21st February 2012
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BRUNEL, Isambard Kingdom. - DARTON & Co (publishers). The Great Eastern A B C, or, Big Ship Alphabet. Designed alike for the Instruction of Youth and the Entertainment of all Ages and Conditions. London, [etc.]: Darton & Co [and others], [n.d. but circa 1860.] 16pp. including wrappers, 8vo (243 x 167mm.) 26 hand-coloured wood-engraved vignettes (one for each alphabetic couplet), one couplet with contemporary slip pasted over. (Minor browning, occasional spotting or damp-staining.) Original light green thin card wrappers, the upper cover blocked with the title and integral vignette, all printed in red, gold and blue, the lower cover blocked to the same design in blue (backstrip neatly reinforced with 19th Century paper, light scuffing and damp-staining, minor soiling). Note: the first publication of this scarce book was noted in 'The Athenaeum Journal' of 28th January 1860, and 'The Economist' of 14th January 1860. This copy can be dated to sometime shortly after Captain Harrison's death by drowning on 21st January 1860 as the slip pasted over the 'H' couplet reads 'H stood for poor Harrison - how sad was his fate! / It now stands for Hall, appointed of late' replacing the original of 'H is for Harrison, her skilful Commander, / None can excel him (without any slander)'.
Hammer price: £9,000
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