1821 · London
First edition of Dibdin's entertainingly recounted, bibliophilic-focused jaunt through France and Germany, offering descriptions of the contents of some of the most important libraries of those countries. Each volume contains numerous plates, some printed in sepia, and many in-text illustrations printed on india paper to showcase the differing landscapes, people, architecture, and facsimiles of various artifacts Dibdin saw during his travels. An => albumen print facsimile of a lissomely nude Diane de Poitiers has also been added to vol. II: Windle & Pippin describe this print as one of the "'private' plates, given to friends and subscribers at the time of publication." Though these additional plates are usually only found in large paper copies, Windle & Pippin also note that this plate specifically appears in two octavos, which may explain its presence here. Our offering is the second state of printing, with the corrected footnote in vol. I and the perpetrator listed as "a London bookseller" in vol. III.
Provenance: Bookplate of J.A. Burnham Jr. on front pastedown of each volume.
Jackson, An Annotated List of the Publications of the Reverend Thomas Frognall Dibdin, 48; Windle & Pippin, Thomas Frognall Dibdin, A38a; NSTC 2D11591; Brunet, II, 682–3. Recently rebacked and refurbished 19th-century polished calf, gently rubbed with slight loss of leather to boards. Spines ruled and lettered in gilt with two black leather labels each, and covers, board edges, and turn-ins with gilt fillets, all edges gilt. French Curl marbled endpapers; hinges (inside) neatly reinforced with brown library tape, evidence of removed bookplates, and half-titles (only) lacking as above. Light age-toning with a few very occasional spots or stains; plates with light to moderate foxing, close trimming or tight binding on some with loss of printer information and in a few rare cases the plate title, all engravings offsetting to surrounding pages in expectable and undisturbing fashion, Bookplates and extra plate as above, "13" written and circled on each title-page in ink, one small pencilled correction in index. => A handsome, clean, strong set of this fun, lavishly illustrated armchair excursion. (Inventory #: 39210)