London: G. Polidori's Private Press, For Private Circulation Only, 1843.
First edition. Original or contemporaneous mauve laid paper wrappers. 24pp. First and only edition of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's vanishingly scarce first book, privately printed by his grandfatther, Gaetano Polidori on the latter's private press. Rossetti wrote most of the manuscript for this poem when he was twelve, and finishing it when he was fourteen. Later in life, Rossetti regretted its publication, and, feeling embarassed, asked his brother William to destroy extra copies, which Michael later recalled disposing of a "large remainder-stock" in his possession. Few copies have survived, though a census of copies in institutions and held by private collectors has not been made. In a letter to T.J. Wise, written 28 June 1889, W.M. Rossetti writes that he has found 'three complete copies, and one extra copy of a single sheet. All my copies are simply in unstitched sheets." Some marginal toning throughout, title-page slightly discoloured at margins. Preserved in a gilt-lettered brown cloth chemise with bookplate of Oliver Brett (noted Baron and collector) and dark blue calf solander box with a gilt design after D.G. Rossetti on upper cover (and in blind on lower cover), gilt-titled on spine. Exceedingly scarce, even more so in unbound state.
Price: $15,000.00 Item #4385