Sep 30, 2021 - Sale 2580

Sale 2580 - Lot 247

Price Realized: $ 5,200
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
WITH DISTINGUISHED EARLY MISSOURI PROVENANCE NOAH WEBSTER. An American Dictionary of the English Language. Frontispiece portrait. [88], [907]; [2], [924] pages. 2 volumes. 4to, contemporary sheep, worn, front board of Volume II detached; lacking first front flyleaf and final rear free endpaper, intermittent moderate dampstaining and foxing, some moisture damage to a few leaves (apparently from since-removed botanical specimens), first volume with hinge split in a few spots with a few gatherings coming detached, minor worming to second volume; penciled binder's note on verso of frontispiece, early owner's inscriptions on front free endpapers. New York, 1828

Additional Details

First edition of Webster's unabridged dictionary, following his much shorter 12mo dictionary issued in 1806. Webster played a major role in codifying American English, with hundreds of distinctively American spellings such as "color" and "center." His frequent reliance upon biblical quotations has kept it relevant even today among many religious families. "The most ambitious publication ever undertaken, up to that time, upon American soil" (DAB). "One of the great contributions toward mass education, this Dictionary placed correct spelling and usage within the reach of Everyman"--Grolier Hundred 36. Printing and the Mind of Man 291; Sabin 102335.

This copy was signed by John C. Edwards in November 1834, probably the John Cummins Edwards who later served as governor of Missouri. It was later owned by Peter Garland Glover (1792-1851), who served as Missouri's Secretary of State and treasurer, and his son Dr. Walter Scott Glover (1832-1912). The Glovers used these two volumes as an all-purpose storage unit for botanical specimens (since removed) and several pieces of paper ephemera through 1900 (7 of which remain with the volume, including a commission issued to Peter G. Glover and signed by Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs in 1837).