(Edinburgh: Printed by George Robb and Company for Otto Schulze and Company, 1901). 222 x 178 mm. (8 3/4 x 7"). 3 p.l. (including half title), 99 pp.,  leaves (index and colophon). ONE OF 500 COPIES.
LOVELY CONTEMPORARY OLIVE BROWN CRUSHED MOROCCO BY OTTO SCHULZE & CO. of Edinburgh (signed on front turn-in), covers with single gilt rule border, UPPER COVER WITH 11 HORIZONTAL ROWS OF GILT AND INLAID RED MOROCCO THISTLES, the thistles (numbering 72 in all) separated by small round tools, spine with two raised bands flanked by gilt rules, gilt vertical titling, turn-ins with single gilt rule, top edge gilt. Woodcut title and frontispiece portrait surrounded by wide, elaborate border of twining thistles and bluebells, large woodcut initials foliated with similar thistles and bluebells at the beginning of each poem. Spine a definite (pleasing) brown rather than an olive brown, lower corners lightly rubbed, minor offsetting from turn-ins to endleaves, slender, trailing two-inch marginal (glue?) stain to last two pages of index, occasional thumbing and other trivial imperfections, otherwise a fine copy, the text and decorations clean, fresh, and bright, and the handsome binding lustrous and unworn.
This collection of poems by the most beloved Scottish poet is offered in an appropriately Scottish binding. Born on a small farm in Scotland and largely self-educated, Burns (1759-96) was inspired by local ballads. At the age of 27, he published "Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect" in order to raise passage money for a voyage to Jamaica, where he had been offered an agricultural post on a plantation. At a time when his contemporaries were searching for the "natural bard" and, in the process, had unearthed poetical threshers, poetical milk maidens, and poetical cobblers, the charming plowman Burns delivered his simple and beautiful lyrics with most propitious timing. He found himself famous almost at once, and his fame has not faltered over time. In the rest of his short life, he struggled to earn a living, collected traditional ballads, overindulged in drink, and wrote more poetry, though only "Tam O' Shanter" equals his first collection. The present item is a most attractive volume featuring 76 of the best-loved poems, including "Auld Lang Syne," "Scots, Wha Hae," and "A Red, Red Rose." The cover design and woodcut illustrations make lavish use of Scotland's national flowers, the thistle and the bluebell, and the wide margins and pleasing typeface add to the visual appeal of this item. Operating during the first 10 or 15 years of the 20th century, Otto Schulze was an Edinburgh publisher whose books sometimes appeared in bindings said to have been done by him. As in the case of other publishers and booksellers, such bindings often were done for, rather than by, the party whose name is stamp-signed on the volume. Bindings signed by Schulze are consistently attractive but are not common: since 1975, ABPC has listed six such (morocco) bindings, two of them described as "elaborate" or "extra." Since our volume says that the binding is by--and not for--Schulze, we can only assume that our publisher had an in-house binder. (ST17129-013)
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PJP Catalog: 79.103