The Scottish Keepsake, or The Songs of the Ayrshire Bard by Robert Burns (William and Andrew Smith, Mauchline, Ayrshire, 1855)
This stack of Scottish gift books were produced in 1885 by W & A Smith of Mauchline, Ayrshire who had developed the manufacture of transfer printed treen, or wooden ware. These highly polished and varnished wooden boards contain transfers and work well with the red morocco spine.
One day last week, just before we closed a young man appeared at our door with this copy of The Scottish Keepsake. “It’s worth up to £120”, he said (and he was right), “but I just want X for it. I have more books to clear and I want rid of them”. He had been around a few bookshops and nobody was interested. We struck a deal and will probably try and get £80 for this copy.
These gift books in good condition are becoming quite rare and they are certainly little objects of desire especially for anyone with a Scottish background. The Burns is sitting on a second edition of The Prelude by Wordsworth and a third edition of Lamb’s Tales of Shakepear (sic) – 1816. I have just catalogued these so please contact us for prices.
I love working with old and beautiful books such as these and considering how special they are I think they are very good value. I have been for a few meals that have cost more than these.