THE CHRISTMAS BOOKS: A Christmas Carol; The Chimes: A Goblin Story; The Cricket On The Hearth: A Fairy Tale Of Home; The Battle Of Life: A Love Story; The Haunted Man and The Ghosts Bargain.

First editions. Five volumes, each entirely unsophisticated in the publisher's original cloth. F'scap 8vo. All edges gilt. A Christmas Carol is better than very good, the [Todd's first issue] binding firm with a little bumping at the extremities, the reddish brown cloth clean and the gilt bright. Spine a little rolled. The contents with a contemporary previous owner's inscription to the front endpaper and the occasional foxing spot to the margins are otherwise clean and bright throughout. A very attractive example. The Chimes is in near fine condition, the binding square and firm, the red cloth bright and without fading. The contents with a few light spots and a small contemporary ink inscription to the front endpaper are otherwise clean throughout. The Cricket on the Hearth is a near fine copy, the binding square and firm, the red cloth with a hint of darkening to the spine. The contents with a previous owner's bookplate to the front pastedown are otherwise clean throughout. The Haunted Man is better than very good, the binding square and firm with a little bumping at the spine tips, the red cloth a touch darkened at the spine. The contents, with a few light foxing spots to the reverse of the frontispiece, are otherwise clean throughout and without previous owner's inscriptions or stamps. The Battle of Life is a near fine copy, the binding square and firm with a little bumping at the spine tips, the red cloth and gilt remains bright. The contents with a small ownership name to the front endpaper and with the partially faded circular stamps of Trinity College New Library to the bottom corner of the title page are otherwise clean throughout. Each volume in an individually gilt labelled cloth chemise and housed in a red morocco-backed slipcase, with raised bands and titles in gilt to the spine. A very attractive first edition set of Charles Dickens' Christmas Books. The fragile nature of the bindings and popularity of the books from publication means that the majority of copies encountered in commerce are in repaired, restored or rebound state. Sets in entirely original and attractive condition such as here are therefore very uncommon and highly desirable.

A Christmas Carol, with eight illustrations by John Leech, (four of which are hand coloured steel engravings) is the first edition, third state with the blue and red printed title page dated 1843, yellow endpapers and the 'Stave One' heading on page 1, the text otherwise entirely uncorrected throughout. The Chimes, with thirteen illustrations by Maclise, Doyle, Leech and Stanfield is the first edition of 1844, the vignette title page in the second state. The Cricket On The Hearth with fourteen illustrations by Maclise, Doyle, Leech, Stanfield and Landseer is the first edition of 1846, the advert leaf in the second state. The Battle Of Life with thirteen illustrations by Maclise, Doyle, Leech and Stanfield is the 1846 first edition, the vignette title page in the fourth state, as usual. The Haunted Man with sixteen illustrations by Tenniel, Stanfield, Stone and Leech is the 1848 first edition with all the internal flaws called for in Smith. (Walter E. Smith: Charles Dickens In The Original Cloth, Part II pp.23-24, 35, 42, 63 & 69).

Stock code: 15985

£20,000

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