“THE ICE BEARS!”
HEATHCOTE, J.M. TEBBUTT, C.G. WITHAM, T. Maxwell. Skating. Figure-Skating. London: Longmans, Green, 1892. Large octavo, original three-quarter navy morocco gilt rebacked with original spine laid down, top edges gilt, uncut. $850.
Limited large paper first edition, number 221 of only 250 copies, of this illustrated survey to the history and techniques of speed-skating and figure-skating.
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). This volume includes chapters about not only skating for recreation and in competition—one entire chapter is devoted to Holland, "the skater's paradise"—but also the sports of curling, tobogganing, ice-sailing and bandy (a form of ice hockey). With 12 full-page plates and numerous in-text illustrations. Front boards gilt-stamped with Beaufort coat of arms.
Boards lightly soiled, light expert restoration to corners.