7,000 - 10,000 USD
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- Mirth without Mischief. Containing The Twelve Days of Christmas; The Play of the Gaping-Wide-Mouthed-Wadling-Frog; Love and Hatred; The Art of Talking with the Fingers; And Nimble Ned's Alphabet and Figures. London: Printed by J. Davenport ... for C. Sheppard, 
32mo (4 x 2 3/8 in.; 102 x 60 mm). Woodcut frontispiece with 5 lines of poetry beneath, woodcut title vignette, woodcut text illustrations, 1 page publisher's advertisement at end. Publisher's blue printed wrappers with imprint of G. Thompson, and his advertisement on bottom cover; small tears in backstrip mended. In a blue cloth slipcase.
Justin Schiller (bookplate tipped on to publisher's advertisement)
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
First edition of the first printing of The Twelve Days of Christmas. An extraordinary copy of a rare book. No copy has appeared at auction in the past 40 years; only 1 copy recorded (Opie collection, Bodleian Library, who dates it c. 1780), all others in Worldcat are e-books. Not in Cotsen.
The imprint of the wrapper "G. Thompson, 43 Long Lane, West Smithfield" suggests a later issue of perhaps 1807-1809 (see Todd, A Directory of Printers (1972), p. 193).