“THE MOST UNIVERSAL OF ALL PHYSICAL EXERCISES”: ILLUSTRATED LIMITED LARGE-PAPER FIRST EDITION OF THE BADMINTON LIBRARY’S VOLUME ON SWIMMING
SINCLAIR, Archibald and HENRY, William. Swimming. London: Longmans, Green, 1893. Large octavo, original three-quarter navy morocco gilt rebacked with original spine laid down, top edges gilt, uncut. $750.
Limited large paper first edition, number 112 of only 250 copies, of this illustrated guide to “this fascinating and healthful sport.”
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 instruction in such movements as the breast-stroke, side-stroke and the "trudgeon" stroke; diving and floating; life-saving; water polo; and more. With 13 full-page illustrations and numerous in-text illustrations. Front boards gilt-stamped with Beaufort coat of arms.
Scattered light foxing. Light expert restoration to handsome binding.