Pictures From Italy. London: Bradbury and Evans for the author, 1846
8vo (174 x 112mm.), first edition, PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY DICKENS TO COUNT D'ORSAY ("The Count d'Orsay | From his Friend | Charles Dickens | Devonshire Terrace | Nineteenth May 1846"), autograph address leaf signed to the Countess of Blessington loosely inserted, advertisement leaves at the beginning and end, original blue fine-diaper cloth, covers decorated in blind with arabesque designs in corners and central circular designs, spine lettered in gilt, pale yellow endpapers, preserved in full red morocco gilt slipcase with integral flap, very slight bubbling near one corner on upper cover, outer corners of covers very slightly bumped, OTHERWISE A VERY FRESH COPY
A SUPERB PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY DICKENS ON THE DAY AFTER PUBLICATION TO HIS CLOSE FRIEND COUNT D'ORSAY.
The simultaneous sending of this presentation copy, together with that for the Count's lover Lady Blessington, is recorded in the author's letter to Lady Blessington of the same date ("...I have been every day expecting to be able to send you the enclosed little Volume, and could get no copies until last night...Count d'Orsay's copy of the 'Pictures'. with my cordial remembrance and regard..."; see The Letters, volume 4, p.548). Bradbury and Evans' accounts record 25 presentation copies in all. Other recipients included Macready, Beard and Talfourd, recpients of inscribed copies of other Dickens works in the present collection (see lots 6, 50, 74 and 75).
For a fuller note on the French amateur artist, dandy and man of letters and fashion Alfred Guillaume Gabriel, Count D'Orsay (1801-1852), see lot 119. "D'Orsay's total disregard of convention, the fact that he was separated from his wife and seemingly the lover of his step-mother-in-law, his perpetually unpaid debts -- all this had been brushed aside by Dickens, captivated by his chic, his brilliance as a portraitist, his wit and charm in society, his French savoir-faire. D'Orsay and his fellow French looked at life differently from the English, and Dickens saw that there was something to be said for their point of view...." (Claire Tomalin, Dickens: a Life, p.272).
Eight of these sketches originally appeared in The Daily News from 21 January to 11 March 1846; Dickens amended and added to them for this book publication.
Smith II: 7; Eckel p.126
Count Alfred D'Orsay, authorial inscription on half-title, armorial bookplate on upper paste-down; A. Edward Newton, bookplate
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.