First Edition, First Issue, in the Original Cloth
DICKENS, Charles. Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. London: Chapman & Hall , 1843.
First edition, first issue: i.e., “Stave I”; text entirely uncorrected; green-coated endpapers; blue half-title; red and blue title. Foolscap octavo (6 7/16 x 4 1/8 inches; 163 x 104 mm). [i-viii], [1]-166, [2, publisher's ads]. Four inserted hand-colored steel-engraved plates by and after Leech and four black and white text wood-engravings by W.J. Linton after Leech.

Original cinnamon vertically-ribbed cloth. Covers decoratively stamped in blind, and front cover and spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt. Cover with perfect "D" in "Dickens." All edges gilt. Covers slightly soiled. Binding slightly skewed. Minimal wear to head and tail of spine. A little wear at spine hinges. Some occasional minor soiling to leaves. Previous owner's small bookplate on front pastedown. Previous owner's old ink inscription on half-title, dates 1852. A very good copy. Housed in a brown cloth clamshell case with morocco and gilt spine label.

The green hand-colored endpapers represent Dickens's original choice for his lavish gift book. But the endpapers, which are a chalky, light yellowish green, proved a disappointment to him. On inspection they dusted off and smudged, and so the endpapers were changed before publication date to yellow, which did not require hand work. Probably in the middle of binding, as demand grew faster than the current endpaper stock, it was hurriedly decided to use the green paper, and thereafter it was used indiscriminately with yellow, but discarded again when the initial supply of green became exhausted. Therefore first impression, first issue copies occur in the earliest binding with either yellow or green endpapers, some collectors preferring the green endpapers as the original pre-publication choice.

Smith, Dickens, II, 4. Eckel pp. 110-5.

HBS # 68336 $20,000