We are proud to offer a rare Mark Twain classic in a true 1st state (with Franklin imprint) and bound in the rarest state of publisher's bindings. Twain discouraged the production of the deluxe calf bindings because the expense made it more difficult for most people to afford the book. But the book was offered in several binding states: cloth, sheep, and calf. Calf bindings were among the first issued. Primarily, the cloth bound books sold as they were the cheapest, and this is evident in the market today with many cloth bound versions available; however, most of the cloth bound copies are second state or mixed states. The "library sheep" bindings were less common, often mixed state, and those that are available today are typically falling apart (typical of sheep skin bindings of the period). The deluxe half-calf bindings were most expensive, and not many copies were sold in this state of binding. As you may imagine, today, the deluxe calf binding state is by far the most rare and coveted. They were produced and offered only for a limited time during the initial printing.
Adding to the rarity of this copy is the provenance. We acquired numerous books from the historic estate at The Grove in Tallahassee, Florida. Please click here to learn more about the history of this copy. A letter attesting to the provenance of this book will be provided to the buyer, and a sample letter is shown in the photos, below.
The condition of the binding is Good + to Very Good. The structure is very tight and sound but there are some of the typical flaws: edgewear with loss to some paper portions, lower corners bumped and rubbed, some scratches and scuffs, and the front board is very slightly bowed (very slightly, must look carefully to notice). Internally, the condition is Good, or showing signs of average use. The book has been read, and there are some finger marks and soiling in places throughout. The last page has a closed tear at the top margin, some old signatures to front blank end-paper. The pages are all very securely bound. Overall a solid example with signs of average use. The hinges and gutters are all in great shape as well.
This is a great opportunity not only to acquire a rare Twain in a first state, but also presented with great provenance in the extremely scarce deluxe publisher's calf binding.
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