Edinburgh: Printed for the author and sold by William Creech, 1787. Item #04634
"Should old acquaintance be forgot And never brought to mind
Should old acquaintance be forgot And days of auld lang syne"
First Edinburgh Edition, First Issue of Robert Burns "Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect"
A Stunning Cosway-Style Jeweled Binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe
[COSWAY-STYLE JEWELED BINDING]. SANGORSKI & SUTCLIFFE, binders. BURNS, Robert. Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect. Edinburgh: Printed for the Author, and sold by William Creech, 1787.
Second (first Edinburgh) edition (first published in Kilmarnock in 1786).
Mixed issue, with “Roxburgh” misprinted “Boxburgh” on p. xxxvii in the list of subscribers (first issue) and with later issue “stinking” (meaning watery) instead of "skinking on p. 263, line 13.
Octavo (8 1/8 x 5 inches; 206 x 127 mm.). xlviii, -368 pp. Complete with half-title and engraved frontispiece by John Buego after Alexander Nasmyth, with tissue guard. Frontispiece expertly and almost invisibly restored at extremities otherwise a near fine crisp and wide-margined copy.
A spectacular Cosway-Style binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe bound ca. 1925 for Chas. J. Sawyer (stamp-signed in gilt on front and rear turn-ins). Full purple crushed levant morocco over beveled boards, both covers triple-ruled in gilt and elaborately tooled in gilt with flower and leaf tools, the twenty-four larger flowers (on each cover) with cream and yellow morocco onlays. Large circular device in the center with, on the front, Burns's monogram surrounded by the Poet's quote "Wee, Modest, Crimson Tipped Flow'r, Thou's Met Me In An Evil Hour", and on the rear cover a cluster of thistles with green and mauve morocco onlays, surrounded by the Poet's quote "He Rules 'Mid Winter Snows & When, Bees Fill Their Hives". Spine with five raised bands, elaborately decorated and lettered in gilt in compartments. Five of the compartments further decorated with large leaf sprays, each with nine onlaid light violet flowers. Double-ruled gilt board edges, elaborate gilt turn-ins with another two quotes from the Poet "The Best Laid Schemes O' Mice An' Men Gang Aft A'Gley An' Lea'e Us Nought But Grief An' Pain For Promis'd Joy" and on the rear inside turn-ins, the immortal "Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot And Never Brought To Min' We'll Take A Cup O'Kindness Yet For Auld Lang Syne". The inside front cover in full green crushed levant morocco with a very fine recessed oval hand-painted portrait miniature under glass, surrounded by a highly intricate double leaf design in gilt set with four Amethyst and two Opal jemstones. The rear inside cover in full green crushed levant morocco, green silk endleaves, all edges gilt. A stunning, fine and exceptionally beautiful Jeweled Cosway-Style Binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe at their very best. Chemised in the original quarter purple morocco morocco slipcase, spine with five raised bands, lettered in gilt.
Preceded by only the rare Kilmarnock edition of 1786, this second edition was published in an edition of approximately 3,250 copies on 17 April 1787. Two printers were used, resulting in variations in some sheets of the edition. This copy has the first state points: the misprint "Duke of Boxburgh" for "Roxburgh" in the list of subscribers on pages xxxvii, and the correct printing of the Scots word "skinking" (meaning watery) on page 263, later misprinted as "stinking". This edition includes twenty-two new pieces, including "To a Haggis", and the first appearance in print of "Death and Doctor Hornbook", which had been omitted from the Kilmarnock edition. The last copy of the 1786 "Kilmarnock" Burns to appear at auction was in May 2012. It was in a plain late 19th century morocco binding by Bedford and was sold by the Edinburgh auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull (May 2nd, 2012, lot 72) for £39,000 which back in 2012 was the equivalent of $60,500.
Egerer 2; Lamont 2; Rothschild 556.