1853. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1852-1853.
19 parts (20 numbers) in 2 vols. Vol. 1: 8vo, xiv, 624 pp. with the full text, 40 plates etched by "Phiz", including the engraved title, plus the original wrappers and some ads bound in. Full green morocco gilt with pink silk doublures, t.e.g. Vol. 2: Bound ads (the majority), various sizes and paginations. Half green morocco gilt with marbled paper sides and endpapers, t.e.g. Very handsome bindings by Zaehnsdorf, slightest rubbing to morocco, the finest set known.
§ First edition, bound from the original parts, with the advertisements collected in a separate volume. Dickens' great byzantine tale of family secrets, rapacious lawyers, and innocent victims, which helped lead to actual legal reform in the United Kingdom. Originally serialized in 19 parts (the final part contained two numbers), this is surely the finest bound set known, presented with the wrappers, illustrations, and advertisements in a superb Zaehnsdorf binding. Lacking only 2 of 16 slips for Household Words (issues 5 and 6 per Hatton & Cleaver), and the slip announcing the plate mishap from part 9. The ad for "The Village Pastor", often lacking, is present, as are all issues of the Bleak House Advertiser (divided between vols. 1 and 2), and 80 additional ads and inserts. Previously sold by Colin Franklin to a private collector and thence to us. Eckel 79-81. Sadleir 682. Hatton & Cleaver pp.275-304. Item #123284