“AN ARTIST OF RARE TALENTS, BOTH IN HUMOUR AND PATHOS”
(CRUIKSHANK, George). Fairburn's Pleasing Instructor; Being a Description of all the Nations of Europe, Their Produce, Trade, and Curiosities. London: John Fairburn, no date. 12mo, contemporary full green calf gilt, dentelles and top edge gilt, marbled endpapers. $985.
First edition, with thirteen woodcuts and a full-color folding frontispiece by George Cruikshank.
"Cruikshank attained great celebrity as an artist of rare talents, both in humour and pathos" (Allibone, 456). This charming little volume contains 22 brief descriptions of European countries and regions. After the publication of Cruikshank's woodcuts in Fairburn's Pleasing Instructor, they "were used by him for the 'Lottery Puffs" (Cohn 294). This, the Edwin Truman-Captain Douglas-J.B. Townsend copy, is extremely rare, and both initialed notations by Edwin Truman and an inlaid letter referring to the Townsend sale of the book affirm that it is the only known copy. Original paper wrappers bound in. Cohn 294. Two bookplates, one from J. Barton Townsend.
Interior generally clean, with occasional penciled marginalia and slight offsetting from plates. Minor toning to spine. A fine copy. Scarce.