Like New. 1976, hardcover with slipcase, Folio Society, London. Used in like new condition. Text is clean of any markings, writing, or highlighting. Slipcase in very good condition with minor wear. Additional photographs available upon request.
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HB. Original bindings with leather spines and corners, over marbled boards; gilt titles, decorations and raised bands to spines. H: 22cm. Volume 1: undated with no publisher given, but subtitled: From the Days of the Renowned Figg and Broughton, to the Time of the Gallant Tom Cribb. Including a Complete History of the Prize Ring from the Year 1791 to 1813. 497pp. With engraved pictorial short title page, followed by main title page then 20 engraved plates, mostly of famous pugilists, before text. Volume 2: Titled: Boxiana; or Sketches of Modern Pugilism, during the Championship of Cribb...in Two Volumes Vol. II. Dedicated to the Earl of Yarmouth. Published by WM Clark, no date. 580pp. With 6 engraved portraits of pugilists, as called for. Volume 3: Titled: Boxiana; or Sketches of Modern Pugilism, during the Championship of Cribb, to Spring's Challenge to All England. In Three Volumes, Volume III. dedicated to the Marquis of Worcester. Published by G. Virtue, 1829. 640pp, with 7 engraved plates as called for. It appears that the second and third volumes appeared after gaps of some years, (and a change of publisher) and the title changed to include the 'Championship of Cribb' in the last two volumes-hence the potentially confusing reference in Vol.2 to these being in 'two volumes'. History of bare-knuckle prize fighting, but also a social history of that era. Condition details: Volume 1 is Fair, Volumes 2 and 3 are Good. The covers are very worn, and volume 1 requires rebinding, as the covers have detached (though the pages are good and held together). Vols 2 and 3 have splits to the hinges though the bindings are sound. Covers are generally very rubbed and scuffed with fraying and tears to the ends, some loss to top of spine of Vol.2. Most pages and plates are clean, though there are occasional grubby handling marks, and spotting, and the plate margins of Vol.1 are browned and stained with some tears. Vols 2 and 3 have browning & spotting to plate margins, and some pages are tanned generally-perhaps varying paper quality.
****A CORNERSTONE OF BOXING LITERATURE**** The correct--and uncommon--1st edition of Pierce Egan's "Boxiana", complete in 5 volumes. 1812-1824. Bibliographically very tricky but all issue points conform to the 1st edition requirements as laid down by RA Hartley in his excellent reference on boxing literature, "History and Bibliography of Boxing Books" (#587, pgs. 144-46). Originally conceived as a broad history of the sport, the 1812 original volume proved popular enough to call for a 2nd and updated volume in 1818. Before issuing this new volume, though, the publisher reprinted the original 1812 ed. to continue drumming up interest in this new project. And, after the success of these two 1818 volumes (the reprint of the 1812 1st volume and the new, 2nd volume), another volume under the stewardship of Pierce Egan was published in 1821 and then a final installment with his imprimatur in 1824. Legal wrangling with the publisher, George Smeeton, followed and Egan withdrew from the project, marking the end of the original series. This set has held up beautifully; bright and VG+, still tightly-bound and well-preserved in its original half-leather (light brown calf) over boards. Vol. 1 alone has been elegantly rebound in a light calf to blend in nicely with the 4 other original bindings. Thick octavos, 2, 880 pgs. all told. One of the landmark sets in the history of boxing literature.
Boxiana: or, Sketches of ancient and modern pugilism. -
by Pierce Egan
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