Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
First Edition, First Printing of the First English Translation
Published by Vizetelly & Co, London in 1886
Unique Leather Binding by Jamie Kamph, Stonehouse Bindery
Note on Rarity: It is estimated that only 7 copies of the first edition of the Vizetelly edition are known to exist with the first edition point of a publisher's advertisement to the verso of half-title page. The Vizetelly edition is extremely rare with only 2 of these copies having ever come to auction both selling for approximately $20,000. The U.S. edition which was published 6 months after the British edition is also rare but does not approach the extreme rarity of the Vizetelly edition.
Binding Details: Crime and Punishment is a unique leather binding designed and executed by Jamie Kamph in 2018. The book is bound in full dark red Hartaman goatskin leather. The covers and spine are elaborately decorated with gold gilt framing typical of 19th century Napoleonic bindings which were widely imitated in Russia. The spine is additionally decorated with gold gilt titling. There are handsewn silk endbands and hand marbled Payhembury endsheets and pastedowns. The book is housed in a custom made brocade woven clamshell box lined in ultrasuede. The box has a leather spine label with gold gilt titling.
The book measures approximately 7” x 5.25” with 456 pages. Bound into the book is the original review from The Athenauem, London, dated January 16, 1886.
Included with the book is a signed artist statement by Jamie Kamph that contains information about the book and binding as well are her drawing that formed the basis for her binding. The bindings were designed and executed in 2018.
Book Details: Originally published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during 1866 and as a single volume in 1867 in Russian, Crime and Punishment is one of the major works of Russian literature and is widely considered Dostoyevsky’s most important novel. This is the first edition, first printing of the first English translation published by Vizetelly & Co, London 1886 as Number XIII of Vizetelly's One-Volume Novels series. The Vizetelly series mainly featured new works and first translations, and made numerous French and Russian novels accessible to English-speakers. The translation is presented anonymously in the book but is usually attributed to Russian-born British novelist Frederick Whishaw. As mentioned earlier, it is estimated that only 7 copies of the first edition of the Vizetelly edition are known to exist with the first edition point of a publisher's advertisement to the verso of half-title page. The Vizetelly edition is extremely rare with only 2 of these copies having ever come to auction both selling for approximately $20,000. The U.S. edition which was published 6 months after the British edition is also rare but does not approach the extreme rarity of the Vizetelly edition.
References: Line, Ettlinger & Gladstone, Bibliography of Russian Literature in English Translation to 1945, page 17; Hubin, Crime Fiction, 1749-1980, page 121.
About the Artist: Jamie Kamph is an author, educator, book conservator, and artist widely recognized as one of most knowledgeable and accomplished bookbinders in the world. She began her career working with Hope G. Weil before opening her own studio, The Stonehouse Bindery, in 1973. Her writings on bookbinding have been widely published in magazines and she is the author of “A Collectors Guide to Bookbinding, published by in 1982 by the Bird and Bull Press and “Tricks of the Trade: Confessions of a Bookbinder”, published by the Oak Knoll Press in 2015. Her design bindings are housed in private collections and institutions worldwide including Princeton University, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Pierpont Morgan Library, the New York Public Library, and the Bridwell Library at the University of Texas. Many of her other bindings have been widely exhibited in such places as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Grolier Club, Yale University, and the Aspen Art Institute. In 2003, she was awarded the Helen Ward DeGolyer Award for American Bookbinding.
Condition Report: The binding is in FINE condition with no flaws. Internally, the book is very clean with no foxing. The original owner’s signature appears on the top of the title page which is dated July, 1886.
Photographs of the binding, clamshell box, and Jamie Kamph’s design sketch for the binding appear in the photo section of the listing.