Our current selection of Rare titles

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"THE PLEASING INSTRUCTOR OR ENTERTAINING MORALIST, CONSISTING OF SELECT ESSAYS, RELATIONS, VISIONS, AND ALLEGORIES COLLECTED FROM THE MOST EMINENT ENGLISH AUTHORS TO WHICH ARE PREFIXED NEW THOUGHTS ON EDUCATION." 1770.

Dimensions: 17.5cm x 11.5cm approx. Published by Robinson & Peters and T. Slack, London and Newcastle in 1770. A quite fascinating compendium of 18th century learning with articles on all manner of topics.

368 pages with engraved frontispiece and one full page illustration.

Condition: Front board disbound. Very heavy wear/rubbing to covers and spine covering. Lacks front free end paper. Internal pages good for their age with just some scattered marks and a few creases. Binding a little loose. Really deserves re-binding after which it would be a really nice little book.

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"The Self Instructor, or Young Man's Best Companion; Being an Introduction to all the Various Branches of Useful Knowledge"

Hardcover Edition in full leather covers, published by Nuttall, Fisher and Dixon, London in 1808. Dimensions: 22cm x 14cm approx.

The full title of this wonderful book is: "The Self Instructor, or Young Man's Companion; Being an Introduction to all the Various Branches of Useful Learning and knowledge: Containing Writing, Grammar, Arithmetic, Astronomy, Geography, Chronology, and Miscellaneous Articles. To Which is Added, The Artist's Assistant; Comprising The Arts of Drawing, Perspective, Etching, Engraving, Mezzotinto Scraping, Painting, Dyeing, Colouring of Maps, &c, &c. A Brief Account of Naval and Military Affairs, Also, Various Useful Medicinal Receipts." This is an extremely scarce volume and an even more scarce edition of that volume. The book is a fascinating overview of what was deemed vital knowledge for the period.

593 pages plus index and two plates of arithmetical figures.

Condition: Front cover detached along with front free end papers and frontispiece illustration. Leather covers have heavy wear. Rear cover cracked at hinge and only just attached. Spine covering has very heavy wear and is beginning to split. Internal pages good for their age with light to moderate foxing and a fair bit of yellowing (illustrated pages particularly affected). Main block still tightly bound. Would make a very nice copy with professional restoration.

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"THE RAPE OF LUCRECE" by Thomas Heywood.

Softcover edition re-print of the fifth edition (originally published in 1638), published by Charles Baldwyn, London in 1824. Dimensions: 19.5cm x 12.5cm approx.

 This edition was printed in Baldwyn's "The Old English Drama" series. This example is in the original paper covers and would have been designed to be re-bound into hardcovers. A scarce edition.

106 pages.

Condition: Fair for a soft-cover book of this age. Spine covering very degraded which has led to the front cover, first title page and a few further pages becoming detached. Some wear/marking and rubbing to front and rear covers. Internal pages untrimmed and in good condition with slight yellowing to extreme edges. Binding a bit fragile. Really needs re-binding or restoring to make it a really nice copy.

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"ARISTOTELIS DE POETICA LIBER, GRAECE ET LATINE, CUM NOTIS." by Aristotle.

Hardcover Edition in full calf covers, published by E Typographeo Clarendoniano, Oxford in 1760. Dimensions: 20.5cm x 12.5cm approx. A scarce copy of the 1760 edition of Aristotle's Poetica Libra in Greek and Latin. This copy has been professionally re-bound at some stage in full calf covers with new paste-downs and front and rear endpapers.

Condition: Covers have a fair bit of wear (particularly to spine covering) but acceptable. Spine cracked at front hinge which is weak but holding on. Internal pages good for their age with some foxing and yellowing to very early and very late pages. Binding tight.

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"OTHELLO UNVEILED" by Rentala Venkata Subbarau. 1906.

Hardcover First Edition in red cloth covers, published by The Rentala House, Mylapore, Madras in 1906. Dimensions: 23cm x 15cm approx.

A very rare First Edition copy of "Othello Unveiled" by the Indian Shakespearean scholar, Rentala Venkata Subbarau. Published in 1906 by Rentala House, Mylapore, Madras, the book accompanies "Hamlet Unveiled", published later. Subbarau also wrote "Kamala's Letters to Her Husband".

An extremely rare book in its own right, with modern re-prints being almost the only versions available on websites such as Abebooks. The copy we are offering has a superb provenance. The volume was gifted by the author to pre-eminent Shakespearean scholar, A. C. Bradley and is inscribed to the front free endpaper "To A. C. Bradley, Esq, LLD, Litt. D, with the compliments of the author. 14th March, 1906." Andrew Cecil Bradley (1851-1935) was Professor of Poetry at Oxford University for five years during which he published his two most important works "Shakespearean Tragedy" (in 1904) and "Oxford Lectures on Poetry" (in 1909). The book contains quite a lot of pencil annotations that could well have been made by Bradley, though we cannot be certain.

This copy also contains another (presumably later) inscription just above that to Bradley that reads "Marjory W. Baker, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford".

Condition:  Fair to Good. Ex-Library copy with just a bookplate to the front paste-down. A fair bit of wear/rubbing/fading/marking to the cloth covers. Spine very slightly skewed which has caused the binding to be slightly stretched to page gutters. Internal pages good (some uncut) with just slight yellowing. Binding tight.

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"THREE WEEKS IN WET SHEETS; Being the Diary and Doings of a Moist Visitor to Malvern." Anon. 1853.

Hardcover Second Edition in original card covers, published by Hamilton, Adams & Co, London in 1853. Dimensions: 18cm x 11cm approx.

A fascinating and humorous account of the author's visit to Malvern in Worcestershire, ostensibly for rest and recuperation, during 1850 at "Doctor Wilson's Water Cure Establishment". Appears to have been published originally in the "Bristol Times". An extremely scarce book.

125 pages with a number of woodcuts in the text by H. Smith.

Condition:  A bit tatty. Front board is disbound and covers in general are tatty with some loss to bottom corners of both boards. Internal pages have some yellowing and slight edge wear. Binding quite tight.

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"A TOWER OF POLISHED BLACK STONES" 1971.

Hardcover Limited Edition (1,250) in beige hardcovers with cream cloth spine and original dustcover (not price clipped). Published by Dolmen Editions, Ltd, Ireland in 1971. Dimensions: 28cm x 19cm approx.

A scarce copy of "early versions of 'The Shadowy Waters' by William Butler Yeats, arranged and edited by David Ridgley Clark and George Mayhew. Also contains 5 illustrations by Leonard Baskin and drawings by the poet. Printed on cartridge paper.

70 pages.

Condition:  Good in Good dustcover. Ex-Library copy with normal library markings. Dustcover good with just some wear/marking/rubbing. Hardcovers good with gilt library stamp to front cover. Internal pages good. Binding tight. A nice copy.

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"RIDERS TO THE SEA" by J. M. Synge. 1969.

Hardcover Limited Edition (750 copies) in green hardcover with gilt text and original dustcover (not price clipped). Published by The Dolmen Press, Ltd, Ireland in 1969. Dimensions: 28cm x 19cm approx.

A scarce copy of "one of the greatest plays to come out of the Irish Dramatic movement". Edited by Robin Skelton and with 5 linocuts in colour by Tate Adams. Printed on cartridge paper.

58 pages.

Condition: Good in fair dustcover. Ex-Library copy with normal library markings.Dustcover has some wear/rubbing/fading/markingsome minor loss to corners, some other nibbling to edges and a closed tear to front cover. Hardcover good with gilt library stamp to front cover. Internal pages good. Binding tight. A nice copy.

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"DATOS Y FUNDAMENTOS EN QUE SE APOYAN LOS DERECHOS DEL SMO. ROSARIO DE FILIPINAS DEL ORDEN DE PREDICADORES A LAS MISIONES DEL TUNQUIN ORIENTAL Y CENTRAL" 1877 and Other similar texts.

Hardcover edition in marble board covers with blue calf spine, published by various publishers between 1846 and 1877. Dimensions: 20cm x 15cm approx.

This is an interesting volume that appears to be made up of 7 different texts bound into one volume. Unfortunately, we do not speak Spanish so, the accuracy of this description is not good. We have researched the texts to some degree but, cannot find most of them anywhere. They appear to be reports from missionary outposts in the Tunquin and cochinchina regions of Vietnam. the texts are as follow:

1). As per the main title. Published by Imprenta Del Colegio De Santo Tomas, Manila in 1877. 151 pages.

2). "Idea Del Imperio De Annam, de los Reinos Unidos De Tunquin Y Cocinchina, escrita por el R. P. fr. Manuel de Rivas". Published by Imprenta de los Amigos del Pais, Manila in 1858. 246 pages.

3). "Resumen Historico de los Principales Sucesos Ocurridos en las Misiones del Tunquin a Cargo de los Religiosos Dominicos Desde 1852 Hasta el presente de 1858. Contieue este resumen seis relaciones escritas por los mismos Misioneros. Se Da A Luz por el M. R. P. fr. Julian Velinchon, Prior Provincial del Santismo Rosario." Published by Imprenta de los Amigos de Prais, Manila in 1858. 32 pages.

4). "Relacion Del Estado De La Mision Dominicana Del Reino De Tunquin, Concretada Al Vicariato Apostolico Central Durante el Ano de 1854, Escrita Por El Venreable Sr. D. fr. Jose Diaz Sanjurjo, Obespo de Platea Vicario Apostolico del Mismo. Se Da A Luz por el M. R. P. Provincial, Fr. Julian Velinchon." Published by Imprenta de los Amigos del Pais, Manila in 1858. 48 pages.

5). "Relacion Del Estado De La Mision Dominicana Del Reino De Tunquin, Concretada Al Vicariato Apostolico Central, desde principios del ano 1855, hasta el mes de Marzo de 1858, Escrita por el venerable Sr. D. Fr. Jose Diaz Sanjurjo, Obispo de Platea Y Vicario Apostolico del Mismo, dirigida al M. R. P. Provincial Fr. Julian Velinchon." Published by Imprenta del los Amigos del Pais, Manila in 1858. 26 pages.

6). "Relacion Del Vicariato Apostolico del Tunquin Central, Y Numero de Sacramentos Administrados en el por los Misioneros Apostolicos del Sagrado Orden de Predicadores Durante el Ano de 1856, Escrita por el Venerable Sr. D. Fr. Jose Diaz Sanjurjo. Obispo de Platea Y Vicario Apostolico del Mismo. Se de a Luz por el M. R. P. Prior provincial Fr. Julian Velinchon." Published by Imprenta de los Amigos del Pais, Manila in 1858. 29 pages.

7). "Relacion de Los Rabajos Y Calamidades del Vicariato del Tunquin Oriental Durante La Cruel Prsecucion del Rey Tu-Duc en 1857 Y Principios del 58, Escrita por el M. R. P. Fr. Salvador Maso, Vicario Provincial del Mismo. Se da a Luz por el M. R. P. Prior Prov. Fr Julian Velinchon." Published by Imprenta de los Amigos del Pais, Manila in 1858. 19 pages.

8). "Memorias de las Misiones Catolicas en el Tonkin o sean Noticias breves de la persecucion que en aquel reino ha sufrido el Catolicismo, y de los martirios con que novisimamente han demostrado su santidad y su divinidad los Misioneros de la Orden de Santo Domingo. Escritas en Italiano por el P. Alberto Guglielmoti y Traducidas al Espanol por el P. Fr. Manuel Amado, de la Misma Orden." Published by Imprenta y Fundicion de don Eusebio Aguado, Madrid in 1846. 320 pages.

These texts appear to be extremely rare.

Condition:  Reasonably Good. Hardcovers have a fair bit of wear/rubbing/fading/marking. Spine covering has split nearly the whole way down the front hinge. Spine cracked at front and rear hinges. Internal pages with some yellowing and very minor edge wear. Front free endpaper has a cut down the length but is still holding in one piece. First title page has a number of library stamps that appear to originate from Church libraries. Binding tight. 

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"THE INSTRUCTIVE AND ENTERTAINING FABLES OF PILPAY, AN INDIAN PHILOSOPHER. Containing a Number of excellent Rules for the Conduct of Persons of all Ages, and in all Stations: Under Several Heads."  1789.

Hardcover Sixth Edition ("Corrected, improved, and enlarged") in one third calf and marbled board covers, printed for J. F. and C. Rivington, S. Crowder, T. Longman, B. Law, S. Bladon, G. & T. Wilkie, and B. Collins, London in 1789.  Dimensions: 16.5cm x 10.5cm approx.

A fascinating and early English edition of these widely circulated fables. The stories are thought to have originated from India and were written in Sanskrit - possibly written by Vishnu-Sarma. Reputed to be the earliest collection of fables in the world, they have been translated into most languages, having first been translated into Pahlavi around 500 A.D.

This scarce edition of the fables also contains nearly 70 superb engravings.

231 pages.

Condition:    Reasonably Good for its age.  A fair bit of wear/rubbing/fading/marking to covers.  Corners bumped.  Spine cracked at front and hinge and .  Internal pages good with some yellowing/marking and foxing (foxing mainly to early and late pages).  Last page is missing the bottom third (but we don't believe any text is missing).  Binding tight.

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"THE LIFE AND ACTS OF SAINT PATRICK THE ARCHBISHOP, PRIMATE AND APOSTLE OF IRELAND"  by Edmund L. Swift.  1809.

Hardcover First Edition in one third black calf and marbled board covers, published by James Blyth for the Hibernia Press Company, Dublin in 1809.  Dimensions: 26.5cm x 19.5cm approx. 

A very scarce first edition of this volume. The balance of the title is "Now first translated from the original Latin of Jocelin, the Cistrcian Monk of Furnes, who flourished in the early part of the Twelfth Century. With the elucidations of David Rothe, Bishop of Ossory.

Approx 323 pages with a facsimile of three portraits by Father Thomas Messingham as frontispiece and a facsimile a second engraving by Messingham of Saint Patrick converting the people of Ireland to Christianity to the rear of the volume.

Condition:    Good.  Ex-Library copy with normal library markings.  Bookplate to front paste-down in the name of Joseph Neeld.  Bindings appear original.  A fair bit of wear/rubbing/marking/fading to covers.  Spine cracked at title page.  Internal pages good with some foxing throughout (heavier to preliminary pages).  Binding tight.

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"NOTICES RELATING TO THOMAS SMITH, OF CAMPDEN, AND TO HENRY SMITH, SOMETIME ALDERMAN OF LONDON" by The Late Charles Perkins Gwilt, B.A., of Christchurch, Oxford; and of the Middle Temple, London, A DESCENDANT OF THE FAMILY.  1836.

Hardcover First Edition in black hardcover, published by George Woodfall, London in 1836. Dimensions: 27.5cm x 17.5cm approx.

A fascinating and historically important volume relating to London history, as the subject matter is the Smith family, the founders of the Smith's Charity Estate. What really makes this book special is the fact that it has been inscribed by the father of the author. Both Charles Perkins Gwilt and his father, Joseph Gwilt were important London characters in their own right.

The Smith's Family Estate, formed in the 17th Century, consisted originally of around 85.5 acres of land in the Parishes of Kensington, Chelsea and St. Margaret's, Westminster. The estate was born out of the accumulated wealth of Henry Smith (a City merchant and Alderman). Smith amassed a considerable amount of property in his lifetime and set up a number of trusts from 1620 onwards in order to dispose of his rents and profits for charitable purposes. Smith died in 1628, leaving over £3,500 to fund relief for the poor.

The author of the book, Charles Perkins Gwilt, was a young antiquarian writer who died in 1835 at the age of just 27 years. Joseph Gwilt (Charles' father) was an extremely well known architect and archaeologist who was responsible for designing Markree Castle, Sligo, the approaches to Southwark Bridge, and St. Thomas's Church, Charlton amongst other things. Joseph Gwilt also wrote "Treatise on the Equilibrium of Arches", a translation of "Vitruvius", and an "Encyclopaedia of Architecture".

The book is inscribed to the top right corner of the title page "Francis Prideaux ..... with Mr. Joseph Gwilt's Compliments." We presume that this extremely neat inscrition is in Joseph Gwilt's own hand and further believe that the Francis Prideaux, to whom the book is inscribed, may well have had connections to a well known firm of London Solicitors.

80 pages with 4 black and white plates and a number of family trees.

Condition:  Good. Ex-Library copy with normal library markings. Has been re-bound for library use. Slight wear/rubbing to covers. Internal pages good with some yellowing and foxing (foxing mainly to the plates and adjoining pages due to the heavier paper used for the plates). Binding tight.

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"JOE MILLER'S JESTS OR THE WITS VADE-MECUM and THE MERRY JESTER OR CONVIVIAL COMPANION"    c.1770.

Hardcover Edition in one third calf and marbled board covers.  Dimensions: 18cm x 11.5cm approx.

This is actually two volumes bound as one. The first is "Joe Miller's Jests or the Wits Vade-Mecum", tenth edition, printed for T. Read, in Drogwell-Court, White-Friars, Fleet-Street, London. It is undated but we believe it to be c.1750 to 1770. Bound with it is "The Merry Jester; or Convivial Companion", printed for W. Lane, Leadenhall-Street, London. This volume is also undated but appears to be contemporary with the first volume, so around 1750 to 1770.

"Joe Miller's Jests" is an extremely well known publication - the most famous of all English jestbooks. It is believe to have been compiled by John Mottley and was first published in 1739. The text is the expanded 192 page edition which was first published in 1747. All editions of this text are scarce and we cannot find another copy of this edition on the net. Later editions are selling on the net for well over £200.

We have no information on "The Merry Jester". The volume contains 72 pages of "The Best Jests, Brilliant Repartees, Smart Jokes, Merry Stories, Funny Tales, and Witty Sayings."

264 pages in total with black and white engraved frontispiece of "Mr Miller in the character of Sir Joseph Wittol in The Old Batchelor".

The front paste-down has a book plate in the name of Thomas Jefferson McKee.

Condition:    Reasonable.  The volume has clearly been re-bound and restored at some stage (probably in the late 19th Century).  The front cover is disbound.  There is a fair bit of rubbing/wear/fading/marking to the covers and spine.  Spine is cracked at rear hinge.  Internal pages are good with some yellowing, minor foxing and marking.  A number of the internal pages have been professionally restored mainly to repair the edges and some tears.  Binding tight.

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"ARCHAEOLOGICA CORNU-BRITANNICA; or AN ESSAY TO PRESERVE THE ANCIENT CORNISH LANGUAGE"  by William Pryce of Redruth, Cornwall.   1790.

Hardcover First Edition in one third calf and brown board covers, published by W. Cruttwell, Sherborne in 1790.  Dimensions: 25.5cm x 19cm approx.   

"Containing rudiments of that (Cornish) dialect, in a Cornish grammar and Cornish-English Vocabulary, compiled from a variety of materials which have been inaccessible to all other authors. Wherein the original of some thousand words in common use is demonstrated; together with that of the Proper Names of most Towns, Parishes, Villages, Mines, and Gentlemen's Seats and Families, in Wales, Cornwall, Devonshire, and other parts of England."

This is an important and scarce volume relating to the Cornish language. It is currently selling elsewhere for well in excess of £400 so, grab yourself a bargain.

237 pages.

Condition:   Good.  A fair bit of wear/rubbing/fading/marking to covers (now covered in protective plastic).  Internal pages good with wear and some slight damp staining to extreme edges.  Two title pages a bit more worn than the rest.  Binding tight (may have been re-bound at some stage).

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"ROSETO PERPETUO A' MAGGIOR GLORIA DI MARIA SEMPRE VERGINE"   1738.

Hardcover Edition in original vellum binding with embossed leather spine detail, published by Presso Stefano Abate, Napoli in 1738.  Dimensions: 23cm x 17cm approx.

As we do not speak or read Italian, we cannot describe the contents of this volume exactly.  However, it would appear to be some sort of text regarding the Virgin Mary and has to be extremely rare.  We cannot find it elsewhere in the internet.

The volume has an illustrated frontispiece and also has engraved chapter highlights.  It is in what we would describe as very good condition for its age.

The full text of the title page is as follows:

"Roseto Perpetuo

A' Maggior Gloria Di

MARIA

Sempre Vergine;

Ove siorisce per tutti i giorni dell' Anno

un ragionamento in encomio del

SANTISSIMO ROSARIO

Tomo Settimo

Che contiene i Discosi per l'intero Mese di

LUGLIO

Composto dal M. R. Padre

F. GIO: TOMMASO BIANCHI

Maestrogia Provinciale, e Vicario Generale

Della Provincia di Santa Caterina da Siena, in Abruzzo; e Figlio del Real Collegio di San Domenico, nel' Aquila: dell' Ordine Predicatori.

Dedicato All' Angelico Maestro

SAN TOMMASO

D'AQUINO

Del suddetto sacro Ordine, e Quinto Dottor della Ciesa.

Condition:    Considering the fact that this book is almost 300 years old, it is in Very Good condition.  The vellum covers have a fair bit of wear/rubbing/fading/marking and are slightly warped (front cover in particular).   The internal pages are very good with some foxing and yellowing throughout and are also a bit warped.   The binding is remarkably tight.  Overall, in spite of the ravages of time, this book has been read only sparingly.

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"THE HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES OF THE HUNDRED OF BRAY IN THE COUNTY OF BERKSHIRE" by Charles Kerry.  1861.

Hardcover First Edition in embossed brown cloth cover, published by Savill and Edwards, London for the author in 1861.  Dimensions: 23cm x 15cm approx.  Inscribed to the front paste-down: "The Rev. Thom:C:Hills, with the Author's Compliments. Aug:25. 1863".

An extremely interesting book on the Bray Hundred in Berkshire.  The book is described in the introduction as being "intended to supply a want which almost every Parishioner must have experienced - viz, that of an original and authentic history of the localities and institutions of his own immediate neighbourhood."

The book describes the Manor and Hundred of Bray, the Population, the Parish Boundary, the Church, Monuments, Bray School, Braywick School, the Thames, the Manor of Cresswells and much, much more.

A scarce publication of interest from both a topographical and local history point of view.

200 pages including a number of fold-out plans of local genealogy and index.

Condition:   Good for its age.  A fair bit of wear/marking/rubbing, etc to original cloth covers.  Some minor damage to spine covering.  Spine cracked at front and rear hinges.  Internal pages good but yellowed with some wear to outer edge and some minor foxing and a few marks.  Binding fairly tight.

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"THE RIGHT HON. BENJAMIN DISRAELI, EARL OF BEACONSFIELD, K.G., AND HIS TIMES"  by Alexander Charles Ewald. 1881.

5 x Hardcover First Editions in superb pictorially embossed blue cloth covers, published by William Mackenzie, London in 1881.  Dimensions: 27.5cm x 19.5cm approx. 

An outstanding complete set of five volumes describing the life and times of Disraeli.  A fitting tribute to one of Britain's foremost statesmen.  Each volume has a number of frontispiece plates of significant persons of the time such as the Marquis of Salisbury, Lord Lytton, The Right Hon. Sir Stafford Northcote, The Right Hon. Sir Richard Assheton Cross and many others.

Approx 1,200 pages in total.

This set of books is being offered for close to £200 elsewhere on the net.  Grab yourself a bargain!

Condition: Very Good for their age. Some wear/rubbing/fading/marking to covers. Spines lightly cracked at front and rear hinges. Internal pages good with some very minor foxing and browing of very early and very late pages. Bindings tight. A superb set.

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