Printed by Thomas Maxey for the Fleet Street bookseller Richard Marriot in 1653, this first edition of Izaak Walton’s Compleat Angler or The Contemplative Man’s Recreation. Being a Discourse of Rivers Fishponds Fish and Fishing not unworth the Perusal of Most Anglers is estimated at £8000- 12,000 in Hutchinson Scott’s September 26-27 sale.
Consigned from a private collection, the copy (rebound in the late 19th century) has not appeared on the market before. It is in generally good condition with all pages present and intact, bar tears to the last two blanks.
The first edition of Walton’s celebration of the art and spirit of fishing, penned against a backdrop of civil war and the Interregnum, includes various typesetting errors.
He continued to add to the book for a quarter of a century with a fifth lifetime edition (1676) growing from 13 to 21 chapters.
All editions were published by Marriot, who Walton called ‘my old friend’ in his last will and testament, leaving him £10 on his death aged around 90 in 1683.