“ONE OF THE WILDEST AND NOBLEST OF ALL THE FIELD SPORTS”: ILLUSTRATED LIMITED LARGE-PAPER FIRST EDITION OF THE BADMINTON LIBRARY’S VOLUME ON COURSING AND FALCONRY
COX, Harding and LASCELLES, Gerald. Coursing and Falconry. London: Longmans, Green, 1892. Large octavo, original three-quarter navy morocco gilt rebacked, top edges gilt, uncut. $850.
Limited large paper first edition, number 236 of only 250 copies, of this generously illustrated guide to racing greyhounds and hunting with hawks.
Henry Somerset, eighth Duke of Beaufort, conceived of the "Badminton Library" (named after his principal country house, not the game) as a comprehensive series of instructional guidebooks, presenting history, rules and strategic hints for pastimes popular among Victorian England's aristocracy. Each chapter boasts expert commentary, accompanied by copious pictures and drawings. Published between 1885 and 1920, "the books provide a rich source of information on the growth and development of sport during the late 19th century in Britain, and are highly sought after by collectors" (Nauright & Parrish, Sports Around the World, 33). Cox's Coursing covers such topics as "The Waterloo Cup," "Practical Greyhound Breeding" and "Opinions of Noted Courses." Lascelles' Falconry discusses several varieties of hawking—magpie, gull, kite, lark and blackbird among them—and includes practical information on the care and feeding of hawks. With 20 full-page plates and numerous in-text illustrations. Front boards gilt-stamped with Beaufort coat of arms.
Interior clean. Light expert restoration to handsome binding.