Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass Collection
The Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland [and] Through the Looking Glass Collection
First Published Editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland [and] Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll and illustrated by John Tenniel. Published by Macmillan & Company, London in 1866 and 1872. Custom full leather bindings by Bayntun.
First and Only Prints of John Tenniel’s Illustrations from the Original Wood Blocks for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass. Published by Macmillan Publishers, London in 1988. Limited Edition – 196 of 250.
An original electrotype plate used for printing the illustration of Alice shaking the Red Queen from page 214 of Through the Looking-Glass in a Custom Presentation Case.
The following are the details of the items contained in the collection:
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland [and] Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll with Illustrations by John Tenniel
First Published Editions by Macmillan & Company, London in 1866 and 1872
Signed Full Leather Bindings by the Bayntun Bindery, Bath, England
Binding Details: Beautiful signed Bayntun bindings in full leather morocco leather featuring elaborate gilt decorations and titling in compartments on the spine that has five raised spine hubs. The front and rear covers contain gold gilt characters from each of the books, gold gilt ruling to the boards and edges, floral gold gilt turn-ins, green endpapers, and gold gilted page ends. The Bayntun bindery stamp appears in gold gilt on the bottom of the inside front cover of each book. Each of the books is housed in a custom clamshell box.
Book Details: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
This is the first published edition (also known as the first British edition) of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland published by Macmillan & Co., London in 1866. The publishing history of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece is well documented. The book was originally printed in Oxford at the Clarendon Press in June 1865. After receiving copies of the book, Lewis Carroll and John Tenniel were dissatisfied with the quality of the printing and decided to suppress the whole edition of 2,000 copies. The pre-publication copies were recalled and it is believed that no more than 25 of these exist. A new printer, Richard Clay, was commissioned to upgrade the printing for the Macmillan edition which is dated 1866 but was ready by November, 1865 in time for the Christmas market. A total of 4,000 copies were published. References: Printing and the Mind of Man 354 (note); Williams–Madan–Green–Crutch 46.
Book Details: Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There
This is the first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland published by Macmillan & Co., London in 1872. Peter Glassman commenting on the book wrote, “In reaction to the universal acclaim *Alice's Adventures in Wonderland* received, Dodgson published this sequel. Nothing is quite what it seems once Alice journeys through the looking-glass, and Dodgson's wit is infectious as he explores concepts of mirror imagery, time running backward, and strategies of chess-all wrapped up in the exploits of a spirited young girl who parries with the Red Queen, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and other unlikely characters. In many ways, this sequel has had an even greater impact on today's pop culture than the first book.”
Condition Report: The bindings and clamshell boxes are in FINE condition with no flaws. Internally, the books are exceptionally clean with Through the Looking Glass having a Christmas gift inscription on the half title page.
Photographs of the bindings and clamshell boxes appear in the photo section the listing.
First and Only Prints of John Tenniel’s Illustrations from the Original Wood Blocks for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There
Special Limited Edition – 196 of 250
Macmillan Publishers, London, 1988
In 1985, it was discovered that all, except one. Of the original wood engravings for Alice and Through the Looking-Glass were held in two deed boxes, belonging to Macmillan Publishers, in the vaults of the National Westminster Bank. After consultation with scholars and conservators, Macmillan Publishers decided to publish a limited edition of prints taken directly from the blocks, so that scholars and collectors could see these famous illustrations printed with the detail and quality which John Tenniel, Lewis Carroll and George and Edward Dalziel intended. John Tenniel never allowed any of his Alice illustrations to be printed from the original wood blocks preferring that electrotype casts be made from the blocks to ensure that they were not damaged. The history of Tenniel and Carroll’s dissatisfaction with the quality of the images printed for the Alice books is legendary.
Jonathan Stephenson of the Rocket Press designed the edition and printed the engravings using a hand-fed precision proofing press. Over two years of detailed, special preparation took place before printing; even the shade of paper for the prints was chosen to match that used in the original edition.
There are a total of 92 prints in 2 sets. Set 1 consists of 42 prints for Alice in Wonderland and set 2 consists of 50 prints for Through the Looking Glass. Of these 92 prints, 91 are from the original wood blocks engraved by the Brothers Dalziel from drawings by Sir John Tenniel and 1 print from an electrotype of a block that was not able to be used because of extensive damage.
Each print was printed on Zerkall halbmatt mouldmade paper and is slip mounted in a Zerkall laid board with the title and caption on the mount in black. Each set is housed in a drop-back box by Fine Bindery of gray canvas with a maroon morocco leather spine.
Condition Report: The bindings and drawings are in FINE condition with no flaws.
Photographs of the limitation page and some of the drawings contained in the portfolio appear in the photo section of the listing.
An Original Electrotype Used for Printing a Nineteenth Century Edition of Through the Looking-Glass
Mounted in a Custom Made Presentation Clamshell Box with Leather Spine Label
This is an original electrotype plate used for printing the illustration of Alice shaking the Red Queen from page 214 of Through the Looking-Glass. The plate is mounted on the right-hand side of a quarter red-morocco clamshell case, with an impression from the plate mounted on the left-hand side. The case and its enclosures are in FINE condition. We have been unable to assign any precise date to the electrotype, although the Heritage Book Shop, which held the plate until 1989, stated that it “seem[ed] to be for an early reprint …, perhaps done around 1880.” This is likely correct, since in the last decade of the nineteenth century photographic methods began to replace printing from wood-blocks and electrotypes.
Photographs of the printing block and presentation case appear in the photo section of the listing.