"I HERE WITH PEN AND INK APPEND MY NAME": SCARCE EDITION OF LEAVES OF GRASS, SIGNED BY WHITMAN, WITH ORIGINAL BUTTERFLY PHOTOGRAPH
WHITMAN, Walt. Leaves of Grass with Sands at Seventy & a Backward Glance o'er Travel'd Roads. May 31, 1889… Portraits from Life. Autograph. Special Ed'n. [Camden, New Jersey, 1889]. Octavo, original full gilt-stamped limp black morocco, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Housed in a custom chemise and clamshell box. $14,500.
One of only 300 copies of Leaves of Grass printed in commemoration of Whitman's 70th birthday, boldly signed by Whitman on the title page, with six portraits of Whitman, including the famous original mounted frontispiece photograph with a butterfly resting on his finger.
Whitman's explanatory note is printed on the title page: "Today, after finishing my 70th year, the fancy comes for celebrating it by a special complete, final utterance, in one handy volume of L. of G. with their Annex, and Backward Glance-and for stamping and sprinkling all with portraits and facial photos, such as they actually were, taken from life, different stages. Doubtless, anyhow, the volume is more a Person than a book. And for testimony to all (and good measure) I here with pen and ink append my name." In BAL Binding A. BAL 21435. Myerson A2.7.n. Wells & Goldsmith, 32-33.
Text and frontispiece fine, a bit of wear along inner paper hinges; binding much nicer than usually seen, gilt bright. A desirable copy.