The Connoisseur by Mr Town, Critic, and Censor-General.

London: R. Baldwin, 1755 [i.e., 1754-, 1756.

140 original numbers bound into two volumes, small folio, with woodcut decorations; corner of first title-page renewed with two letters supplied in ink, most of the imprints at the end of each number trimmed away or cropped (as normal: the imprints appear very low on the page), but with decent margins throughout, small rectangle cut from upper corner of flyleaves (presumably to remove signature); library bookplates with release stamps, small stamps on title-pages; generally in excellent, crisp condition in contemporary tree calf, spines gilt in compartments between raised bands with ornate double labels;.

A sharpening wit unleashed upon London society

First edition, bound from the original numbers of this scarce periodical, in very good original condition. The Connoisseur in its first edition is rare on the market in any kind of condition or binding: only three copies have appeared at auction in the last twenty-five years.

First edition, bound from the original numbers of this scarce periodical, in very good original condition. The Connoisseur in its first edition is rare on the market in any kind of condition or binding: only three copies have appeared at auction in the last twenty-five years.

This attractive set in original bindings contains the first printings of the complete run of the 140 numbers of the periodical, issued weekly on Thursdays from 31 January 1754 until 30 September 1756. The periodical was conducted and largely written by the dramatists and noted wits George Colman and Bonnell Thornton in the guise of "Mr. Town, Critic and Censor-General". Each number contained a single essay intended to entertain by examining the vices and follies of London society. William Cowper, who contributed five papers, was probably the most celebrated contributor, and other numbers were supplied by John Earl of Cork & Orrery, Thomas Warton, John Duncombe, Robert Lloyd, and Orator Henley.

Johnson found the Connoisseur 'wanting in matter', and Graham explains that if the journal 'was often poor in style and lacking in substance', these faults 'may fairly be attributed to the inexperience of its authors (Colman was twenty-two and Thornton thirty) and their youthful predilection to satire…'.

Graham, pp.129-30; Rothschild, 662.

Price (AUD): $2,400.00  other currencies     Ref: #4106633

Condition Report