Publication: Kemp & Boyce, Printers, 1886, Melbourne, 1886 & 1887
Fergus Hume. Two Copies of The Mystery of a Hansom Cab. Melbourne and London: [1886-1887]. First and first English (second) editions. Fergus Hume. The Mystery of a Hansom Cab.A Realistic Story of Melbourne Life. Melbourne: Kemp & Boyce, . First edition, fourth printing (stated fourth "edition.") Octavo. 230, [2, ads] pages. Publisher's perfect binding, original light gray-brown illustrated paper wrappers; all text block edges trimmed. Backstrip wrinkled with some slight cracking and three tiny holes, nicks at head and foot, head reinforced with clear tape; possible repairs along joints; wrappers rippled and speckled, with two small rust stains from staples at rear and a handful of soft creases near corners; trace of wear with some nicking along edges; corners replaced with later paper. Edges of text block slightly dulled and foxed, trace of darkening to top edge; first and last few leaves foxed, recto of first leaf with Sydney bookseller's stamp at head; mild rumpling, creasing and foxing toward edges of leaves throughout, from handling. Very good overall. Scarce first edition of this Victorian bestseller. [Together with:] The Mystery of a Hansom Cab.A Startling and Realistic Story of Melbourne Social Life. London: The Hansom Cab Publishing Company, [1887 or 1888]. First English edition (second overall), with "Three Hundred Thousandth" at head of title-page. Octavo. 230, [2, ads] pages. Publisher's perfect binding, original light brown illustrated paper wrappers; all text block edges trimmed. Backstrip lightly worn and wrinkled, with some scattered spots of foxing and a few tiny nicks out of spine ends; wear along joints; wrappers foxed and faintly rubbed, with a trace of wear at edges resulting in some nicking and creasing at lower corner of front wrapper; a couple of creases and embossed stamp at upper corner of rear wrapper. Text block edges dulled, softened, and foxed; moderate foxing throughout interior of text block, with occasional spot of thumbsoiling and some soft creasing and dimpling from handling. Overall, about near fine. Housed with above in individual black cloth chemises in custom black cloth-covered book-backed slipcase. A Haycraft Queen Cornerstone.
Inventory Number: 46059