbindings of To-morrow in 1902 which included many pictures of their bindings. Both exhibitions and sales of their bindings at Sotheby's took place in 1900, 1901, and 1904, after which the organizations appeared to cease existence.
Edward Drummond Libbey (April 17, 1854 – 1925) is the father of the glass industry in Toledo, Ohio, where he opened the Libbey Glass Company (later Libbey, Inc.) in 1888.
Eckel, p. 17. Gimbel A16. Hatton and Cleaver, pp. 1-88. Johannsen, pp. 1-75. Smith, Dickens, I, 3.