The First Walton

The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative Man's Recreation, being a discourse of Fish and Fishing, not unworthy the perusal of most anglers.

London: Printed by T. Maxey for Rich. Marriot, 1653.

Price: $62,500.00

About the item

First edition. Engraved cartouche of fish on title, ten engraved vignettes of fish in text. Title within engraved piscatorial cartouche, 6 engravings of fish within text variously attributed to Lombart, Faithorne or Vaughan, 2 pages of music for "The Angler's Song" by Henry Lawes with one page printed upside down as intended to enable two singers to sing facing each other, type-ornament headpieces, woodcut initial. 1 vols. Small 8vo (5-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches). The First Walton. Bound without terminal blank R4; leaves F4, Q6-8 and R1-3 in facsimile, a few headlines just shaved; washed and pressed. Early 20th-century olive morocco gilt, paneled sides with corner fleurons and central lozenge, gilt spine with two red leather labels, edges gilt on the rough. In red morocco-backed slipcase with chemise, spine tooled in gilt with crest and motto "veritas", by James McDonald, New York. Wing W 661; Coigney 1; Horne 1; Church Catalogue I, 32; Pforzheimer 1048; Grolier Wither to Prior III 193; Grolier, English 31; Westwood and Satchell, p. 217. Provenance: John Peachey (1749-1816, West Dean, Sussex, F.R.S. and M.P., 2nd Baron Selsey from 1806; bookplate dated 1782 preserved) - Harry T. Pethers (sale Sotheby's, 5 December 1960, lot 135, £145 to Maggs) - Bent Juel-Jensen (acquired from Maggs, February 1961, for £225).

Item #239106

First edition of a landmark of English literature.
The present copy has A3r in uncorrected state and displays most other errors as noted by Horne (although p. 114 reading VVhen not VVien); p. 245 (with a notorious error) is here in facsimile in the corrected state.
The first edition of Walton's perennially popular and never out-of-print angling classic has always been difficult to find. Its tremendous appreciation in value over the last twenty years is an indication of how few copies indeed remain, outside of permanent collections, as well as how relentlessly it is still pursued by collectors.