October 2003 acquisitions

This Bible printed in 1772 is bound in two volumes, with an edition of the metrical Psalms printed in 1771 at the end of volume two. Both volumes are inscribed 'G. Dundas Sept. 22nd. 1778'. This is probably a member of the famous Dundas family of Arniston, which produced many judges and legal lords in the 18th century.

Further manuscript notes explain that the Bible was presented to Grace Dundas by Robert Colt at their wedding, and other notes record the fortunes of the Colt family into the 20th century. Both volumes have the bookplate of Grace Colt.

The binding is of red morocco, with a design in the 'herring-bone' tradition, with some interesting tooling and a fine border roll. The Library's collections do not seem to have anything similar from this period.

This is a beautiful Scottish edition of a classical text, and a fine example of the innovative books produced by Glasgow's Foulis Press. Anacreon, the 6th-century BC Greek poet who wrote on wine, women and song, is here celebrated in a neat miniature version of the Odes.

This copy is remarkable as it is printed on silk of four different colours, blue, pink, yellow and cream, the sheets neatly sewn around the edges.

There seems to have been a minor cult of printing on silk in Scotland at this time, and the Library has acquired this as an important item which shows how Scots of the 18th century loved their books.

Here are eight more miniature books acquired in recent months, all but two published by David Bryce of Glasgow.

Bryce was interested in using the latest technological advances in photolithography and electroplates to allow larger volumes to be reduced to the smallest imaginable size, while retaining a clear typeface.

 

Acquisitions page



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