London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1858. First edition. 8vo, publisher’s blue cloth stamped in gilt, with additional contemporary lettering stamped in gilt to the upper board, “Metropolitan Hotel,” [i-ii], , iii-xvi, 439, 4, 16 pages. Frontis, four inserted plates, illus. Some light foxing and soiling; a trifle tender along the gutter where the New York catalog was inserted; a little rubbed and soiled, but a very good, bright copy in a striking adapted commercial library binding. Item #18061
An important work from the English gunsmith and inventor Greener (1806-1869; see the DNB), this copy boldly stamped in gilt with the name of the Metropolitan Hotel—almost certainly the imposing pseudo-Roman edifice in the Leland Brothers chain that stretched along Broadway and Prince, and boasted its own “gentleman’s reading room,” where this volume no doubt was held. In addition, this copy includes a mounted trade card to the front paste-down for Schuyler, Hartley & Graham, 19 Maiden Lane, “Importers & Wholesale Dealers in Guns, Pistols & Sporting Articles,” the sole authorized agent for Greener’s guns in New York, with their red ink stamp repeated to the title page, frontispiece, the plates, and on occasion in the text; an attractive illustrated 7-page Schuyler, Hartley & Graham catalog is also inserted after the title page. With the contemporary signature of Eleanor Leland, likely that of the wife of the hotel founder, on the title page and the verso of the frontispiece. The Metropolitan was known in part for being one of the few hotels in New York to allow slaves to stay in special quarters on the premises; one imagines visiting gentlemen from the South being induced to shop for guns with Schuyler, Hartley & Graham.