Lot 291
  • 291

Whitman, Walt

100,000 - 160,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Leaves of Grass. London: Wm. Horsell and Brooklyn: [for the author and James Rome], 1855
  • paper, ink, leather
Small folio (11 1/8 x 7 3/4 in.; 281 x 197 mm). Engraved frontispiece portrait of Whitman by Samuel Hollyer after a photograph, printed on thick paper, label with printed English imprint affixed to title above Brooklyn imprint; frontispiece and title-page with some light soiling, blank verso of p. 95 foxed, inner hinge partially cracked. Original green cloth, spine lettered in gilt and with gilt floral tools, covers with blind-stamped floral decorations and gilt-lettered title (in ornamental "rustic" font) within a triple fillet frame, edges gilt, marbled endpapers (Meyerson's binding A); minor wear at spine ends and corners. Green buckram gilt clamshell case.


Frederick S. Jackson (presentation inscription on tape affixing advertisement to front free endpaper, from Bronson Wise Thaw, 28 May 1932) — by descent to the present owner.


BAL 21395; Feinberg/Detroit 269; Grolier American 67; Meyerson A2.I.a; PMM 340

Catalogue Note

First edition, second (English) issue. This issue is the same as the American first edition, except that a paper label with the English imprint has been added to the title-page; unlike the American edition no flyleaves are present.

This copy includes 4 broadside advertisements tipped to the front endpapers. It is presumed that Whitman had these broadsides printed at his own expense.  These advertisements have been noted by Meyerson as appearing in some copies of the American issue in the second and third bindings.  Attached to the front pastedown are: "An English and American Poet, The American Phrenological Journal" (Meyerson F26) — "Walt Whitman and His Poems, United States Review" (Meyerson F91) — "Walt Whitman, a Brooklyn Boy, The Brooklyn Daily Times" (Meyerson F88). Attached to the front free endpaper is "Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, Putnam's Monthly for September" (Meyerson I12).

Copies of the first edition of Leaves of Grass with the tipped-in advertisements are scarce on the market.