Stunning 4 vol. in 3 set of Froissart's classic Chronicles of England...Illuminated by 72 beautiful colored chromolithograph illustrations. An outstanding example.
Author: Sir John Froissart. Translated by Thomas Johnes, Esq.
Title: Chronicles of England, France, Spain, and adjoining countries.... (Volumes I and II). Illuminated Illustrations of Froissart (Volumes I and II, bound in one volume).
Publisher: London: William Smith. Printed by Bradbury Evans, Whitefriars.
Year: 1842 (Chronicles Vol. I and II). 1844 (Vol. I of Illuminations). 1845 (Volume II of Illuminations)
Pages: Vol. I of Chronicles: [1 blank] + Illumintated title page + xlvii + 768 + [1 blank]. COMPLETE. Vol II of Chronicles: [1 blank] + xiv + 733 + [1 blank]. COMPLETE. Vols I and II of Illuminations: Contain 72 color plates, together, each with paper-guard and 1-2 pages of explaination for each plate. Illuminated title pages for both volumes in addition to standard title pages. COMPLETE. Entire work COMPLETE.
Size: Large 8vo (7.5" by 10"). Large, heavy books.
Condition: Bindings are Very Good to Near Fine. Text is Near Fine to Fine. Illuminations are Near Fine to Fine.
This is a stunning set of a highly desireable edition of Froissart's Chronicles. In fact, Charles Dickens held a copy of this edition in his private library. The translation has been called the most important of the 19th century and is illustrated throughout with 116 black and white engravings. Following the release of this translation, illuminations from the original manuscripts of the Chronicles were collected from the British Museum, the Biblioteque Royale, and other sources; subsequently, they were published in two volumes. The result was two remarkable volumes of color chromolithographs, most of which are burnished with gold. These 72 plates account for the majority of the value of these sets. A complete set, as this one, together with a complete set of all 72 color plates is quite scarce. The set offered here is even more scarce due to its exemplary condition. The period bindings are half, red, full-grained morocco over marbled boards. The binding was done by Hayday (1796 - 1872) who was a well-known, London-born binder. Hayday's bindings were well-known and began increasing in monetary value, and today his bindings can be found in various museums. There is some rubbing to the marbled paper, and the edges also show some loss/rubbing to the paper. The hinges are well-intact though there is some minor loss there (tiny chips). The corners are solid as are the heads and tails of the spines with very minimal rubbing. Otherwise, the bindings would be Fine. As they are, they are Near Fine. These are well-bound volumes with no loose pages. The text blocks are tight and square with gold gilt to the top page ends. The text is in wonderful condition. Save the usual faint spotting to the first few pages, the text would be Very Fine. As it is, it is nearly as new. There are two very finely engraved ex-libris stamps inside of the covers (see photo). The text itself appears to be unread, and on one leaf, the front page ends are still attached and uncut -- further evidence that the book was not read (at least not entirely.) There are no tears or other flaws to state. The paper is high quality and remains very bright and sturdy. Scarce, Fine condition. The color illuminations are also nearly like new. The first few pages, again as is common, exhibit the normal faint spotting (very slight imperfections). The plates look like new. There is one plate which has a small smear to the margin (less than one inch), but it appears to have been done when the plate was being colored as opposed to being a result of handling or water. So, this is a flaw that existed from issuance. It is very minor and does not effect the plate color at all. Otherwise, there are no flaws to state. The paper, again, is very high quality and very bright. Again, very rare condition for a very rare book. Overall, this is an examplary set. The owner will truly cherish it. However, you should be warned that the condition is so clean that you may be scared to touch it. Handle it carefully -- it is a real gem.
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