1814. London: Printed for the Author by W. Bulmer Shakspeare Press and published by Longman, Hurst [etc.], 1814-15.
4 vols., 8vo, ix, lii, i, 383; 503; 509, ; vii, 509, lxxvii pp., with 22 plates including one double-page, as called for, and numerous additional woodcuts, some in red, in the text of all four volumes. These woodcut facsimiles are by the Byfield family. Full red morocco, gilt dentelles. Bookplate of Ross Winans on the front pastedown of vol. one. Some occasional spotting or foxing especially in vol. 4, upper joint of vol. 4 beginning to split at head, generally a very good set complete as issued.
§ First edition of Dibdin’s great work. Loosely inserted at the front of vol. 1 is a manuscript note from Dibdin: “Subscription for copy of the Bibliotheca Spenceriana herewith sent £8.8. T.F. Dibdin Mar. 31.” 500 copies were printed according to the prospectus and most nineteenth-century sources, though A.N.L. Munby states that there were 550 copies; the prospectus states 50 copies on large-paper, but Dibdin (Bibliographical Decameron, vol.II, p.392) says: ‘There were only 55 copies struck off on Large Paper.’... Regular and large-paper copies collate and paginate identically. In vol.I, leaf M4, pp.87-88 occurs in two states, both usually found together, with and without the engraved facsimile of Polish type; the text of the bottom nine lines of p.87 is reset with the headline in a different type face; and there are minor changes in p.88. Ross Winans (1796–1877) was an American inventor, mechanic, and builder of locomotives and railroad machinery. He was one of the United States' first multimillionaires. His “small but choice” library (Dickinson) was bought en bloc by G.D. Smith and sold through various auctions, though his copy of the First Folio was last recorded by Lee in the Census and is now unlocated. Windle and Pippin A25. Item #106767