London: Sampson, Low, Son, & Co., (1862).
First Edition. The scarce, posthumously published collection of maxims, opinions and homilies by HRH Prince Albert, reputedly compiled by Queen Victoria, who then allegedly financed its publication. 133 pages. Rich navy blue boards gilt-ruled, centrally hallmarked in gilt by the royal crest, all edges also gilt. Shows a degree of wear, particularly at spine extremities, yet easily qualifies as a quite handsome and extremely presentable acquisition.
What makes this item a true rarity is the unique nature and style of Queen Victoria's inscription. When Her Majesty's signature is seen it is generally on official royal documents, deeds, or in structured letters specifically pertaining to business of the Crown. Victoria was nothing if not rigidly formal, rarely allowing for the written expression of warmth or sentiment. In this inscription, however, she departs from normal stately behavior. Here, on the front free endpaper, in the very month of publication, the Queen boldly inscribes the book to her very closest friend and confidante, her cousin, the Countess Blücher: For dearest Countess / Blücher / from / her most affectionate / and faithful friend / Victoria / June 1862. The book comes housed in a stunning custom designed light tan full smooth polished calf clamshell box lined in royal blue, raised bands with five compartments ornamented with gilt crowns, and deep blue leather label with gilt titles. A glorious presentation for a most valuable and unique collectible.. Item #10105