SALESMAN’S DUMMY OF FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR
TWAIN, Mark. Following the Equator. Hartford: American Publishing Company, 1897. Royal octavo, original gilt-stamped navy cloth, mounted cover illustration. $2800.
Salesman’s dummy for Following the Equator, with two leather sample spines tipped onto the front pastedown.
A “salesman’s dummy” (also called a salesman’s sample or prospectus) was meant to be taken door-to-door to show prospective subscribers. The front cover of the dummy is identical to the published book, while the text consists of a few pages from the book (primarily those pages with illustrations). Since the sample is thinner than the finished book, the spine samples—in publisher’s morocco and “long-grain” leather library-style—are instead tipped onto the front pastedown. At the rear of the volume are 16 leaves of ruled paper with the headings: “Subscribers’ Names,” “Residences,” and “Style of Binding.” These obviously were intended to be filled with orders, though in the present copy they are blank. Like all publisher’s prospectuses, this dummy includes only a fraction of the text. While it contains the first-issue title page with only the Hartford imprint, it is impossible to tell the state of page 161 (which sometimes features a signature mark “11”), because it is absent here. “The prospectus for the trade edition issued by the publisher included material by Mark Twain regarding the book itself. There is also a picture of Mark Twain and his family aboard a steamer at Seattle; neither were republished in the book” (Johnson, 68). BAL 3451. Johnson, 65. MacDonnell, 52-53. McBride, 194. Owner signature.
Offsetting from leather spines, as usual. Discoloration to cloth. Text clean; order forms blank and present. An extremely good copy of this scarce salesman’s dummy.