November 2009 acquisitions
Here is some information on a sample of items recently acquired by Rare Book Collections at the National Library of Scotland.
Walter Scott portrait
A pencil sketch of a young man appears in a copy of the first edition of Walter Scott's poem 'The vision of Don Roderick'. It is highly likely that this is a drawing of Scott himself, which was done in 1803. That would make it the earliest surviving image of him as an adult. The portrait shows the 32-year-old Scott in profile and is initialled 'E B'.
Scott visited Oxford in April 1803. During his stay he had his portrait sketched by Edward Berens (1778-1859), a fellow of Oriel College who later became Archdeacon of Berkshire. The existence of a portrait is confirmed by Scott's correspondence with Mary Anne Hughes in the years 1824 and 1825. We have acquired the book because of the pencil sketch.
A golf book
A rare item of late 19th-century 'golfiana', the 'Banff Golf Club bazaar' consists of poems, songs and short stories by members of the Club. It also has portraits of local worthies. The copy we have bought has the bookplate of the noted golf book collector Joseph Bridger Hackler.
The Banff Golf Club was founded in 1871. In those days, its members were playing on a course on Banff links. The Club continued until 1924 when it amalgamated with the Duff House Club to become the Duff House Royal Golf Club.
Miniature book collection
David Bryce of Glasgow published a miniature set of Shakespeare's complete works consisting of 20 volumes. The set is housed in a tiny wooden replica of Shakespeare's desk. It is apparently modelled upon the original in a Stratford-upon-Avon museum.
David Bryce & Son was Scotland's most prolific and successful producer of miniature books. We also hold a 40 volume set which is kept in a three-shelved wooden cabinet. Bibliographically the two sets are identical. The standard reference sources on miniature books make no mention of the 20-volume set and there is no record of another copy.