Lot 9
  • 9


2,000 - 3,000 GBP
2,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Ballantyne, R.M.
  • The Coral Island. A Tale of the Pacific Ocean. London: T. Nelson and Sons, 1858
  • paper
8vo (178 x 117mm.), FIRST EDITION, coloured frontispiece, additional pictorial title, 6 full colour plates in all reproducing drawings by the author, original rose-pink diagonal-wavy-grain cloth, pictorial upper cover blocked in gilt, spine similarly blocked in gilt, upper and lower covers and spine also blocked in blind, pale yellow endpapers, matching quarter morocco folding box


Douglas C. Ewing, bookplate, his sale, Christie's New York, 7 April 1978, lot 39; H. Bradley Martin, bookplate, his sale, Sotheby's New York, 30-31 January 1990, lot 2297


Sadleir 103; Quayle 12a; Osborne p.322

Catalogue Note

THE EWING-BRADLEY MARTIN COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION OF ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR OF ALL SCOTTISH NOVELS. This copy lacks the plate at p.31, which appears to have been omitted when the volume was bound (as recorded in the Christie's catalogue description at the Ewing sale).

According to Sadleir there was another -- presumably simultaneous -- issue with the illustrations reproduced in two colours only. There are varying states of the binding, including one in blue cloth (but otherwise identical, see The Library of an English Bibliophile Part I, Sotheby's, 28 October 2010, lot 6). That copy also had a different order of plates. The present copy conforms to the first issue of the text, with the earlier frontispiece "View from the Hill-top".

"It is seldom that one meets a man who has not, in his youth, read at least one of Ballantyne's adventure tales. To most of the Fathers and Grandfathers of today, there must still cling around the name of this nineteenth-century author the golden fragrance of the coral islands of their youth" (Eric Quayle, Ballantyne the Brave, 1967).