Edinburgh: [Printed for the EBS by George Waterston & Sons], 1913. First Edition. 4to. , 107 pp. Printed on fine, thick paper watermarked: "The Post Horn Vellum" / [within a shield: a post horn]. Original cloth, title gilt on upper cover, corners bumped, some minor soiling, front and back endpapers a little browned, t.e.g., others untrimmed. Very good. Item #3131
COPY NUMBER TWO OF 20 COPIES, reprinted from vol. IX of the EBS Papers. Our copy with a presentation inscription from Dr. W[illiam] Beattie, R.S.A. to Bernard Breslauer "with all good wishes," dated 3.iv.1943. Beattie was Keeper of Printed Books at the National Library of Scotland (1931-1953) and then Librarian (1953-1970). He was the author of the First and Second "Supplement to the Hand-List of Incunabula in the National Library of Scotland." In 1986-88 the NLS acquired his collection of bibliography and bibliographical papers (now "William Beattie Collection"). It is unclear how Breslauer came into contact with Beattie, and what he did to deserve such a warm presentation inscription in such a rare book: in 1943, Bernard Breslauer was a "German alien."
This is an extraordinary piece of Scottish bibliography, printed on fine paper.
The survey naturally includes the largest and most important libraries, as follows: University library, by F. C. Nicholson.--Advocates' library, by W. K. Dickson and Miss Barclay.--Signet library, by J. P. Edmond.--United free church college library, by W. Cowan.--The Crawford library, Royal observatory, by G. P. Johnston.--Library of the Royal college of physicians, by T. H. Graham.--St. Mary's cathedral library.--The Scottish Episcopal church theological hall.--The Forbes library in the Theological hall.--The library of the Church of Scotland. That the NLS is not included in the present census is due to the fact that it had not yet been established.
The catalogue features a 10-page index which combines authors, titles, and printers. Bibliographical references are standard for the day (Hain, Proctor, Panzer). There is some copy-specific information scattered throughout (including early ownership inscriptions), a relatively novel feature in 1913.
The statement of limitation is signed by George P. Johnston, a rare book dealer and publisher who traded at 37 George Street and who specialized in "Curious, Old and Rare Books, Early Scottish" (see Library Journal, July, 1914, vol. 39, No. 7, p. 15). Presumably he paid for the publication.
For obvious reasons, copies of the present work are almost impossible to obtain; the last one to appear at auction sold at Sotheby's on 7 October 1971, lot 678 (copy No. 4 of 20, with a presentation ALS to H.G. Aldis). Our copy was purchased at the sale of the famed Bibliotheca Bibliographica Breslaueriana (Christies NY, 2005, lot 1255) and bears B.H. Breslauer's circled accession number in pencil on the first blank leaf.