1863. London: Charles Griffin, 1863.
8vo, xxxviii, (2), 682, (2, ads) pp. A handsome and very-rare example of Victorian publisher’s papier mâché binding with red-colored show-through, rebacked with off-white calf with original red calf gilt backstrip laid down. Trivial wear at extremities, a couple of unobtrusive chips and small areas of wear. Marbled endpapers, gilt edges. Very good.
§ Fourth edition, so stated on the copyright page. All editions in this binding are of the utmost rarity. Henry Southgate (1818-1888) “made a considerable reputation for himself as a compiler of selections in prose and verse from English classics,” and his collection of aphorisms and quotations saw a number of reprintings from its initial publication in 1857; in the “nineteenth century [Many Thoughts] was considered equal to Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations” (DNB). It remains his most-popular work. Black papier mâché publisher’s bindings are “supreme examples of Victorian Gothic and perhaps the most successful of all the ingenuities of Victorian commercial book binding” (McLean, Victorian Book Design, 210). Though McLean also writes that “the minimum, and probably the normal, quantity order of these bindings was 1,000,” examples in the Black Prince style are extremely rare, and we have heard of only two copies of this title, Robin Beaumont’s and ours. McLean, Victorian Book Design and Colour Printing, 210-214. De Beaumont, PLA Spring 1996, p. 18 and p. 21 illustrates this very copy. Unknown to Beckwith. Item #106981