Oliver Twist, Bound from the Rare Parts with Original Wrapper Bound In
DICKENS, Charles. Adventures of Oliver Twist. Or, The Parish Boy's Progress. London: Bradbury and Evans , [January - October] 1846.
First edition of the very rare ten monthly parts issue bound together in one octavo volume

(8 1/8 x 5 1/2 inches x 219 x 140 mm). Wrapper and ads bound in at the back. xii, [1]-311, [1, publisher's imprint] pp. With twenty-four engraved plates. These plates are those used for the original Bentley magazine issue, re- touched, re-bitten, and “enhanced” by the engraver Findlay, and with the Bentley imprints erased. All plates with publisher's tissue guards. Plate number 7, meant to be bound at page 82 has been bound as a frontispiece. Cruikshank also designed the front wrapper for the parts issue, with very attractive, well-balanced, and appealing results.

The set at hand collates almost complete with all the plates, text, wrappers and advertisements according to Hatton & Cleaver's description pp. 215-224 with the exception of the following:. Lacking from the Part I "Oliver Twist Advertiser" pages 3-6 but with pages 1-2 and 7-8. With incorrect back wrapper to part VI, (supplied from a part II). With incorrect back wrapper for part VII, (supplied from a different set of parts, not Oliver Twist). The outer corner of the front wrapper of part V with a repair using paper from a different part. The front illustration matches up but the back text does not.

Beautifully bound by Tout & Sons in full tan calf. Almost invisibly rebacked with original spine laid down. Boards triple ruled in gilt with gilt corner devices. Spine intricately stamped in blind with a red morocco spine label. Label lettered in gilt. Gilt board edges and gilt dentelles. Top edge gilt. Marbled endpapers. Two previous owner's bookplates on front pastedown. Previous owner's small bookplate on front free endpaper. The first three plates (from illustration list) with some toning around edges, all other plates very clean. Wrappers with usual mild soiling, but in general very good. Front wrapper of part 5 has been trimmed close along fore-edge, making it a bit short. Overall a very good copy.

“...[S]ets of the ten parts can, without exaggeration, be described as of the utmost rarity, whether in fine, moderate, or poor condition, and only exceeded by the 'high-spots' of Pickwick and the Sketches. As recently as 1931, it would have been an impossibility to purchase any kind of conditioned copy in the London book-market; for the simple reason that none were [sic] on offer or could be offered. The very scarcity alone, of the book in parts, gives added zest to the tracking down of copies, but many would-be owners are doomed to disappointment in their efforts to effect a capture, in face of the very limited supply available.”

Hatton and Cleaver, pp. 215-224.

HBS # 68344 $7,500