Item #807 The Sketch Book Part VII. Washington Irving.

The Sketch Book Part VII

New York: Van Winkle, 1820. First Edition. Wrappers. 1st American edition, 1st printing (all points per B.A.L.). It is the last in an 1819–1820 (7 vol.) series in which Irving invented the modern short story, but the 4 tales in our volume form a distinct and complete book with individual pagination (the first 5 vols. are continuously paginated), and even on its own it is laudable. Original wrappers, spine gone, covers loose but holding, a cover stain at 8 o’clock, a large chip to the blank corner of A2, the first half–title (no text lost), pencil notes to rear blanks, but good, and rare, and real, and the only right copy in wrappers we have had. Ex–E. S. Litchfield. good. Item #807

The NY edition of The Sketch Book was published serially in 7 parts in paper wrappers, the London edition in 2 volumes in boards and labels. The NY edition’s part IV (Nov. 19, 1819) preceded vol. I of the London edition with parts I–IV (Feb. 16, 1820), but vol. II of the London with parts V–VII (Jul. 20, 1820) preceded the NY’s part VII (Sep. 13). Correct 7 vol. NY sets are rare because (for one reason) identifying the 1st printings of some parts rests entirely on the wrappers, and the text points only confirm an early, not a 1st, printing, since the first reprints left some (all?) errors uncorrected. So, rebound NY sets can’t be verified as correct and calling one a 1st edition without qualifying context is a deception, no matter how easy it is to do it. RBH lists 2 complete sets in wrappers sold at auction since 1975 (Stralem and Martin), neither with all the parts right. In fact, no complete and correct set in wrappers has sold at auction in 100 years. Sets offered today have one or more incorrect wrappers noted in proper descriptions, while evasive descriptions hide it by lacking full details (vague book cataloging is not normal it is just common because some truth decieves better than no truth). Now, misdescribing Sketch Book particulars is a trifle and a poor example of seller misdeeds for us to use, however there are sellers who regularly exercise the same tactics with all their books looking for an edge, though most of them do not think it shows. But it does, and they are abandoning potential customers with 3–digit IQs who avoid commerce with the tricky, and this hunt for stupid collectors and negligent librarians is seen across the generations, but it is most prevalent among younger booksellers and that is a depressing sign for the future. So, here is our advice. If your book is a reprint, or some part is missing, or wrong, or even unsure, just say so and be done with it, like a professional.

Hmmm, you hum, why do some booksellers do this? 2 reasons. 1. Most of their books are not worth the price they are asking so they forsake accuracy and shape their descriptions to read like they are for books that might be worth it. 2. To them, you are not yourself. You are a performer in their lives, cast for a part you do not even know you are playing. They are predatory, contemptuous, and vain, and like most vain people, they are in denial, and self–buffered to think that no one could possibly be any smarter than they are and that no one sees through their thin deceptions. But we do. And we remember. And we are not the only dog barking. And we all talk about them. And we shop elsewhere. And we advise others to do the same. And we point out why. And they lose the best collectors, librarians, and booksellers, and lose them forever. And they never know it.

Price: $2,000.00

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