The first edition of this title to include illustrations with the text since Bentley’s edition (first published in 1833) only contained an illustrated frontispiece.
This copy would appear to be unique in having such an elaborate and intricate binding by the Viennese binder; J. Weidman ‘k.u.k. Kammerlieferant’ (gilt embossed inside upper cover), which translates as ‘Purveyor to the Imperial and Royal Chamber’. This indicates that Weidman held not only a Royal Warrant (k.u.k. Hoflieferant) but the higher warrant as personal suppliers to the Emperor and the Empress.
An Imperial and Royal Warrant of Appointment during the Austro-Hungarian Empire was issued to vendors who supplied goods or services to the Austrian imperial court in Vienna and/or the Hungarian royal court in Budapest. The warrant was normally an official document, which enabled the supplier to advertise the fact and thus lend itself prestige.
Suppliers continued to charge for their goods and services. The application process took years and was given only to those deemed of the highest quality to be worth to receive the honour upon personal approval of the monarch.
Hugh Thomson (1860-1920) renowned illustrator, in pen and ink, of classic titles; he was born in Ireland where his skills as an illustrator were recognised while still a teenager. Consequently Thomson was trained by John Vinycomb, the head designer at Marcus Ward & Co., a prominent Belfast publishing house. He subsequently moved to England, working from 1883 for MacMillan & Co., illustrating all six of Jane Austen’s novels and other literary classics. By 1900 he had become one of the most popular illustrators of his time. However, during the First World War there was less demand for his style of work and he took a job with the Board of Trade until his untimely death from heart disease.
First fully illustrated edition, one of 250 large paper copies ‘printed for England and 25 copies for America’; 4to (250 x 168 mm); with the illustrations specially printed on China paper and laid down, a very few, minor marginal marks, browning to fore-edge, else fine; contemporary Venice style binding by J. Weidman of Vienna, the upper cover onlaid with intricate strapwork, enhanced and panelled in gilt, the rear cover blind-embossed with a decorative honeycomb motif, top edge gilt, others untrimmed, as published, rebacked preserving original tree calf spine, near-fine.
Stock ID: 99311