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WATSON (James). The History of the Art of Printing, Containing an Account of its Invention and Progress in Europe: with the Names of the Famous Printers. The Places of their Birth, and the Works Printed by them. And a Preface by the Publisher to the Printers in Scotland.1713

Edinburgh: Printed by James Watson, First edition, small 8vo (170 x 105mm), 24, xlviii, 64pp., title in red and black, folding plate of wood engraved ornaments (tear repaired with no loss, further tear along fold with no loss), typographical specimens in the text, nineteenth-century blue morocco by H. Faulkner, George Court, Adelphi, with his ticket, blind-stamped roll border and gilt fillet to sides, all edges gilt. A nice copy of this most important book, which is not only a history of printing but also a type specimen. James Watson (1664?-1722) was the son of an Aberdeen merchant who advanced money to two Dutch printers to set up a printing house in Edinburgh; the business failed and it reverted to the elder Watson, who continued the business until his death in 1687. The younger Watson set up as a printer in 1695 and went on to become one of the foremost printers in Edinburgh during the first half of the seventeenth-century. The volume is divided into three parts. The first is an history of Scottish printing to which Bigmore & Wyman remark "it contains some interesting and useful information on Scotch Printing not found elsewhere." The second part is a fine 48 page specimen of types of a Dutch origin and is the earliest such Scottish specimen of types. The third part is a survey of fifteenth-century printing and is one of the earliest accounts of the origins of printing in the English language. ""it happens to be rare, and, therefore, bibliomaniacs hunt after it." So writes Dr. Dibdin ("Bibliomania," p.69) in his usual superficial style. He is right so far as rarity goes, for it is a volume that must be waited and watched for."—Bigmore & Wyman. Berry & Johnson, p.87; Mosley, P51; Bigmore & Wyman, III, p.67-68.

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