Buntling Ball, 1885 Edgar Fawcett Rare Edition
The Buntling Ball A Graeco-American Play Being A Political Satire on New York Society, No. 4480, 1885, by Edgar Fawcett, is a rare and mysterious publication with decorated gold and brown cover on heavy red-lined paper in a clear protective sleeve. No author is listed in the published book!
An obvious closet drama and satire on New York's elite society, The Buntling Ball was published without the author's name. Why? Read on! It is a very unusual book! Beautifully bound and printed, it was published with a kind of contest prize of $1,000 for the buyer who could name the author.
Of the 10,000 copies published, the hand written number on the title page of this copy is 4480! This was 133 years ago.
- Edgar Fawcett (1847-1904), the acknowledged author of this play, was a popular minor American novelist and poet who wrote a few plays, none successful on the stage.
This First Edition copy shows a very strained, nearly separated binding at the front flyleaf which is loose. The cover at the back is also strained and beginning to tear. Otherwise, the proper text of the book in firm condition, with a beautiful gold and brown cover in a clear protective sleeve.
- Each of its 154 pages is bordered in red lines, and there are several delicate line drawings. There is slight wear at the corners of the cover, and the pages show a bit of age discoloration, have a few check marks but are clean and mainly unmarked.
- A bookplate, with no name written in, is pasted inside the front cover. The pages are of heavy paper, and the book weighs just under 2 pounds. Indeed, heavy a rare book measuring 6 1/4 inches by 7 3/4 inches by 1 inch and having 154 pages.
- Novelty feature ~ Tucked inside the book is a slip of pink paper (clearly inserted in 1885) which announces a cash prize of $1,000 "to be paid to the Person or Persons who correctly guess the name of the author of The Buntling Ball." Listed below that statement are the conditions of the prize: the first 10,000 copies are numbered and the number on the pink slip must match the number inked, in red, in the book owned by the person claiming the award. The number on the pink slip for this copy is 4480, and on the title page of the book, written in neat letters, is the number 4480. Further than this, I do not know.