London: John Murray, 1830. Item #04271
The First Appearance of Southey's Life of Bunyan
A Fine Extra-Illustrated Example in a Wonderful Contemporary Gauffered Edge Binding
BUNYAN, John. The Pilgrim's Progress. With a life of John Bunyan by Robert Southey, Esq… Illustrated with engravings. London: John Murray, [&] John Major, 1830.
First 'John Major' edition. Extra-illustrated with an additional fifteen engraved plates including two by John Martin.
Octavo (8 9/16 x 5 3/8 inches; 218 x 137 mm.). civ, 411, [1, imprint] pp. Engraved portrait of John Bunyan, two engraved plates by John Martin and thirty illustrations in the text by Charles Nesbit, John Jackson, and others. Extra illustrated by the insertion of fifteen engraved plates including two by John Martin.
Finely bound in contemporary crimson morocco, covers with triple line gilt border surrounding a triple line border in blind in turn surrounding a decorative ornamental gilt panel. Spine with five shallow raised bands decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, gilt ruled board edges, elaborate wide gilt turn-ins light blue watered silk liners and end-leaves decorated in gilt, all edges gilt and elaborately gauffered. Small rectangular red leather bookplate "Miss Percy" on front liner. Minimal fading to spine, still a very fine example of an early-to-mid nineteenth century 'Gauffered' binding.
This is a very substantial edition of John Bunyan's monumental work, offered here with fifteen extra-illustrations and in an extremely attractive contemporary binding. This edition is the first (and only) to be issued by the prominent publisher and bookseller John Major, whose edition of Izaac Walton's Compleat Angler is so famous. It also contains the first appearance of Southey's life of John Bunyan.
Gauffered edges are first gilded and then further decorated by impressing finishing tools into the textblock edge surface. The technique has been used for expensive bindings over many centuries. Almost all gauffering was done with pointillé tools, or, as in many examples, the designs were built up with repeated impressions of a large dot. Pointillé tools, as well as those cut in outline, produce delicate effects and are more easily impressed on a hard paper surface than are solid tools. The term comes from the French word for honeycomb, and also applies to the practice of crimping or fluting cloth with heated gauffering irons.