Complete Angler


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[002851] Walton, Izaak and Cotton, Charles. The Complete Angler, or Contemplative Man’s Recreation: Being A Discourse on Rivers, Fish-Ponds, Fish, and Fishing. ill. Audinet, Philip. London: Samuel Bagster, 1815. Second Edition Thus. 8vo. Full Morocco. Very Good. [11], 12-514pp, [20]. Later, probably early twentieth century, full morocco, raised bands, spine in six panels, title in gilt to second panel, authors to third, remaining panels with double fillet border and central device in gilt, covers with single fillet border surrounding a frame made up of a repeated flower head tool, single fillet to edges, with two double fillet borders to inner edges with flower head corner pieces, a.e.g.

Very slightly rubbed to extremities, but generally bright and clean. Internally some occasional light off setting from the engravings, one or two spots of foxing, frontispiece foxed and lightly water stained to foot, but otherwise generally quite clean, R5 with closed tear across width of page, catching text but with no loss of sense.

Housed in a cloth drop back box, lightly faded and worn.

With fifty engravings, facsimiles and maps as called for, fourteen full-page, Wordsworth’s Written Upon a Blank Leaf in The Complete Angler, is written on a blank leaf in this Complete Angler before the half-title, and bound in after the title of part two is an earlier engraved broadside, browned to edges and trimmed with a piece excised from the left hand side at the head to facilitate folding, called The Anglers Assistant being an Epitome of Ye Whole Art of Angling, published by M.[arshall] Sheepy, c.1750 (Harvard only in ESTC). For Sheepy see Plomer’s Dictionary of Printers and Booksellers, 1726-1775, page 226.

Binding is by, or more likely for, [George Thomas] Bagguley (b. 1860) of Newcastle-Under-Lyme. Nixon, in British Bookbindings Presented by Kenneth H. Oldaker to the Chapter Library of Westminster Abbey, notes that the “firm of Bagguley always appears in the Staffordshire Directory from 1892 until 1940 as booksellers and not bookbinders, and there is no reason to believe that the head of the firm had ever learned to bind. But he did employ a bookbinder and the bindings signed with the name Bagguley were carried out on his premises” (Nixon, page 126).

Maggs Catalogue 1212, notes that Bagguley bindings “are often of the highest quality, as Bagguley employed a number of the best finishers” (Maggs 1212, Part II, page 166) Bagguley also patented a process he termed “Sutherland Bindings” after the Duchess of Sutherland, which involved colour and gilt tooling on vellum doublures.

The second Bagster edition. Westwood and Satchell, pages 224-225, noting that the “engravings of fish are a fresh series and the ‘present editor’ was Henry Ellis of the British Museum”; Wood, pages 38-39 and Horne 21, “one of the most handsome of the early Anglers” (Horne, page 37); Wellcome V:381 (for the 1808 Bagster edition)