Picturesque Antiquities of Scotland [I–II] …

London: Printed for the Author, and sold by Edwards … also by Edwards’s, in Halifax. 1788.

Two parts, 4to., pp. iv, 27, [1] [25 leaves]; 11, [1], [25 leaves], the unnumbered leaves prints on rectos only, with an etched illustration at the head (all signed by Cardonnel) and a letterpress description below; a fine copy, with the etchings printed in sepia, in contemporary red morocco by Edwards of Halifax, covers gilt with a border of wheels and floral sprays, spine gilt in compartments and lettered direct.


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First edition, the very rare issue with the plates in sepia, printed directly onto thick wove paper.

Picturesque Antiquities is the chief work of the Scottish doctor turned antiquarian Adam Cardonnel, who assisted Francis Grose with his studies on Scotland in 1788-91 (Burns wrote to Grose care of Cardonnel in 1789). Cardonnel provided both the delightful illustrations and the text here, his work having one foot in the Picturesque movement and one in the revival of interest in the Gothic. Shortly afterward, in 1791, he left Scotland, having succeeded to estates in Northumberland, and took the name Adam Mansfeldt de Cardonnel-Lawson.

The work went through several forms. This, the first, is found more commonly with the illustrations on india paper, pasted above the letterpress text; we can find no record of a sepia printing, nor of a quarto issue with the engravings printed directly on the paper. An octavo issue followed, and then a reprint of the quarto with a new introduction, still dated ‘1788’ but probably printed to coincide with the publication of two further parts in 1793.

See G. E. Bentley, The Edwardses of Halifax, Appendix 2 pp.76-84

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