Printed for Willm Napier; Music Seller to Their Majesties, 1790. 3 volumes; Folio; In Volume 1 the accompaniments are by Arnold, Barthelmon, Carter and Shield; In volumes 2 & 3 the harmony is by Haydn. Vol 1: pp. iv [Subscribers list], 16 [A Dissertation on the Scottish Music] 77 [opposite pages numbered in duplicate], 2 [Index] 2 [Glossary]; Vol 2: 8 [Title, Preface, List of Subscribers] 100 [opposite pages numbered in duplicate]; 2 [Glossary] 2 [Index]; Vol 3: 2 [Title page] 51 [opposite pages numbered in duplicate]; recently rebound in half calf over marbled boards, lettering in gilt on spines.
Previous bookseller's short catalogue description pasted to the lower corner of the front paste down, LACKS the two stipple engravings by Bartolozzi; new endpapers; heavy offsetting from the musical notation throughout; minor foxing, mostly to the outer edges of some leaves. Item #1367
Joseph Haydn's first visit to London was in 1791 just after Napier's first volume of favourite Scots songs was published. This first trip was remarkably rewarding for Haydn:
The many novel impressions, the meeting with eminent musicians, and the admiration bestowed on him had a powerful impact on his creative work. He was feted, lionized, and treated as a genius; Charles Burney published a poem in his honour. The 12 symphonies he wrote on his first and second visits to London represent the climax of his orchestral output. Their virtuosity of instrumentation, masterly treatment of musical forms, and freely flowing melodic inspiration—not to mention their deft wit—endeared the works to British audiences. (Britannica website, accessed 28/08/20)
Little wonder that William Napier, "Music Seller to their Majesties" might then invite Haydn's contribution in the second and third volumes. The volumes are dedicated to the Duchess of Gordon (vol 1), Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York (Vol 2) and Her Majesty the Queen (vol 3). While sadly lacking the frontispieces by Bartolozzi it is unusual to see all three volumes offered together.