Edinburgh, 1839. 5 3/4 x 9 1/2. 85 leaves printed one side only. Title page in black & red within an architectural border of printers' ornaments. Original printed boards with title on upper cover, leather spine. Extremities worn, upper cover and first two leaves detached. Otherwise very good, contents clean, and collated complete. Inscribed by Neill on the title page to Duncan Stewart. Item #14542
This is the Birrell & Garnett copy, No. 104 in their Catalogue of Typefounders' Specimens. B&G note that Neill (& Co.) started a foundry in 1790 which was discontinued in 1818 and then reopened in 1838. Reed/Johnson provide a similar history. According to B&G this is the first specimen that has been recorded, and the only copy they had been able to trace. The earliest specimen in the National Library of Scotland is dated 1840.
Attractively produced specimen. The 34 leaves of job faces are displayed on facing pages with the identical text but using different leading: the close setting is within simple rules; the wider spaced text pages are all composed within handsome typographic borders. Prose text --on Baskerville's improvement of British typography--comprises two-thirds of the page, followed by a poem. The decorative material and borders (16 ll.) are shown in full page composition, nesting two or three different settings. The balance of the specimen is a showing of display faces, including several pages of wood type.
No other copies located.