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The Prince and The Pauper by Mark Twain, 1882 1st Edition, Cosway Binding



The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Illustrated by Frank Merrill, John Harley, and L. S. Ipsen

First American Edition

Published by James R. Osgood and Company, Boston in 1882

Signed Bayntun-Riviere Jeweled “Cosway Style Binding”

Exceptional Condition

Binding Details:  Stunning signed Bayntun-Riviere “Cosway Style” binding in full brown morocco leather that features a hand painted miniature under glass inlaid to the front cover depicting a portrait of Mark Twain surrounded by gilt rose design on trellis-work with aquamarine stones. The rear cover is decorated with a gilt tooled square rose design and the spine treatment consists of raised bands with elaborate gilt decorations and titling. There are gilt dentelles with floral stops, marbled endpapers, and the original covers are bound into the end of the book. All edges are ruled in decorative gilt and all page ends are gold gilted. Banytun/Riviere has affixed their binders stamp in gilt on the bottom inside cover. The book is housed in a custom drop-front felt-lined cloth case.

About Cosway Bindings

Cosway bindings (named for renowned 19th-century English miniaturist Richard Cosway) were first commissioned in the early 1900s by J.H. Stonehouse, managing director of London booksellers Sotheran & Company, from the famous Rivière bindery, who employed Miss C.B. Currie to faithfully imitate Cosway's detailed watercolor style of portraiture. These delicate miniature paintings, often on ivory, were set into the covers or doublures of richly-tooled bindings and protected by a thin pane of glass. Cosway bindings executed by other than the original collaborators (Stonehouse, Sotheran, Rivière, and Currie) are designated as "Cosway-style" bindings.

Book Details:  This is an early printing of the first edition of the First American edition of one of Mark Twain’s most enduring works “The Prince and the Pauper” published in 1882 by James R. Osgood and Company, Boston with the first edition points of text corrections on pages 124, 263 and 362 and the Franklin Press imprint on the verso of the title page. (BAL 3402; Johnson p. 39-41)

Measuring approximately 8.25” x 6.75” with 411 pages, the book contains 192 in-text and chapter heading illustrations by Frank Merrill, John Harley, and L. S. Ipsen.

Condition Report:  The binding is in FINE condition. Internally, the book is very clean with a small bookplate affixed to the first free endpaper. The clamshell box is in Near FINE condition with some generalized wear and rubs. Overall, this is a beautiful Bayntun-Riviere jeweled “Cosway Style” binding that houses the first edition of one of Mark Twain’s most enduring works.

Photographs of the binding and a close-up of the miniature appear in the photo section of the listing.