The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions, inscribed by Churchill in the first volume and magnificently bound in full morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London. Winston S. Churchill.
The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions, inscribed by Churchill in the first volume and magnificently bound in full morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London
The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions, inscribed by Churchill in the first volume and magnificently bound in full morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London
The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions, inscribed by Churchill in the first volume and magnificently bound in full morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London
The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions, inscribed by Churchill in the first volume and magnificently bound in full morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London
The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions, inscribed by Churchill in the first volume and magnificently bound in full morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London
The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions, inscribed by Churchill in the first volume and magnificently bound in full morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London
The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions, inscribed by Churchill in the first volume and magnificently bound in full morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London
The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions, inscribed by Churchill in the first volume and magnificently bound in full morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London
The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions, inscribed by Churchill in the first volume and magnificently bound in full morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London

The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions, inscribed by Churchill in the first volume and magnificently bound in full morocco by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London

Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1948. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This full, six-volume, first edition set of Winston Churchill’s The Second World War is both inscribed and dated by Churchill in Volume I and finely bound by Zaehnsdorf for Asprey of London. The inscription, inked in five lines on the front free endpaper, reads “To | F. Shaw | from | Winston S. Churchill | 1952”. The set is elegantly bound in full green morocco. The hubbed spines are each gilt-stamped with the title, subtitle, author, and year of publication, all compartments are gilt ruled with elaborate tooling in the unprinted compartments and on the raised spine bands. The covers feature gilt rule borders anchored at each corner by an elaborate tooled device. The cover edges are gilt ruled and the generous turn-ins feature two rows of gilt filigree framing striking and complementary hued pale green marbled endpapers. Even the gold, white, and green head and foot bands are executed with noteworthy skill and aesthetic effect. This lovely example of the binder’s craft is a reminder to collectors that not all fine bindings are created equal. Each lower front pastedown is gilt stamped “BOUND BY ZAEHNSDORF FOR ASPREY”. The luxury goods firm Asprey of London was established in 1781. Asprey began offering finely bound reference books in the early 1900s, which after the Second World War developed to include a range of both antiquarian and new books finely bound by Asprey. The renowned Zaehnsdorf Bindery was founded in London in 1842 by Austria-Hungary-born Joseph Zaehnsdorf (1816-1886) and run by him, his son, and his grandson for over one hundred years. Asprey acquired Zaehnsdorf in 1983. Condition is fine, within and without. The exceptional leather bindings are beautifully bright and clean with no more than the odd, incidental scuff. Shelf presence is commanding. The contents are well-suited to the bindings, clean and bright with no spotting or previous ownership marks apart from the author’s inscription. This first U.S. edition is not only scarcer today than its British counterpart, but is also the true first edition. The first volume, The Gathering Storm, was published in the U.S. in June 1948, while the British first edition was not published until October 1948. The sixth and final U.S. first edition volume, Triumph and Tragedy, was published during Churchill's second and final Premiership in November 1953. As noted by Churchill’s bibliographer, Ronald Cohen, “production requirements for the large number of copies ordered… complicate bibliographical description… little is revealed in the volumes themselves to indicate their place in the American chronology.” (Cohen, Vol. I, A240.1(I).a, p.718) Most common identification points for a first edition (including head and foot bands, topstain, and dust jacket prices) were lost to the rebinding. All but one volume (Vol. VI) lack a printed publication date on the lower title page. Nonetheless, the title and copyright pages show nothing discordant with variations of the first edition we have previously encountered. Moreover, the 1952 inscription date definitively delimits the Volume I publication date. In his March 1948 introduction to the first volume, Churchill stipulated, "I do not describe it as history... it is a contribution to history..." Nonetheless the compelling fact remains, as stated by Churchill himself, "I am perhaps the only man who has passed through both the two supreme cataclysms of recorded history in high Cabinet office... I was for more than five years in this second struggle with Germany the Head of His Majesty's government. I write, therefore, from a different standpoint and with more authority than was possible in my earlier books." Certainly The Second World War may be regarded as an intensely personal and inherently biased history. Nonetheless, Churchill's work remains seminal, iconic, and a vital part of the historical record. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A240.1(I-VI).a, Woods/ICS A123(aa), Langworth p.258. Item #005721

Price: $9,500.00