The Sir Joshua Reynolds edition. Five volumes. One of 500 numbered sets.
London: George Routledge and Sons, 1885. Illustrated with mezzotint plates and hand coloured frontispiece and other plates after portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds. This set extra-illustrated with the insertion of 108 portraits and thirty-four views (of these forty-nine are hand coloured).
Quarto, full brown crushed levant morocco, covers with geometric gilt patterns which are repeated on the spines, gilt board edges and turn-ins, brown-orange silk endpapers, all edges gilt, by Bayntun of Bath. Cloth slipcase with silk ribbon pull (case a little rubbed at edges). Spines a little faded, else a fine set.
According to Boswell's bibliographer Pottle, this "is the only edition which reprints the preface to Chalmer's edition (the ninth) - a book not commonly met with. It includes all the prefaces down to, and including, Croker's, with the sole exception of Walsby's (1826), adding biographical notices of the different editors. It is thus a very useful scondary source for a study of the various editions. The text of the Tour is apparently that of the fourth edition; the Life seems to follow the sixth .. Johnson's own account of his early life is included, as well as London, The Vanity of Human Wishes, and the Drury Lane Prologue .. The chief attraction of this edition was supposed to be the fine typography and the mezzotints from Sir Joshua Reynolds's portraits. .. Only 500 copies were originally printed. It was, however, re-issued in 1891 in a cheaper edition, much inferior in appearance". [Pottle 97].