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LEROUX, Gaston

The Phantom of the Opera

First American edition. Color frontispiece and four striking two-page color illustrations by Andre Castaigne as issued. Contemporary owner name on the front fly, bottom corners a trifle bumped, near fine in a very good example of the exceptionally rare dustwrapper. The jacket has some professional internal repair, and some modest chipping at the spine ends that continues a bit onto the rear panel near the crown. The jacket art repeats the striking Castaigne image of the Phantom descending the staircase of the Paris Opera House, and wraps around onto the spine, and is overprinted in embossed gold. From an older private collection, this was long thought to be the only known jacketed copy (we remember when it last appeared in a catalogue about 20 years ago), but our research has identified two other jacketed copies. One is a variant design with identical text, type, and $1.25 price, but utilizing a different image from the book, while the third known surviving example is the same design as this copy but with significantly more chipping. Housed in a custom cloth clamshell case. Filmed several times, most indelibly with Lon Chaney as the vengeful composer, and in recent decades transformed into a successful musical play, and a less successful musical film. Some modest flaws, but try to find another. A true rarity, and perhaps the only jacketed copy that will ever appear on the market.

[BTC #85405]

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