Boston: Phillips, Sampson and Company, 1869. First Edition. Large paper issue (a later impression of the first edition). BAL state A, with the illustrations, in state A of the binding, with "Boston" at base of spine. Octavo (22cm). In original rust brown, pebble-grain publisher's cloth, bevelled boards, titled in gold on spine, all edges gilt (BAL binding A); grey coated endpapers; viii, 373pp; 8 full-page wood-engraved illustrations. Title page printed in black and red. Early c20 bookplate of Davenport Brown on pastedown. A straight, handsome copy with some rubbing to head and tail, rear joint cracked but holding, internally with minor browning along upper edges of leaves, else clean: Good or better.
With autograph letter, signed, dated March 1, 1866, tipped in at front: "Dear Sir, / Many thanks for / your politeness -- your / sagacity was not in fault. / [??] out to get / along without these mys-/ terious notes, which related / to the origin of certain news / as given by Mr. Lockhart Clark / in the Philosophical Transactions. / Yours very truly / O W Holmes."
Large paper issue of Holmes' first and most successul collection of essays, with wood engravings by Augustus Hoppin. Holmes disliked the illustrations, which were removed in later printings. CURRIER & TILTON p.73. JOHNSON HIGH SPOT p.254. BAL 9093. Cf. GROLIER 100 #69.