Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 1


vi AD V ER TI SEMEN T. is one of the late Mr. Archibald Constable), having fallen into the hands of the Publishers, have been added to the Second Volume, together with some notes on the text by Professor Daniel Wilson, author of “Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time.” In the preparation of the present Edition no expense has been spared to obtain the best results as regards the printing of both plates and text. In point, therefore, of completeness and general execution, this Edition will bear favourable comparison with its predecessors. The Publishers have great satisfaction in being enabled to resuscitate this work ; but this, they regret to say, is practicable only to a limited extent, and they have therefore to announce that-the Edition of the engravings now issued must necessarily be the last of Kay’s Original Portraits. EDINBURGNHo,v ember 15, 1877.
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INTRODUCTORY NOTICE TO THE FIRST EDITION. THE Works of the late JOHNK AY illustrate an interesting epoch in the history of the Scottish capital. Throughout the greater part of half a century the Artist devoted himself with enthusiasm to his novel undertaking ; and while he contributed in no common degree to gratify and amuse the public of his own day, his graphic productions form a record which cannot fail to prove acceptable in after times. Although the Etchings may not be entitled to rank high in the scale of art, they are nevertheless valuable as the unaided efforts of one who owed nothing to adventitious circumstances ; while the general accuracy for which the Portraitures are distinguished is a merit peculiarly his own. The intuitive facility of the Artist’s pencil in this way must appear incredible, when it is known that, with few exceptions, they were executed from casual observation-the impression probably of a passing glance. Indeed, in many instances, they could not have been otherwise obtained. Kay appears to have long entertained the idea of giving his Works to the world in a more permanent form. So early as 1792-assisted, it is believed, by a person of the name of Callender ’-he had drawn up notes descriptive of the Prints, with a biographical notice of his own life. The want of pecuniary means probably formed the great obstacle to the execution of his plan ; and the venerable Caricaturist died at the age of eighty-four without having lived long enough to be gratified by the realisation of his wishes. His widow made several unsuccessful proposals for the disposal of the Plates ; and, after her death, having been brought to public sale by her trustees, they fell into my possession. In carrying the intentions of the Caricaturist into effect, I have spared no The notes He waa a dabbler in politics, and is understood to have In the Life of Dr. Jamea Anderson (see Cbdms’s Swt. Bwy. a t . ) some notice exertion to render the Work as varied and interesting as possible. Very little is known respecting Callender. emigrated to America. is taken of him in connection with an occnrrence not much to his credit.
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