[RACKHAM, ARTHUR] WALTON, IZAAK. The Compleat Angler; or the Contemplative Man's Recreation. Being a discourse of rivers, fishponds, fish and fishing not unworthy the perusal of most anglers.
London: George Harrap & Co., (1931). One of 775 copies, this copy 4, one of an unstated number of deluxe copies (believed to be roughly twelve in all) that were extra-illustrated with an original watercolor and specially bound. Full red morocco gilt by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, covers panelled in gilt with a fish tool at each corner, spine directly lettered in two compartments, the fish tool repeated in the four others, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, in later clamshell case. 10 1/4 x 7 1/2 inches (26 x 19 cm); 223,  pp.; 12 color plates and 25 text illustrations, plus a full-page watercolor opposite the limitation leaf. Very minor wear to extremities, a few small spots of foxing to the verso of the frontispiece, but in almost all regards a fine copy. With a receipt from Charles E. Sawyer dated 1967 laid-in.
This special copy contains a witty signed watercolor of two fish landing a "Walton fish" in a landing net, titled in Rackham's hand "Giving him the butt." Riall discusses the circumstances under which these special examples were issued, recording that Harrap launched the Complete Angler at a party on 24 September 1931, giving each of the guests a leather-bound copy that 'had a signed ink sketch by Rackham on the half-title page'. However, he also states that Harrap were also in the habit of issuing special copies of 'the first limitation numbers' of Rackham's books. These were 'bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe in green morocco' and contained 'a fine original ink and watercolour drawing, signed ... by Rackham.' Notably, the present drawing is on a separate leaf, not on the half-title (those examples we can locate with the design painted on the half-title seem to be less accomplished than those on the inserted leaf as here). All of the low-number copies we locate are in red, not green morocco bindings of this design by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, with the drawing on the inserted leaf (this includes the copy sold by Christie's, London, 13 June 2012, lot 212 (copy 3); Sotheby's, London, 7 December 2006, lot 311; and that recently sold by Kiefer, 20 February 2020, lot 1121 (copy 2)). Latimore & Haskell p. 66; Riall p. 175 and pp. xiii-xvi.
C Property of a Private New Jersey Collector
Additional Notes & Condition Report
No condition report? Click here to request one.