Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1928. First Edition. Hardcover. First edition in book form, octavo size, 55 pp., inscribed by both George Sargent and A. Edward Newton, in publisher's box. Near fine. Item #20012701
Alfred Edward Newton (1864-1940) was one of the best-known collectors of rare books in his day, and his knowledge and collecting skills still garner respect today within the antiquarian book world; at the time of his death, it is believed that he had approximately 10,000 books in his collection, including the autographed manuscript of "Far From the Madding Crowd" by Thomas Hardy.
Printed in book form after first appearing in the "Boston Evening Transcript", in an edition of 600 copies. This particular volume has two very special inscriptions on the flyleaf: the first by the author, "With the author's compliments / George H. Sargent"; and the second by A. Edward Newton himself, stating very tongue-in-cheek, "I tried to give a / copy of this book / away but without / success, A Edward Newton".
For those wondering from whence came the curious title, it is explained by a Note on the verso of the half-title: "It is only fair to say in explanation of the title of this little book that Mr. Newton chose it for himself upon the occasion of his selling, some years ago, some duplicate volumes from his library. His 'busting' could not have been very serious, however, or he quickly recovered therefrom, for shortly after he paid the highest price ever recorded for a First Folio of Shakespeare." It is revealed on p. 37 that the "highest price" was in fact $62,500 - a rather princely sum in those days.
___DESCRIPTION: Marbled paper over boards with a black cloth shelfback, tan paper label mounted on the front board with black lettering and a ruled border, fore- and bottom edges rough-cut, Ex-Libris of Mrs. F.D. Stout in Santa Barbara on the front pastedown (the Stouts were well-known members of Chicago society, at some point she moved to Santa Barbara to be near her daughter), the two inscriptions referred to above both in black ink on the flyleaf, a pictorial representation of the sculpted bust of Newton serving as frontispiece, title page in red and black, limitation statement on the copyright page, several black-and-white reproductions of photographs, bookplates and paintings throughout; octavo size (8 5/8" by 5 7/8"), pagination: [i-vi] [1-4] 5-49. In the publisher's box covered with gray laid paper, an ivory paper label mounted to the front with the same lettering and ruled border as the book, blue ribbon extender still attached to the bottom of the box.
___CONDITION: Volume near fine, with clean boards, straight corners with minimal rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and the only prior owner marking being the Ex-Libris referred to above; some light wear to the shelfback, a small spot of light soil to the label on the front, and old bookseller pencil markings to the top corner of the front free endpaper and the rear pastedown. The publisher's box very good, complete, with no tears, still strong and sturdy; there is overall wear and soil to the outer covering of the box, and the ribbon extender is a bit crumpled and worn. Lacks the glassine wrapper.
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