London: Robson & Kerslake, 1885. Item #04178
Frederick William Pailthorpe's Original Watercolor Drawings
Charles Dickens' Great Expectations
[DICKENS, Charles]. PAILTHORPE, Frederick W. Great Expectations. The Original Pencil and Watercolor Drawings and a Set of Proofs of the Etchings. London: Robson & Kerslake, 1885.
Folio (10 7/8 x 8 1/2 inches; 277 x 215 mm.). Twenty-one pencil and watercolor drawings, each one signed by F.W. Pailthorpe, (6 3/4 x 4 1/4 inches; 172 x 110 mm.), interleaved with corresponding etched proofs on Japanese paper in black ink (probably one of 50 such sets), each mounted and tipped-in to an album, all edges gilt.
Contemporary full red crushed morocco by Wallis (stamp-signed on front turn-in). Covers triple ruled in gilt, spine with five raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, double gilt-ruled board edges, elaborate gilt turn-ins, black coated liners and end-leaves, all edges gilt. Lower corners a little bumped, otherwise fine.
A superb, unique and complete set of Pailthorpe's original watercolor drawings to Great Expectations published by Robson & Kerslake in 1885.
Provenance: Mary Pinkerton Carlisle- the daughter of the founder of the famous detective firm, and wife of Jay F. Carlisle (bookplate); her sale Parke-Bernet, New York, 18 January 1938, lot 108; Kenyon Starling and William Self (bookplates).
Many images are in reverse and differ significantly in the exquisite detail of composition, though not in the essential subject matter. Great Expectations was first published in All the Year Round in 1860-1861, without illustrations, although Dickens commissioned illustrations from Marcus Stone for the Library Edition in 1862. Yale/Gimbel H1826 - recording a set of "21 sketches in watercolor over pencil, on brownish-yellow tracing paper" probably after the etchings.
PAILTHORPE, Frederick W. Great Expectations. By Charles Dickens. London: Robson & Kerslake, 1885.
Limited to 50 sets of Proofs on Japanese paper, in bistre, 51 to 100 (this being copy no. 100).
Large octavo (10 1/2 x 6 7/8 inches; 267 x 175 mm.). Half-title, List of Etchings and Twenty-one proof etchings (including title-page) on Japanese paper in bistre ink. The engraved surface measuring 8 1/4 x 5 inches; 210 x 127 mm.
Loose as issued in the original quarter silk backed engraved paper boards portfolio. Covers very slightly toned at edges, inside paste-downs foxed, very light wear to spine, lacking original silk ties. An excellent example.
Provenance: Kenyon Starling and William Self (bookplates).
Great Expectations was the thirteenth novel by Charles Dickens and was his penultimate completed novel. It was also Dickens's second novel, after David Copperfield to be fully narrated in the first person. It was first published as a serial in Dickens' weekly periodical All the Year Round, from December 1860 to August 1861. In October 1861, Chapman and Hall published the novel in three volumes. Great Expectations was not illustrated at the time of publication. Frederick W. Pailthorpe's twenty-one illustrations to Great Expectations were produced in 1885, twenty-five years after the novel was first published.
Both the original serialization and the subsequent first edition in book form of Great Expectations were issued without illustrations. The only other occasion that Dickens did not collaborate with an illustrator for one of his 'major' novels was for Hard Times (1854).
These 21 etchings by Frederick William Pailthorpe (1838-1914) are from the Robson & Kerslake edition from 1885. Pailthorpe was of the 'old school' of book illustrators as represented by George Cruikshank and Hablot Browne. He was a personal friend of Cruikshank whose influence on Pailthorpe's work is obvious. Over the past fifty years I have seen a couple of first editions, rebound after 1885 and containing the suite of twenty-one etchings.
Yale/Gimble H1133 (recording other issues).