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ROBERTSON, J. Ross. Robertson's Landmarks of Toronto. A Collection of Historical Sketches of the Old Town of York From 1792 until 1833 and of Toronto from 1834 to 1893.
Toronto: J. Ross Robertson, 1894. Volume 1. Tall thick 8vo., wrappers, 561pp. With illustrations. In original gray wrappers printed in black, the front wrapper duplicating the title page, the rear wrapper blank, the spine reading “Robertson’s Landmarks of Toronto. Volume 1.” The edges of the wrappers are chipped (not affecting the text) and large pieces are chipped from the spine losing a fair bit of the lettering. The spine is vertically cracked in several places and has been lacquered at some point, obviously to stop further chipping.
A most curious example. This book was issued in 1894, both in red and blue cloth. The entire series in six volumes, completed in 1914, is the best record of early Toronto compiled by the owner and editor of the Toronto Telegram, John Ross Robertson. The publishing record of the six volume set is complex because each volume seems to have been printed according to the sales success of the previous volume. Therefore, the print runs differed. This copy in original wrappers is a mystery. In the fifty years since I began, including my apprenticeship at Joseph Patrick Books I have seen no other copy in wrappers. It is impossible to ascertain why it was done. We can locate no copy in any record. Perhaps it was a trial binding or perhaps an early example of a review copy. Aside from the chipping and damaging it is in very good interior state. The vertical cracks in the spine denote considerable use; perhaps it was a working copy for the Telegram or for Robertson’s personal use. In the absence of any other copy or record it is impossible to ascertain. Very rare, unrecorded, perhaps unique.