Observations by Alexander Trotter, Esq., of Dreghorn, in Illustration of his modified Plan of a Communication between the new and old Town of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh: Printed for Laing & Forbes … and R. Ackerman ... London. 1834

2 works in one volume, 4to., pp. [6], 24, with engraved frontispiece and lithograph plan; pp. [2], printed on thin pink paper stock; pp.  [2], 15, [1], 2, [2, letterpress explanation to plate no. III], with 6 numbered folding lithograph plates; scattered minimal foxing and light stain to plate IV, but a very good copy in contemporary panelled red morocco, gilt. Apparently bound for the author, presumably for presentation, with a reproduction of his engraved armorial book plate, and of newspaper extracts from the Edinburgh Advertiser of Jan 31 1834 and Edinburgh Courant of 27 Feb. 1834, pasted on front endpaper.


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Observations by Alexander Trotter, Esq., of Dreghorn, in Illustration of his modified Plan of a Communication between the new and old Town of Edinburgh.

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First edition of the Observations, issued with the corrected and enlarged second edition of the Plan, here linked to the first work by a new leaf (printed on pink paper stock) which reads: ‘What follows is Mr. Trotter’s original plan of 1828, now abandoned, as mentioned on first page of the preceding observations’.

Both publications put forward Trotter’s proposals for the levelling of the Edinburgh Mound, the construction there of a fine neo-classical shopping arcade, and the provision of a new road across the Mound linking the New Town and the Old Town of Edinburgh. Trotter’s idea for the arcade came to him on a trip to Italy in 1820, and he commissioned ‘the Master of the Architectural School at Venice’ to draw up a design for him (plate no. I here): a grand neo-classical gallery and arcade some 750 feet long, 4 floors high, with porticos in the centre and on either side, shops at the bottom, offices on the first floor, and living quarters at the top. Neither this design, nor a that for a toned-down arcade by the architect Archibald Elliot (plate II), was ever realised. But Trotter continue to pursue his dream of an Italianate shopping arcade connecting the Old and the New Towns until the mid 1830s.

See Hugh Pagan Catalogue 49 for another authorial copy of this volume, with Trotter’s bookplate, also in red morocco, and with associated printed material, though with only 5 plates in the second work.

COPAC shows 3 copies of Observations alone (Oxford, National Library of Scotland, and Cambridge); one copy of the 1829 Plan (National Library of Scotland, 5 plates only); and one copy of both volumes together (BL).

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