Coulter's "Adventures on the Western Coast of South America"

Binding by John Kelly,


Contemporary green morocco, title gilt to spine, raised bands, compartments gilt with foliate arabesques within a broad panel, panelling to both covers in gilt and blind featuring an attractive palmette roll, foliate edge-roll, all edges gilt, inner gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers, narrow brown silk page-marker..

186 × 113 mm

Account of Coulter's time on-board the Stratford whaler, captain Abijah Locke c.1833-6, the book opening with an account of a successful whale chase. A ship's surgeon, "little seems to be known of Coulter beyond his personal narratives" (Howgego). A keen observer, and an engaging writer, Coulter offers an informative and highly readable narrative, Hill noting that "the early materials on California and Melanesia are of importance." Prize inscription on the bound-in original front free endpaper presenting the book to Master Herbert Kelly in 1855. Herbert would appear to be the son of the bookbinder John Kelly, which would explain why this binding is of far better quality than an average mid-nineteenth-century prize binding.

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Photograph and text by Peter Harrington, Rare Books, which retains copyright. Readers may wish to visit the firm's website,

Formatting by George P. Landow.