SUMPTUOUSLY BOUND BEAUX AND BELLES OF ENGLAND
MOLLOY, J. Fitzgerald, et al. Beaux & Belles of England. London: The Grolier Society, circa 1900. Fourteen volumes. Octavo, contemporary full turquoise morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spines and boards, raised bands, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut and occasionally unopened. $4500.
“Édition des Amateurs,” number 28 of 100 sets, of this collection of memoirs and biographies, illustrated with 84 double suites of photogravures, two plates in each volume with hand-coloring, handsomely bound.
From the most famous “beau” himself, George Bryan Brummell—celebrated for his “social aplomb, readiness of repartee and fastidious neatness in dress” (DNB)—and through such late-18th and early 19th-century notables as actress Sarah Siddons, Lady Hamilton and Lord Nelson, the illustrious Sheridan family and poet Mary Robinson, “the English Sappho,” these 14 volumes afford rich glimpses of a society that epitomized elegance. Eighty-four double-suites of photogravures illustrate the set; each volume with two hand-colored plates, including a frontispiece.
Dampstaining to text of six volumes. Slight uniform toning to spines. Intricate gilt designs bright. A beautiful set in near-fine condition.