1898. London: J M Dent & Co., n.d. [c.1898].
40 vols. Roy. 8vo. Frontispiece engraving and several more engraved plates in each vol. with tissue guards, title-pages in red and black. Half red morocco over marbled boards by James MacDonald, gilt-stamped backstrips with raised bands, top edge gilt. Bindings very lightly rubbed, gilt a little worn, occasional light spotting to the backstrips, over all a very good, well-preserved set.
§ No. 240 of a limited edition of 410. A handsome set, nicely-printed at the Edinburgh University Press, complete in 40 volumes. The bindings were executed by James MacDonald, one of the most important binders in New York City at the turn of the century. Born in Scotland, he emigrated to New York in 1873 and worked with William Matthews before setting up his own very successful bindery in 1880. In an interview with the New York Herald in November 1910, he acknowledged that hand-binding in the industrial age was a dying art, "...the world is moving away from the art of the book lover. The world is swifter now, but it is not so thorough in many things as it once was. The average man has become used to the product of the machine. Today he knows no other standard. He has lost his touch for half-tones - for the cover of a book has its half-tones." Item #122654