London: Chapman and Hall, 1837 [i.e., April, 1836 – November, 1837]. First edition, bound from the original parts, a mixed issue. 8vo. Two volumes: xiv, (2) 254; (2), 255-609 pp. With the Seymour and "Phiz" plates, as issued, and with the two suppressed Buss plates. Extra-illustrated, as follows: (1) Charles Dickens autograph letter signed, 7 December 1842, to Richard King (8vo, 2-pages); (2) 32 plates by Thomas Onwhyn, plus his suite of 12 later, colored plates; (3) 18 watercolor drawings of Dickens characters by "Kyd" (pseudonym of Joseph Clayton Clark); and (4) as frontispiece to volume two, an outline engraving of a portrait of Charles Dickens, painted by Daniel Maclise, R.A., in 1839. Joints rubbed and just starting at the heads of the spines; otherwise, a find copy of a nicely extra-illustrated copy of the Pickwick Papers. Red crushed morocco (spines darkened), gilt spine title, gilt facsimile signature of Dickens on upper boards, morocco turn-ins with gilt ornaments, patterned endpapers, t.e.g., original wrappers of part three bound at the end of volume one, original wrappers of part seventeen, with its Pickwick advertiser bound at the end of volume two, by Root & Son for Charles E. Lauriat of Boston. (#7797). Item #60582
$7,500.00 The autograph letter, in full: "Devonshire Terrace / York Gate, Regents Park / Seventh December 1842 / Dear Sir. / I am much obliged to you for your note and its accompanying prospectus; and I beg to assure you that I am strongly impressed with a sense of the great importance and value of such a society as that whose objects it develops. But I regret to add that I cannot become a member of it at this time; being already connected with so many institutions that if I were free of half of them for evermore, I should still be encumbered by the number of the rest. Faithfully yours, Charles Dickens / Richard King, Esquire"; King (1811-1876) was an arctic explorer who issued the prospectus for the founding of the Ethnological Society in 1842 and served as its first secretary (see DNB). The first suite of 32 Onwhyn plates were published as "The [Pickwick] Illustrations" (London: E. Grattan, 1837), originally issued in eight parts; Samuel Weller, the name of a character in the Pickwick Papers, was also used as a pseudonym by Onwhyn on some of these plates; the second suite of 12 plates, in color, were published as "Twelve Illustrations to the Pickwick Club" (London: A. Jackson, 1894). Joseph Clayton Clark (1857-1937), "who worked under the pseudonym 'Kyd,' was a British artist best known for his illustrations of characters from the novels of Charles Dickens" (Wikipedia). Daniel Maclise (1806-1870), who painted the portrait from which the frontispiece in volume two was taken, was a friend of Dickens and died the same year as the writer.