MACLEAY, Kenneth.

Highlanders of Scotland:

Being A Series of Portraits, with Biographical and Historical Notices, Illustrative of the Principal Clans and Followings, and the Retainers of the Royal Household at Balmoral, In the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. Reduced, from the Original Lithographs, by Vincent Brooks, Day & Son.

London: Mr. Mitchell, Publisher to Her Majesty, [c.1874] Stock Code: 137270
£1,250.00
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Presented to a favourite Balmoral retainer

First plain lithograph edition, specially bound and personalised for Archibald Fraser Macdonald, jäger (or gillie) to Edward, Prince of Wales, mentioned in that capacity by Queen Victoria in her best-selling Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands (1868). "As a documentary record of contemporary tartan the publication was unrivalled and of considerable ethnological importance" (ODNB).

Victoria also remarks in Leaves that MacDonald (1842-1890) attended on Price Albert ("was for a year with the beloved Prince", p. 103). His biographical entry and portrait appear at pp. 21-25, the latter showing him pictured against a view of the corrie of Lochnagar, wearing MacDonald of Sleat tartan, and brooch, bonnet, and sporran bearing the Prince of Wales's feathers. Loosely inserted are a sprig of heather in an envelope, and another loose. MacDonald's father is mentioned by Victoria in Leaves as being a jager to Prince Albert, "he came from Fort Augustus in the West: he was remarkably tall and handsome. The poor man died of consumption at Windsor, in May, 1860" (p. 103). Macdonald senior, the Queen noted, was appointed to a royal hunting party as a guide by Peter Farquharson, whose unlisted notice and portrait are the last in this volume. He was Her Majesty's keeper at Abergeldie and his wife, Margaret McHardy, is referred to in Leaves.

Highlanders of Scotland was originally published by royal command in two folio volumes in 1870 with chromolithograph plates based on MacLeay's original watercolours, which had been commissioned by Victoria, being a series of costume portraits of her favourite retainers at Balmoral, which "evolved into an ambitious pictorial survey of the highland clans" (ibid.).

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Description

Quarto (236 x 170 mm). Presentation binding of brown morocco, titles in gilt to spine, raised bands, thistle and coronet motifs to compartments and corners of boards within single gilt rules, "Archibald Fraser Macdonald" in gilt to front board, turn-ins richly gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt edges.

Illustrations

32 full-page lithographic portraits with captions, all but one (that of Peter Farquharson, Her Majesty's Keeper at Abergeldie) listed in the contents.

Condition

A little rubbed and scuffed, light foxing to first and last few leaves, one portrait starting but firm, else clean and square. A very good copy.

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