[Autographs & Manuscripts] Moore, Clement C.
Bartlett & Welford, 1844. First edition. 12mo. Untrimmed, (leaf size 7 1/4 x 4 1/2 in.; 185 x 114mm.) (i)-(xiv), (15)-216pp. Presentation copy of the first printing in book form of 'A Visit From St. Nick,' commonly known as ''Twas the Night Before Christmas," and inscribed on the half-title, 'To/His Excellency Baron Gerolt/Minister from Prussia to the/United States/Washington/With the respects/of the Author/April, 1846." With half-title, original endpapers, and rear fly lea; lacking front fly leaf. Publisher's dark brown paper boards, minor wear to the original boards; rebacked with modern dark brown paper and printed paper spine label; in brown quarter calf over tan cloth slipcase and cloth chemise. Leather book plate of E.H. Mills on front paste-down. BAL 14348.

Moore's American Christmas poem is almost as rich in lore as Santa Clause himself. According to legend, Moore wrote the poem A Visit from St. Nicholas, also known as The Night Before Christmas, for his family on Christmas Eve of 1822. He did not intend to publish the poem, but a family friend copied it into her album and submitted it to the editor of the Troy New York Sentinel where it made its first appearance in print on December 23, 1823. A veritable blizzard of periodical and pamphlet form printings ensued.

Frederich Karl Joseph Freiherr von Gerolt (1797-1879), was Prussian Privy Councillor, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Pleinpotentiary in the United States, beginning in 1844 at the suggestion of Alexander von Humboldt.

Estimate $5,000-8,000

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Sold for $4,063 (buyer's premium included)