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The Columbian Magazine, or Monthly Miscellany, Containing a View of the History, Manners, Literature, Characters of the Year 1787. Emollit Mores. [Bound volume I, including early appearance of the Constitution in the September 1787 issue]
Philadelphia: T. Seddon, W. Spotswood, C. Cist, & J. Trenchard, 1786-87. [4], 884p. plus index, all issues of Volume I, together with preface and foreword from the publisher. A fat small octavo, 8x5 inches in calf-backed papered boards with original red leather label gilt (legible), label ruled gilt, spine ruled with notional transverse lines. Texts appear complete although cover-wraps were discarded by binder; some illustrations (per monthly tables of contents and various stubs) are lacking; we list below those which are present. Textblock is intact without sophistication but casebinding is in poor shape: front cover is nearly detached, boards are peeled of much of their original coated papering and now show large areas of soft grey card; all extremities are heavily worn, rear board "hinged" solely by calf overlay, initial blanks are missing, and-- a most obvious flaw --much of the titlepage is irregularly torn away, with the "n" of Columbian gone along with half the publisher's line. Find a dampstain to head in index section, scattered smudges, more stains, small areas of ancient black mold (usually on foredge and upper corner-tip), the occasional tobacco-particle burn and food-fleck. A small marginal impact has dented foredge of all leaves from p.869 thru to terminal blanks. Find many tiny old doodles in both pencil and ink (mysterious geometrical figures). Front pastedown bears an old armorial bookplate belonging to one J.C.B. Peard, his motto in English: "Put Forward" Printed here is first or second appearance of the US Constitution in a serial (precedence considered unknowable) and firsts of two earliest American novels, Amelia (complete in two installments) and The Foresters (incomplete, completed in a 1788 number). Occasional mention of slavery from the Abolitionist point of view. Texts commence with September 1786, first issue, and run consecutively through to December 1787, concluding with unpaginated indices to Miscellaneous Pieces and to the mag's "Columbian Parnassiad." The Constitution runs pp.659 - 665, printed in Columbian's customary double-columns over George Washington's signature in type, a bit rippled with a few small stains. The Foresters begins at p.453, Amelia at p.677. As stated, visuals are incomplete; at p.300 for instance, we see a stub obviously scissored with a remnant of copperplate border remaining. Illustrations present: titlepage device (bird perched on a globe, a shield, a plow, a lyre). Figure III, placed between Oct/Nov 86, a doublespread showing fossil bones and a swordfish; much dust, foldlines and soil. Figure 1 (not consecutive) opposite p.181, a nice copper engraving of "Plan of a Granary" in good shape. Fig. II, Plan for a Bridge to be built over Schuykill" a little dusty, opposite p.244. At 326/7, Fig. 2 a doublespread of "New Solar Dial," a sort of clockwork sundial; rather dusty and stained. At 420/1 Figures 1, 2 and 3 on a single plate, untitled but seems to be a new improved candlestick. At 424/5 "Plan of some Ancient Works on the Muskingum," Native American earthen mounds (folded and misfolded, dusty and foxed with a tiny perforation). At 466/7, an unnumbered engraving, "Plan of a new Machine for raising water by wind"-- mildly dusty and stained. At 654/5 three figures on a single plate showing a living mollusc, a gigantic fossilized tooth, and a weighing device. At 826/7 four "figs" on a single copperplate all to do with a "Box for drilling Seed."
      [Bookseller: Bolerium Books, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2017-12-21           Check availability:      Direct From Seller    


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