The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard, 1836-1837
12mo (188 x 109mm.), 5 volumes, FIRST AMERICAN EDITION, parts 1 and 2 first state, Part 1 with indication thus on title or spine, Watkins Tottle only listed in preliminary advertisements, Dickinson & Ward printers, Part 2 with 'Sport-/ing' split on title-page, advertisements as called for, Part 1, 2pp. preliminary, 1pp,, 8pp, and 4pp. at end, Part 3, 4pp. preliminary, 4pp. at end, Part 4, 4pp. preliminary, volume 5, 4pp. preliminary, 2pp. and 12pp, at end, original rose cloth-backed natural boards, spines with printed labels, collector's cloth chemises and folding case, spine lettered in gilt, browned, previous owners' inscriptions, Part 2 flaw at fore-edge p.101, pp.139-146 loose, Part 3 lacking pp.105-108, Part 4 lacking pp.201-204, hinges slightly weak or cracked, boards slightly discoloured, backstrips faded and slightly chipped at head and foot, labels slightly rubbed and chipped with some loss of text
THE RARE FIRST AMERICAN EDITION OF "PICKWICK". Parts 1 - 4 (appearing between 5 November 1836 and 20 September 1837) precede the first book edition in London, which was published by Chapman and Hall on 17 November 1837. The fifth part of the American edition appeared on 29 December. PART 1 IS PARTICULARLY RARE IN FIRST STATE, being issued in only 1500 copies as the author was entirely unknown, and reissued as sales increased of the later parts.
The absence of proper international copyright arrangements was a huge bone of contention for Dickens for his entire life, and became a very public issue during his first American tour. Henry Charles Carey did offer the author £25 for the parts of Pickwick they had already printed in a letter to him of 14 June 1837. The firm had already published several other of his earlier works. It was the first offer of any sort made to him, but Dickens declined, simply requesting a copy of the work.
Smith First American Editions 2; Gimbel A19
Part 1: Israel Post, New York, bookseller label; Alice Littlejohn, inscription
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.