It’s the 2016 Holidays — Support the Private and Fine Press Eco-System!

{Ed. Note: This is an annual article encouraging all Books and Vines readers to keep private and fine press publishers and re-sellers in mind this holiday season as your source for unique, classy and meaningful gifts. The article has been updated with current information and the latest news from private and fine press publishers, while I sheepishly admit lifting the introduction from the holiday article of last year. Please pass this link on to everyone you know to increase the potential number of customers for fine and private press works.  Publishers, if you wish to be added to this article or have additional information please drop me a note here.

Please note that due to unfortunate personal circumstances I have not had time to carefully edit this article but made the decision to publish it prior to the holiday shopping weekend (please send me a note pointing out any errors and I will correct as soon as possible). Similarly, it may be several weeks before the next posting.}

As the holidays quickly approach, it is time to remind all Books and Vines readers about the importance of doing all we can to support those who create and sell the finely crafted private and fine press books we all admire. In a world awash in digital books and mindless, one size fits all (fonts, designs), throw away, mass produced plunk….what better, thoughtful, unique and meaningful gift is there than hand-made, uniquely designed, carefully crafted books or broadsides from today’s fine private presses? Those receiving such a gift will cherish the tactile sensation from consciously chosen letterpress type on mould-made or hand-made paper, not to mention the exquisite quality of the wood-engravings, lithographs, silkscreens, etchings or photogravures and the hand-made binding designs, books which are carefully planned using only the finest of materials. How could they not treasure the thoughtfulness of the giver?!!! Of course, you also deserve such a gift!

Private and fine press books are not always inexpensive because they are not inexpensive to produce. Nonetheless, if you are planning on spending money on holiday gifts, why not buck the trend of spending money on quickly outdated electronics from soulless multi-billion dollar corporations and spend the money on finely done, never outdated, hand-made work from today’s private press printers? I assure you, today’s private presses are not run by billionaires doing this to further line their pockets…no, they are run by men and women who live and breathe type, ink and paper, with renumeration for their efforts barely enough to cover the cost of the beautiful works you get in return.

These artists and craftsmen are standing athwart the mindless electronic tide, saving and carrying forward this important cultural skill for future generations while providing the book arts with lasting contributions from this generation to posterity. Those of us who appreciate and embrace the well designed physical book must assume responsibility to do all we can to support this fine and private press ecosystem; we have a critical role in ensuring its future. This holiday season, if at all financially feasible, please consider purchases that will help this ecosystem survive.

Books and Vines has a number of links to private presses from which you can find a wide range of fine/private press editions to fit all tastes and budgets. From stunning livres d’artiste books running thousands of dollars, to beautiful smaller works of short stories, poems or broadsides for often well under $100, there is something for everyone.  Keep in mind that many fine and private press publishers offer significant discounts of 20-30% for subscribing to their press. Doing so often pays for itself within 3-4 books (a win for you) while providing the publishers with a more certain revenue stream (a win for them). Many of these publishers accept payments over several months, if this is helpful.  Regardless, here is a small sample of the many works to choose from this holiday season, combined with an update on what some of my favorite presses are up to (in alphabetical order by press name).

{Ed. Note: Note that most of the book descriptions in what follows have been pulled directly from the web sites of the fine presses, so much of the writing credit goes to them! Errors, on the other hand, are 100% my credit!}

Alberto Tallone Editore

Alberto Tallone Editore was the focus of a Books and Vines article sometime back, in which we looked at their storied history and the great works they have published. Tallone has a number of excellent works available for purchase, a full list of which is here. Three works that would be great gifts this year are:

Jean-Luc Nancy‘s Stabat Mater. Dies Iræ. Deux CounterpointsThe edition includes two unedited poems in French by Jean-Luc Nancy, inspired by the Gregorian chants Stabat Mater and Dies Irae, and 6 original drawings signed and punched by Claudio Parmiggiani. The edition, in the folio format, is limited to 60 copies, and is set by hand in the monumental point 24 Caslon types, punch-cut by hand by William Caslon and cast in the original 18th-century mats, and printed on the Stanhope hand press on pure cotton handmade Magnani paper.  The musical score was also composed by hand by the publisher Heel, the only in the world to use the original Gregorian furniture types, hand engraved by Théophile Beaudoire in the second half of the nineteenth century and fused by Deberny in Paris. Contact the press here for price and ordering information.

Stabat Mater. Dies Iræ. Deux Counterpoints. Tallone Publishers.
Stabat Mater. Dies Iræ. Deux Counterpoints. Tallone Publishers.

Grimod de la Reynière‘s Manuel Des Amphitryons – Brilliantly written at the beginning of the 19th century by one of the founders of modern Western gastronomy, the volume celebrates the return to the pleasures of the table after the Reign of Terror, when Arts and Sciences could again flourish in the cultured symposia held in private palaces and in the newly-born restaurants. The volume is a rare and precious vademecum for the perfect Host, complete with a series of recipes and the ever-present irony of its nonconformist author, who well knew about the Art of Living, of which the Art of Hosting is, according to Grimod, a very revealing manifestation. If you like the work of Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, you will enjoy this work!

  • Volume of 300 pages entirely set by hand in point 12 Caslon types, cast from the original 18th-century mats
  • Printed on hand-made papers, made of pure cotton in Italy, of which: 200 on laid cream-color Magani paper; 72 on wove ivory-colored Magani paper; 48 on different Fabriano and Magnani pure-cotton papers, either hand-made or made on the round-machine
  • Limited to 320 copies
  • Pricing from 480 Euro’s
Manuel Des Amphitryons, Tallone Editore, Title Page and Frontispiece
Manuel Des Amphitryons, Tallone Editore, Title Page and Frontispiece

Another excellent gift idea would be Carlo Collodi‘s Le Avventure Di Pinocchio – A beautiful, stunning edition of the classic tale of Pinocchio.

  • Integral original version, according to the first edition of 1883, the only one certainly approved by the author
  • Postfaces by Marino Parenti, Piero Scapecchi and Lorenzo Poggi
  • 320 pages set by hand in 14-point Garamond types
  • Engraved by Henri Parmentier in 1910 and cast by Deberny et Peignot in Paris; it is considered one of the most beautiful Garamond renderings and it has been chosen for this edition as a homage to the inspirer of Claude Garamond’s typefaces, Aldus Manutius, whose fifth centenary year will be celebrated in Italy in 2015 (1515-2015)
  • While as a homage to the author’s county of origin, the book is printed on a range of papers made in the Pescia village, in Tuscany, of which Collodi is a hamlet; All of these papers are out of production and of the highest artisan quality
  • A few copies include either an original watercolor drawing by Fulvio Testa, or an original woodcut by Gianni Verna and Gianfranco Schialvino, or an original linocut by Edoardo Fontana
  • Limited to 260 copies
  • Pricing from 290 Euro’s
Le Avventure Di Pinocchio, Tallone Editore, Title Page and Slipcase

Arion Press

Arion Press has a number of books from their catalog available for purchase this holiday season. Recently released is The Little of our Earthly Trust, poetry by Elizabeth Bishiop (1911-1979), selected and introduced by Helen Vendler, and with twenty-four prints by John Newman. Bishop was Poet Laureate of the United States, a Pulitzer Prize winner and a National Book Award winner. She is now considered one of the great American poets of the last century.

The format is octavo, 9-7/8 by 6-7/8 inches, 192 pages. The type is English Garamond composed and cast in Monotype for the text and large sizes for display handset. The type and the 24 relief prints in three colors from polymer plates were printed by letterpress. The paper is Magnani wove, Italian mouldmade, for the text and Canson Mi-Teintes, French mouldmade, for the prints. The binding is Smyth-sewn, with headbands, in a three-piece cover: a gray goatskin spine with titling, black cloth sides, with an inset additional print on the front cover. All copies are signed by the artist. The edition is limited to 300 numbered copies for sale. The price is $1200 (subscribers deduct 30%). I will include pictures and a review as soon as I receive my copy.

Pedro Paramo, the great Mexican novel of the twentieth century written by Juan Rulfo (1917-1986) would make a great gift!  See here for a Books and Vines review of this recently released edition. It is a thought-provoking, interesting, meaningful and entertaining read. The story components, while disparate, are somehow cohesive and paint a thorough and deep picture of early twentieth century rural Mexico. Hope abounds and motivates, but despair triumphs. The setting is presented as living and, at the same time, as dead.

  • Translation by Margaret Sayers Peden
  • A new introduction by Alfred Mac Adam
  • Ten two-color, two-sided prints by Enrique Chagoya (his website here)
  • The paper is Italian mouldmade Magnani Ingres laid
  • Illustrations presented in a sheet folded at the fore-edge, with die-cut windows and a folded tab to tip into the sewing section with Chagoya’s illustrations printed on an inserted sheet of Japanese handmade Arokaji koso washi paper
  • The type, printed by letterpress, is Kennerley Old Style designed by Frederic W. Goudy, composed and cast in Monotype, with handset type for display
  • The binding is Smyth-sewn with handsewn silk endbands, with a three-piece cloth cover, green on the sides and blue on the spine, foil stamped on the sides with roundels designed by Enrique Chagoya and stamped on the spine with titling
  • The book is large octavo in format, 12 by 8-1/4 inches, 152 numbered pages (by coincidence the same number of pages as the first edition) for the text and ten unnumbered signatures for the prints
  • The edition is limited to 300 numbered copies for sale (plus twenty-seven Roman numeral copies for complimentary distribution), each signed by the artist
  • The non-subscriber price is $850 (subscriber price is $595)
Pedro Paramo, Arion Press, Spine and Covers
Pedro Paramo, Arion Press, Spine and Covers
Pedro Paramo, Arion Press, Sample Illustration (front) with Text
Pedro Paramo, Arion Press, Sample Illustration (front) with Text

The Lulu Plays, with 67 drawings by artist William Kentridge bound into the book. The text is the original telling of the Lulu story by playwright Frank Frank Wedekind, which inspired the Alban Berg opera Lulu.

  • 67 drawings by William Kentridge, derived from brush and ink drawings for projections for Kentridge’s 2015 production of Alban Berg’s opera Lulu, which was based on the two Frank Wedekind plays from the turn of the century, Earth Spirit and Pandora’s Box
  • The drawings were printed by four-color offset lithography under the direction of Susan Schaefer
  • Text printed by letterpress, on a two-color Miller cylinder press, in black and in red
  • The types are from the period of the composition of the opera and creation of the Pabst film: Perpetua (1929) and Gill Sans (1928) in Monotype composition, with handset Perpetua, Claudius (1937), and  Neuland (1923) for display
  • Hanemühle Biblio paper
  • The book is handsewn with linen thread over linen tapes, with handsewn silk headbands in black and red, and bound in full gunmetal grey cloth, in a slipcase covered in the same cloth; Both book and slipcase cloth have titling in type and imagery drawn by Kentridge printed by silkscreen, the word “Lulu” on the front cover of the book and a Rorschach of black blood across the sides and back of the slipcase
  • 176 pages, quarto format, 13-1/2″ x 9 1/2″
  • Limited to 400 copies, numbered and signed by the artist
  • Price is $2000 (minus 30% for subscribers)
The Lulu Plays, Arion Press, Frontispiece and Title Page
The Lulu Plays, Arion Press, Frontispiece and Title Page

Another excellent gift would be The Leopard, by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (see here for a Books and Vines review of this edition). The Leopard is considered one of the most important Italian novels ever written, in addition to being the top-selling novel in Italian history. It is certainly one of the greatest historical  novels in world literature, and along with another great Italian work, The Betrothed, really is a ‘must read’ for anyone considering themselves well read and/or for those wanting a real feel for the soul of Italy. In 1963, the book was made into a film by Lucchino Visconti which which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

It is from the set of this film that Arion Press decided to illustrate their fine new edition of The Leopard. Arion Press tells us that “During the filming of The Leopard, a photographer named Giovan Battista Poletto took color photographs on the set. His images are not identical to those in the motion picture Il Gattopardo but show the main characters and key incidents played out at the legendary locations in Sicily. Out of the many photographs taken by Poletto, thirty-two were chosen, to appear throughout the book in proximity to the action, with identifying captions.”

Details of the edition are as follows:

  • Foreword and appendix by Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi (the novelist’s adopted son and literary executor); foreword/appendix translated by Guido Waldman
  • With 32 photographs in color by Giovan Battista Poletto, taken on the set of the 1963 motion picture directed by Lucchino Visconti
  • Translated from the Italian by Archibald Colquhoun
  • The text type is Neo Didot, composed and cast on the Monotype by Mackenzie & Harris, printed in black
  • The display type is Narciss, handset, printed in color
  • The type was printed by letterpress on a Miller two-color cylinder press
  • The color photographs were printed by offset lithography, brokered by Susan Schaefer
  • The paper is Mohawk Superfine
  • The binding shows a coat of arms from Lampedusa’s ancestors in the early eighteenth century with a leaping leopard
  • The book is large octavo in format, 9-5/16 by 6-11/16 inches, 288 pages
  • The edition is limited to 300 copies for sale
  • Price is $700 (minus 30% for subscribers)
The Leopard, Arion Press, Spine and Covers
The Leopard, Arion Press, Spine and Covers
The Leopard, Arion Press, Sample Photograph with Text
The Leopard, Arion Press, Sample Photograph with Text

Coming in 2017 is The Bridge, by Hart Crane, with illustrations by sculptor Joel Shapiro and The Cutting Room Floor, by screenwriter Bill Bentley, with illustrations by John Baldessari. I should also mention that Arion Press has previous editions available for a number of titles that would make excellent Christmas presents. This includes The Holy Bible, Animal Farm, Paradise Lost, Tartuffe, Emily Dickinson’s Sampler, Tono-BungayDon QuixoteSapphoThe MoonstonePorgy & BessWhat the End is For (poetry of Jorie Graham) and others (the full list is here, and remember if you subscribe you get 30% off these titles!).

Barbarian Press

Crispin and Jan Elsted have four books in print at present, all of which should be at the top of your Christmas wish list! As you will see, there are very few left of each, so now or never! Thank you to Mr. Elsted for all the information below.

P. Cavafy. The Splendour of a Morning: Early Poems of C. P. Cavafy.

This book is just back from the binder, and was almost out of print on publication. It includes 37 poems by Cavafy in new English translations by David Smulders with the original Greek texts on the facing pages. There are five wood engravings by Peter Lazarov. The Greek is set in Antigone from the edition of Anthony Hirst, and the English in Van Dijck, both types designed by Jan van Krimpen – as is the display face, Open Kapitalen, which is used on the title page and for the drop caps on the poems. The book is bound in split boards with a labelled blue silk spine, and measures 10½ by 5¾ inches. Fewer than ten copies of the Regular edition remain for sale at C$495; the Deluxe is long gone. So, Hurry! A full review on Books and Vines is coming soon!

The Splendour of a Morning: Early Poems of C. P. Cavafy, Barbarian Press
The Splendour of a Morning: Early Poems of C. P. Cavafy, Barbarian Press

img_3910 img_3921

John Keats. Fancy: 8 Odes of John Keats

This collection contains the five ‘great’ odes (including ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ and ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’) plus three others which are less known: ‘Fancy’, ‘Bards of Passion’, and ‘Ode on Indolence’. The poems are accompanied by fifteen wood engravings commissioned for the edition from Andy English, as well as one of Andy’s typically whimsical versions of our press device. The types are Poliphilus and Blado, with Poliphilus Titling for display, and the openings of the poems are printed in a variety of colours. Again, the Deluxe edition is out of print, but Regular copies remain. They are bound in quarter green silk with decorated paper especially designed and printed from ornaments. 7 by 5 inches. C$430. See here for a Books and Vines review of this edition.

Fancy: 8 Odes of John Keats, Barbarian Press, Frontispiece and Title Page
Fancy: 8 Odes of John Keats, Barbarian Press, Frontispiece and Title Page
Fancy: 8 Odes of John Keats, Barbarian Press, Sample Text (Ode to a Nightingale)
Fancy: 8 Odes of John Keats, Barbarian Press, Sample Text (Ode to a Nightingale)

Richard H. Barham. The Ingoldsby Legends: a Gallimaufry

A selection of eight of Barham’s irreverent and hilarious gothic poems, first printed in the 1840s. It is illustrated with six wood engravings by the Dalziel Brothers of London, engraved c. 1870 and never before published, with another engraving as frontispiece, and an eighth included only with the Deluxe copies in a portfolio of proofs. The book includes extensive notes on each poem and an afterword on the poems and Barham’s life by Crispin Elsted. Approx. 150pp. Hand-set in 13/12pt Poliphilus and Blado on Heine with Victorian drop caps. 9 1/8 by 8 inches. The Deluxe edition is out of print. Three Regular copies remain, bound in quarter burgundy cloth with printed paper over boards. C$525. See here for a Books and Vines review of this edition.

The Ingoldsby Legends, Barbarian Press, Frontispiece and Title Page
The Ingoldsby Legends, Barbarian Press, Frontispiece and Title Page
The Ingoldsby Legends, Barbarian Press, Sample Illustration with Text
The Ingoldsby Legends, Barbarian Press, Sample Illustration with Text

Simon Brett. Endgrain Editions Four: Simon Brett – an Engraver’s Progress

Simon Brett is universally acknowledged as one of the two or three living masters of wood engraving. This addition to our series of Endgrain Editions celebrates Simon Brett’s 70th birthday and his fiftieth year as an engraver. It includes 134 of Simon’s engravings, all printed from the original blocks, with seven of them oversized on fold-out pages. They include still lifes, Ex libris plates, allegorical prints, book illustrations, and landscapes. There is also an introductory essay by the artist and a chronological catalogue of all his engravings from 1961 to the time of publication: the last entry is for the commissioned frontispiece of this book. Also included are a catalogue raisonné of major exhibitions, a checklist of books illustrated by the artist, and a list of his publications as author and editor. The text types are Joanna, with Fry’s Ornamented for display. 15 by 10½ inches. Approximately 250pp. Deluxe edition is out of print. Some Regular copies remain, bound in quarter green silk with printed paper label and covers printed with a pattern block by the artist. C$990. See here for a Books and Vines review of this edition.

Simon Brett, an Engraver’s Progress, Frontispiece and Title Page
Simon Brett, an Engraver’s Progress, Frontispiece and Title Page
Simon Brett, an Engraver’s Progress, Sample Illustration
Simon Brett, an Engraver’s Progress, Sample Illustration

In addition to the above, a number of very desirable works are imminent.  You may wish to consider subscribing, entitling you to a significant 30% discount on all books, enabling you to get a few of these.

William Shakespeare. Musick in partes: Songs & Poems from Shakespeare’s Plays

This edition, intended to mark the quatercentenary of Shakespeare’s death in 1616, is currently in the press. This small book will be in the same format as Fancy: 8 Odes of John Keats and our earlier The Eve of St. Agnes, and like them will be illustrated with wood engravings, in this case by John Lawrence. The text, comprising all the songs represented in the plays, is set in the original spelling, largely drawn from the first Folio but in some cases from Quarto readings. There will be a note on Shakespeare’s use of music and a brief glossary. The songs are set in Poliphilus and Blado with Jim Rimmer’s Duensing for display in several colours. The current expectation is the book will be published in the first months of 2017, probably in both Deluxe and Regular states, and while most of the edition is already reserved, copies of both states are still available for reservation.

Richard Wagener. Endgrain Editions 5: Richard Wagener

Later in 2017 Barbarian Press will begin work on Endgrain 5, which will be devoted to the work of Richard Wagener, whose work covers a range from exquisitely crafted engravings of animals and insects, to landscapes of the California coast and mountains, to two-coloured abstracts of enormous power. His work has featured in books for Peter Koch Printers and the His work has been featured in books for Peter Koch Printers and the Book Club of California, as well as his own Mixolydian Editions. Endgrain Editions 5 will include over a hundred of Richard’s engravings from all periods of his career, and will be juxtaposed with texts chosen by the artist reflecting on the images and the craft. As with the earlier books in the series, there will be an introduction and a catalogue raisonné of exhibitions and publications, with both Deluxe and Regular states of the edition.

While the above listed books are being produced, and for some time after, Barbarian Press will be working on their next ‘magnum opus’, Bordering on the Sublime: Ornamental Typography at the Curwen Press, a book which has been in various stages of preparation for seven years. Mr. Elsted writes the following:

In 2009, through the generosity of many of our subscribers and patrons, we acquired the entire Curwen Press collection of Monotype ornaments, together with well over a hundred standing borders used in their work for various clients, press proofs of those borders in use, and over a hundred packets of new ornaments still in the foundry wrappings. Bordering on the Sublime: Ornamental Typography at the Curwen Press will reprint these borders, most in two or more colours, accompanied by essays by David Jury and Crispin Elsted on the Curwen Press’s history, its place in British and European printing and design between the wars, the press’s work with ornaments, and the use of ornaments generally in that period and later.

We are delighted to be able to tell you at last that Bordering on the Sublime: Ornamental Typography at the Curwen Press is under way. The type, cast by Michael and Winifred Bixler, is arriving imminently, and David Jury’s text for the opening section of the book will soon be in the press. Crispin is working on the rest of the text, including the appendices, as well as sketching trial layouts. The paper — all 16,000 sheets of it — arrived some time ago and is stacked on nearly every available surface in the pressroom, composing room, and bindery. We are anticipating publication in early- to mid-2018. 

I generally view ‘multi-tasking’ as an indulgent excuse for getting away with not paying proper attention to anything one is doing – which I’m convinced explains why it is so very much in vogue these days as a desirable and admired skill. We enjoy working on every book we produce, and are determined to maintain our best standards in all our work. But money, the ‘bitch goddess’ (in one of D. H. Lawrence’s more telling phrases), is as always dictating circumstance, and we must pay bills and survive during the process of working on a large project like ‘Bordering on the Sublime.’ It is partly for this reason that we will also be producing other work – like Endgrain Editions 5 – while ‘Bordering on the Sublime’ is in the press. But while this is a necessity, and while it is wonderful to be able to devote one’s whole effort and thought to one project at a time, moving for a time from a large and complex project to a more straightforward one allows some mental refreshment and perspective, and can often help to untangle logjams. The work, however intense, is always gratifying and enriching.

Mr. Elsted also provides a glimpse farther into the future:

We have made firm plans with the family of H. Eric Bergman, the brilliant German-Canadian engraver and block-printmaker of the mid-century, to publish a major book on his work, which we have long admired. True North: the Art of H. Eric Bergman will include over 80 wood engravings and several multi-coloured woodblock prints, together with a biographical essay by Bergman’s two granddaughters, Karen Paul and Norma Bergman, and a critical appraisal of his life and work by Pat Bovey, former Director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Canada, and a member of the Canadian Senate. Mounted plates of other works and photographs will also be included. Plans for this are ongoing. The book will likely go to press in 2018.

As well as some information on things in the early planning stages:

We have received permission from the son and daughter of the wonderful British poet Molly Holden, who died in 1984, to publish a major selection of her poems, long shamefully unavailable, for which we hope to commission engravings from several British engravers. This will follow the Bergman project. 

We also hope to produce an edition of John Clare’s The Shepherd’s Calendar, illustrated with engravings by Andy English. This project awaits further discussion while other work is done, but we and Andy are firmly determined to publish it when the time is right. 

And of course—beyond all these there looms, tantalizingly, our edition of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in the 1567 ‘Englishing’ of Arthur Golding, with engravings by Peter Lazarov, about which we—and Peter—are very excited. Editorial work on the text has begun.

And, in closing, Mr. Elsted says:

We hope that something irresistible will catch the unsuspecting eye, and we wish you all a Merry Christmas and the best of New Years in 2017.

You can contact Barbarian Press here.

Deep Wood Press

Chad Pastotnik of Deep Wood Press and James Diskette of Chester River Press have just released their newest collaboration Moon as Bright as Waterpoetry by 11th century Chinese poet Qin Guan, “a relatively unknown 11th century master of Chinese verse whose company could include the likes of the esteemed Li Po (Li Bai) and Du Fu. Praised by the illustrious Wang An-shih, Guan was a disciple of Su Shih (Su Dongpo) one of China’s masters of multiple literary forms, and who strove to loosen the poetic conventions of the day.” Mr. Pastotnik further tells us:

As an acolyte would, Qin Guan blew out the conventional even more by writing about his encounters with courtesans, a subject considered to be a major indiscretion by Chinese society in Keifing. He wrote in a style called t’zu, a lyrical form that McNaughton likens to “cabaret songs” or “words to music” often chosen by the courtesans to sing during their professional entertainments – songs brought from their conquered homelands and appropriated with new lyrics/verse by our poet Qin.Guan lived a tumultuous life during the Northern Sung Dynasty (A.D. 960-1127) Political clashes led to a string of banishments and exiles, his poetry was shunned for its sensuality, and he suffered from the vicissitudes of love—all of which moved him to write these brief, incandescent poems of departure and “long goodbyes.”

This is the first time these poems will be printed in English. The translation is by William McNaughton, former chair of at Hong Kong University, and poet David Young at Oberlin College.  The book is printed in three colors on 150gsm Hahnemühle Biblio and type is composed in Dante. This edition is covered in a sage Asahi book cloth with cotton indigo colored Shizen batik paper with a hint of gold highlights and has a velum spine title. It is housed in a slipcase of warm grey cotton book cloth. The work is 34 pages and comes in at 10 1/2″ x 7 3/4″ in size. The regular edition is limited to 65 copies. There will be  a deluxe edition of ten copies which will be quarter bound in a vellum spine with a yet to be determined paper housed in a nice drop spine box. The regular edition is priced at $650.00, unbound copies are $400.00. The deluxe has yet to be priced.

Moon as Bright as Water, Regular Edition Binding
Moon as Bright as Water, Regular Edition Binding
Moon as Bright as Water, Title Page
Moon as Bright as Water, Title Page

Mr. Pastotnik is working on the redesign of his much anticipated edition of  Franz Kafka’s short story The Hunter Gracchus, with a new translation by German-English literary translator, Jamie Searle Romanelli. The new design includes a larger folio size and a heavier paper stock to better accommodate the intaglio prints and new layout for the text. Currently the edition is to be set at around 60 books. This will go quickly. I am not aware of pricing yet, but will update when I find out. Contact him to reserve one now!

The Hunter Gracchus, Deep Wood Press, Sample Page from prototype
The Hunter Gracchus, Deep Wood Press, Sample Page from prototype

Also planned for 2017 is The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster, who “shows his peers how proper sci-fi is done in 1909. Somewhere between ‘A Room with a View’ and ‘Howards End’ Forster published this remarkable short story which grows more pertinent with each passing day it seems. What will you do when the machine stops?” This will be published under the imprint Mad Parrot Press which Mr. Pastotnik and James Dissette have just recently formed.

There are a number of other books and broadsides in print, all of which make great gifts at excellent price points (see here for the full list).  This includes The Mad Angler Poems, by Michael Delp, illustrated with 5 hand colored wood engravings by Chad Pastotnik and an introduction by Jack Driscoll. The regular edition is quarter-bound in heavy board in a brown Harmatan Moroccan goat with a cotton/linen Asahi book cloth. There is a gold title on spine with a varnished panel on the cover cloth overprinted with the brown drake fly wood engraving and Mocha Hahnemuhle Bugra flyleaves back up the book blocks which are hand sewn on straps. The book is composed in 11 pt  Janson with Garamond in display sizes and printed in 2 colors on Magnani Revere cotton 120gsm paper. 8 7/8 x 6 7/8 x 1/2 inches, 33 pages. Edition of 71 books. The standard edition is $350.

Regular edition of The Mad Angler Poems
Regular edition of The Mad Angler Poems

Another excellent gift idea is The Intruder by Robert Traver (John Voelker), with a foreword by Richard F. Vander Veen and with ten wood engravings by Jim Westergard (see here for a Books and Vines review of this edition).  Quarter-bound in heavy board with a Canapetta book cloth spine and Twinrocker Rustler paper. There is a copper foil title on cover and an embossed umber printed panel with Jim Westergard’s small “fly” wood engraving printed on green paper inset into it. Dark green Hahnemühle Bugra flyleaves back up the book blocks which are all hand sewn on straps, mull attached and cased in. The book is composed in 14 pt Linotype Janson with ATF Garamond in display sizes and printed in 5 colors on Hahnemühle Shiller 150gsm paper. 8 1/4 x 10 3/8 x 5/8″, 34 pages. Edition of 150 books, the first 20 are reserved for the deluxe edition and 10 unbound copies are available for hand binders. Signed and numbered. The regular edition is $550, the deluxe $850.

The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Sample Illustration #1 with Opening Text
The Intruder, Deep Wood Press, Sample Illustration #1 with Opening Text

You can contact Deep Wood Press here.

The Fleece Press

Simon Lawrence’s The Fleece Press has a number of excellent works available for purchase (see here). Here are some samples:

Dilige Deum: Love God and do what you will, a Beer stone inscription by Eric Gill – Lucy Wertheim, who ran a London gallery during the 1930s and who saw magic in the work of Christopher Wood, bought a stone inscription from Eric Gill during 1934. The two developed a friendship, and Gill spontaneously cut a small stone as a present for her which he initialled himself, an unusual act for him. This short book tells the story of their association, and the stone itself is reproduced, along with the design (and its translation) in Gill’s hand, and two photographs of him. This is a Fleece Press first, since it is printed from photopolymer plates, and bound at the Press in a Japanese stab binding using four different paste papers made by Sage Reynolds thirty years ago:- about 50 copies bound in each of the varied designs. 185 copies, price £92. Only a few copies remain.

Dilige Deum: Love God and do what you will, a Beer stone inscription by Eric Gill, Fleece Press
Dilige Deum: Love God and do what you will, a Beer stone inscription by Eric Gill, Fleece Press

Ravilious for Curwen – An edition of one of Eric Ravilious‘ best engravings, printed from the block. The original block of Eric Ravilious’ jazzy, geometric cover engraving made in 1933 for the Curwen Press News-Letter No. 6 (printed 1934), will be printed in an edition of 120 copies during November, with an accompanying letterpress booklet. The original block will be used to make the print, while the original Curwen electrotype will be printed as the booklet’s frontispiece. There is a short letterpress text, and stunning marbled wrappers by Jemma Lewis. Price is £90 (£80 trade) plus postage £5, and VAT (totaling £114 in the UK).

Ravilious for Curwen, Fleece Press
Ravilious for Curwen, Fleece Press

Richard Bawden, His Life & Work by Malcolm Yorke – Richard Bawden did supreme work in many media: watercolours, etchings, linocuts, cast iron, murals, glass engraving, mosaics and book illustration. Richard is extraordinarily adept at multicoloured lino prints, in particular, and it is a privilege to publish this, the first book on his work. Malcolm Yorke’s biography traces Richard’s life in Great Bardfield, through attendance at the Royal College of Art, and since then as a hard-working and dedicated artist working in whatever medium next presents itself. The book runs to 200 full-colour pages in a handsome square format, bound in quarter cloth with a patterned paper based on Richard’s design; he has also drawn the frontispiece and title pages. The special edition is sold out but a few copies remain of 280 standard copies bound in quarter cloth and patterned paper, price £242 plus postage. This edition was runner-up in the Best British Book category at the British Book Design & Production Awards, 2016.

Richard Bawden, His Life & Work by Malcolm Yorke, Fleece Press
Richard Bawden, His Life & Work by Malcolm Yorke, Fleece Press

Pen, paper & a box of paints: Albert Rutherston’s work in theatre design and book illustration, by Ian Rogerson – Albert Rutherston is well known as a distinctive book illustrator whose work benefited from the pochoir process employed by the Curwen Press. He illustrated many books and for a short period before the First World War had a profound influence on theatre and stage costume design, though he chose not to pursue this. There has been no book on his work until now. Ian Rogerson has made a special study of Albert’s work, whose grandchildren have also been able to provide reference material which makes the book especially interesting. The book runs to 196 pages and displays 115 illustrations, in an edition of 250 copies; price £184.  This edition was the winner of the Limited Editions and Fine Binding category at the British Book Design & Production Awards, 2016.

In progress now is Dunbar Hay, of which we are told:

Founded in 1936 by Cecilia Dunbar Kilburn and Athole Hay, this London gallery (the term shop was actually their preferred term) was created as a marriage bureau for promising young designers (mostly Royal College of Art graduates) and industry. Within four years it had closed for the war, and its stock and records destroyed by bombing. There is virtually no paper record, nor any photographs of the shop, but a 1979 lecture given by Cecilia Dunbar Kilburn (by then Lady Sempill) serves as a starting point to recreate the goods and ethos of the shop, which has been immortalised by a flamboyant two-colour trade card engraved by Eric Ravilious. Lady Sempill’s lecture is reprinted in full, with a memoir by her daughter Gabriel Sempill, and an essay of about 26,000 words by myself on the artists involved with the shop and their wares; it has been a fascinating effort. The book runs to 180 pages printed in colour by Northend Creative Print Solutions in Sheffield, bound in an unknown pattern taken from fabric sold in the shop. Of the 270 copies there will be 150 standard copies price £175. 120 specials will also contain an original copy of the Ravilious trade card, with a piece of hand-printed organdie fabric from Enid Marx’s earliest days as an outstanding textile artist. The special copies, in a solander box, are priced at £385 

Also in progress is The Bliss Story: Douglas Percy Bliss and Phyllis Dodd, by Malcolm Yorke – While Douglas Percy Bliss wrote kindly and perceptively several decades ago about his friend Edward Bawden (for a book published by the Pendomer Press), and earlier in his career took up the pen to write about Eric Ravilious and the emerging engravers of the 1920s, no-one has written comprehensively about Bliss himself, who was a notable engraver, teacher and – especially – landscape painter; the same applies to his wife Phyllis Dodd. Malcolm Yorke has written several fine books for this Press and his study of Bliss, of Phyllis (a fine portrait painter) and the succeeding generation of artistic Blisses, will be another important book. Publication in process. I will let you know pricing when I am made aware of such.

You can contact The Fleece Press here.

The Folio Society, Limited Editions

The Folio Society continues its phenomenal series of Limited Edition books, providing a number of works that belong on the shelves of collectors everywhere.  Their brilliant Letterpress Shakespeare, each printed letterpress in 16-point Baskerville on thick, mould-made paper and bound in leather with hand-marbled boards, will excite even the most stringent private press collector (the editions are simple, elegant and a pleasure to read), while many other productions, although not letterpress, are extremely impressive in their own right. I cannot say enough about how wonderful these Folio Society Limited Editions are.

Recently released is Hansel and Gretel and Other Storieswith illustrations by Kay Nielsen, limited to 980 hand-numbered copies. It’s a facsimile of a 1925 edition which was limited to 60 copies and is absolutely delightful. The binding, from a design by Nielsen, features Clever Alice running distraught through the world represented in gold and turquoise on a white binding. The spine too is blocked in gold and turquoise. There are 22 stories in all, printed in Caslon on Caxton Wove. The 12 colour plates have been printed on Natural Evolution Ivory and are tipped onto the text pages along one edge and protected with the most lovely Japanese tissue overlays. Each story begins with a decorative initial in black and red, with 10 black-and-white illustrations in addition to the colour plates and charming endpapers printed in gold and orange inks. The top edge is gilded and the book is presented in a solander covered in a special making of material to  match the turquoise on the binding. We commissioned an introductory essay by Marina Warner which has been printed in a separate booklet which is tucked into a golden pocket inside the solander box. The cost is $360.

Hansel and Gretel, The Folio Society
Hansel and Gretel, The Folio Society

Also available to order now is a forthcoming limited edition of the national book of Iceland, the Poetic Edda. Bound in polished leather with raised bands on the spine, coloured on all three page edges and with 20 tipped in illustrations by Simon Noyes it is sober yet beautiful. The Norse text is printed so that the first line of each verse aligns with the translation in English by Carolyne Larrington. As the shorter lines of the original are on the same page as the longer lines of the translation, with notes confined to the bottom of the page, the illustrations can be placed facing the text to which they refer which isn’t usually possible with parallel text. The edition is limited to 980 hand-numbered copies. The launch price, until December 19, is $475, after which it increases to $550.

Poetic Edda, The Folio Society
Poetic Edda, The Folio Society, Binding
Poetic Edda, The Folio Society
Poetic Edda, The Folio Society, Sample Illustration and Text

For 2017 there are two particular treats in store. The first is a limited edition of Edward Thomas poetry with original lithographs by David Gentleman who has undertaken to sign every one of the 1,250 copies. The intent is to have the book printed letterpress by Stan Lane in in Gloucestershire and bound in paste paper by Victoria Hall in series with the Rupert Brooke Poems from 2015. The book will be published to commemorate Thomas’s death date, 9th April 1917 and has been designed with the values of the fine press editions of the early part of the last century very much in mind.

Later in the spring The Folio Society will be publishing another signed artist’s book – Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker with illustrations by Quentin Blake. The Folio Society has not yet revealed the binding but below is one of Mr. Blake’s illustrations as a sneak preview. It illustrates a passage from the first chapter – “It wer Ful of the Moon that nite. The rain littlt off the sky cleart and the moon come out. We put the boars head on the poal on top of the gate house. His tusks glimmert and you cud see a dryd up trickl from the corners of his eyes like 1 las tear from each.”

Riddley Walker, illustration by Quentin Blake, The Folio Society
Riddley Walker, illustration by Quentin Blake, The Folio Society

There are many other outstanding Limited Editions available, see the full list here.  One example is Alice in Wonderland with illustrations by Charles van Sandwyk.  This edition won both the Best British Book and Book of the Year at The British Book Design & Production Awards. It is bound in vellum with vellum tips and case sides of Merida paper blocked in four foils, the frontispiece etching is signed and numbered by the artist, there are around 50 line drawings and eleven plates, printed full colour and tipped in place within decorative gold borders. The endpapers have been printed letterpress on Hahnemühle Bugra Butten laid paper and nine ‘scraps’ have been printed full colour on Art paper, individually cut out and tipped in throughout the book. The top edge is gilded, the spine blocked in 24-carat gold and the whole presented in a solander box bound in Paradise cloth, lined with Hahnemühle Bugra Butten and with a titling label on the spine blocked in two colours on laid paper.  It is priced at $865.

  • Limited to 1,000 copies
  • Illustrated by Charles van Sandwyk
  • 13″ x 9¾”
  • 172 pages
  • Limitation spread blocked in two colours on two shades of Hahnemühle Bugra Butten laid paper, inset with an etching hand-printed under the artist’s supervision on Somerset Velvet Buff hand-made paper; signed and numbered by the artist
  • Eleven plates printed in full colour with gold borders on Art paper, tipped into the text within ornamental gold borders
  • Nine ‘scraps’ printed in full colour on Art paper, individually cut out and tipped in place
  • Set in Founders Caslon types, with hand-drawn initials and circa 50 line-drawings; printed in warm black and gold inks on Ambassador Cream twin-wire laid paper
  • Endpapers printed letterpress in dark red ink on Hahnemühle Bugra Butten laid paper
  • Bound in vellum with vellum tips, blocked on the spine in 24-carat gold
  • Case sides blocked in four foils on Merida paper
  • Gilded top edge
Alice in Wonderland, The Folio Society, Cover and Spine
Alice in Wonderland, The Folio Society, Cover and Spine
Alice in Wonderland, The Folio Society, Sample Illustration
Alice in Wonderland, The Folio Society, Sample Illustration

One of my favorite purchases of 2016 is Folio’s facsimile of H.G.Wells short stories, The Door in the Wall, which was published in 1911 and illustrated with original photogravures by Alvin Langdon Coburn. The typeface was specially created for the book by Bertha Goudy and the original from which the facsimile was created is a thing of loveliness indeed! The cost is $360. See here for a review of this edition from Books and Vines.

The Door in the Wall, The Folio Society, Frontispiece and Title Page
The Door in the Wall, The Folio Society, Frontispiece and Title Page

For questions or ordering The Folio Society Limited editions, contact them here.

Foolscap Press

Foolscap Press has a new publication ready which I am quite excited about. It’s a Patricia Highsmith illustrated short story called ‘The Snails‘.  The type is Koch Antiqua made into polymer plates for letterpress printing. The papers are Lettra and Zerkall German Ingres. The art is printed letterpress from linoleum blocks designed and cut by Peggy Gotthold. The story comes in a box which has a sculpture on the lid made of dyed cast paper. The edition is limited to 100 copies and will be priced at $465. Please contact Lawrence Van Velzer/Peggy Gotthold for more information or to order a copy. A full review in Books and Vines is coming soon!

The Snails, Foolscap Press
The Snails, Foolscap Press
img_3886
The Snails, Foolscap Press
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The Snails, Foolscap Press

As for previous publications, Foolscap is kindly offfering a 10% discount on all backlisted books from the Press from now until Christmas when readers mention Books & Vines. You can see the full list here, and the following are some of my favorites that you really must have! Keep in mind also that subscriber discounts are offered at 20%.

The Story of the Fisherman is one of my favorite new private press books of the last few years!  The Story of the Fisherman is taken from the One Thousand and One Nights (also known as the Arabian Nights), using the translation by Edward William Lane (1801-1876). The first thing that grabs you about this edition is the design, coloring and format. The accordion fold binding allows for some spectacular panorama’s of the colorful illustrations by artist Brian Bowes. Here is details of the production.

  • Designed, printed and bound by Peggy Gotthold and Lawrence G. Van Velzer
  • The Story of the Fisherman is taken from the Arabian Nights and is translated by Edward William Lane(1801-1876)
  • 18 pen and ink drawings, including the hand-colored illustrated title page, by Brian Bowes
  • Illustrations are printed via polymer plates (made by Richard Seibert) and done via pochoir (stencils made by Mark Knudsen)
  • The illustration on the front and back covers is based on an illuminated page from a Koran made for Sultan Uljaytu Hamadan in 1313 by Abdallah ibn Muhammad al-Hamadani
  • Type set in Legend, a type designed in 1937 by F.H. Schneidler for the Bauer Type Foundry
  • Printed on Lettra Pearl White from Crane & Co.
  • Hand bound at the press
  • Housed in a cloth covered box with a neodymium magnet to hold the front flap shut
  • 9 7/8 tall x 8 5/16 wide, 80 pages
  • Limited to 117 numbered copies, of which 101 are for sale, and is signed by the artist Brian Bowes
  • Normal Price is $775 plus shipping ($697.50 special price)
The Story of the Fisherman, Foolscap Press, Title Page (with hand colored illustration)
The Story of the Fisherman, Foolscap Press, Title Page (with hand colored illustration)
The Story of the Fisherman, Foolscap Press, Sample Illustration #9
The Story of the Fisherman, Foolscap Press, Sample Illustration

Dialogue of the Dogs by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) is one of the more popular tales from a collection of his short stories titled Exemplary Novels. In Dialogue of the Dogs, Cervantes uses cynical observations of society to provide truthful insight into the human character with occasional humor to delight the reader. This edition is marvelous and certainly unique. The cover looks and fells like a short-haired dog, being one of the more clever and apropos bindings I have seen. The diorama’s are contextually fascinating, providing a 3D visual that nicely encapsulates the setting. Best of all, just look at the presswork below — the type and letterpress work is fantastic. I very much enjoyed the story and the experience of reading it in this specific edition. This is a case where the presentation marries well with the story, each elevating the other.

  • Design, printing and binding done by Lawrence G. Van Velzer and Peggy Gotthold at Foolscap Press
  • The animal like embossing that makes up the cover is made from a rayon flock on latex impregnated paper
  • Full-page scenes set in a three-dimensional diorama in the front and back covers of the book, designed and illustrated by Peggy Gotthold, create a box-like structure around the text
  • Within the text are drawings by Peggy Gotthold
  • Translated by Harriet de Onis (1899-1969)
  • Set in Dante and Pepita types
  • Printed letterpress on Magnano Revere paper and hand-bound at the press
  • Laser cutting was done by John & Susie Bower
  • 9 1/4″ x 11 1/2″, 52 pages
Dialogue of the Dogs, Foolscap Press, Cover and Spine
Dialogue of the Dogs, Foolscap Press, Cover and Spine
Dialogue of the Dogs, Foolscap Press, Back Diorama
Dialogue of the Dogs, Foolscap Press, Back Diorama
Dialogue of the Dogs, Foolscap Press, Sample Illustration #1 with Text
Dialogue of the Dogs, Foolscap Press, Sample Illustration #1 with Text

Phisicke Against Fortune, by Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374), contains 46 of the most important dialogues from Petrarca’s Remedies for Fortune Fair and Foul, together with the woodcut illustrations by Hans Weiditz, originally made for the 1532 German edition. See here for a review of this edition in Books and Vines,

  • Limited to 175 copies, 135 copies of which are hand-sewn and the rounded spine is covered in red Japanese cloth and is stamped in gold; 40 copies are specially bound in quarter goatskin and red Japanese cloth and come in a slipcase covered in cloth and printed paper sides. Mine is the specially bound edition and is number 36.
  • Printed letterpress on Lana Royal, a mould-made paper from France
  • The text is set in Monotype as well as handset type using Poliphilus, Bembo Italic and Forum, with Calligraph Initials printed in red
  • Designed, printed and bound at Foolscap Press by Peggy Gotthold & Lawrence G. Van Velzer
  • 12 x 9 inches, 160 pages
Phisicke Against Fortune, Foolscap Press, Sample Page with Text with Illustration
Phisicke Against Fortune, Foolscap Press, Sample Page with Text with Illustration

For a really elaborate gift, there is Other Worlds: Journey to the Moon by Cyrano de Bergerac and eight original etchings by Leslie Lerner. The book is printed letterpress on Hahnemühle Bugra. The direct-gravure etchings are printed on 300 gram Pescia. In this unusual binding “half pages” are opened revealing an etching in nearly every section of the book. The book measures 9 x 11 1/4 inches, bound in quarter goat skin leather and is housed in a custom made box. The edition is limited to 120 numbered copies and the price is $2,300. Some of the hand-colored prints are available.

Other Worlds: Journey to the Moon, Foolscap Press
Other Worlds: Journey to the Moon, Foolscap Press

The Tower of the Winds is a scroll book which traces the history of an amazing tower in Athens (1st C. B.C.) that still stands. It is illustrated from 18th-century engravings. The scroll measures an astounding 11 inches by 25 feet in length!  The papers are Zerkall Book and hand-made papyrus from Egypt. The typeface is Adobe Herculanum printed letterpress on a Hacker Hand Press. The reproductions of the tower are from the remarkable artwork of James Stuart and Nicolas Revett, the British architects whose written description and exquisite drawings inspired a new architecture in England and influenced Thomas Jefferson and others in America. The scroll cases were produced at the press from dyed, hand-shaped Arches paper. Each case is a rigid cylinder that is hinged with cloth and is lined with a map of ancient Athens. The edition is limited to 200 numbered copies and normally sells for $325 (so $297.50 on special).

Tower in the Winds, Foolscap Press
The Tower in the Winds, Foolscap Press

The St. John’s Fragment Against the Odds is a collaboration with calligrapher Thomas Ingmire and British poet David Annwn. The poem was made in response to St. John’s Fragment, an amazing small piece of papyrus held at the Rylands Library at the University of Manchester. It is dated from between 100 CE and 150 CE and is generally accepted as the earliest extant record of a canonical New Testament text. Mr. Ingmire has recreated the shape and text of the fragment in English and Greek.

The Saint John's Fragment - Against the Odds, Foolscap Press, Spine and Covers
The Saint John’s Fragment – Against the Odds, Foolscap Press, Spine and Covers

Against the Odds is published in an edition limited to 116 numbered copies signed by both the poet David Annwn and calligrapher Thomas Ingmire. The book is 40 pages and measures 8 1/4 inches tall x 6 1/4 wide and is printed letterpress on Frankfurt Cream and bound in hand-made Cave Paper, the endsheets are hand-made Lokta. The normal price is $275.00 plus shipping ($247.50 on special).

A Dog’s Life in Letters is an alphabet book containing poems by Lawrence G. Van Velzer and the linoleum cut illustrations by Peggy Gotthold. The book is 64 pages and measures 6 5/8 inches tall x 5 1/8 inches wide and is printed letterpress on Curtis Holcomb Cream text and hand-bound at the Press.  This book is published in an edition of 200 numbered copies and is specially priced at $108.

A Dog's Life in Letters, Foolscap Press
A Dog’s Life in Letters, Foolscap Press

Upcoming in 2017, Foolscap Press is currently having handmade paper made under the direction of Timothy Barrett at the University of Iowa. This will be for a medieval travel book. The book will feature pages modeled on early illustrated texts.

Contact Foolscap Press here.

Gaylord Schanilec/Midnight Paper Sales

At the 2014 Manhattan Fine Press Book Fair, I saw some of Gaylord Schanilec‘s work on his Lac Des Pleurs. It is fair to say it seems to be amongst the most stunning fine press work I have ever seen. Unfortunately it is sold out, although some of the beautiful prints are available.

Gaylord Schanilec/Midnight Paper Sales At the 2014 Manhattan Fine Press Book Fair early this year, I saw some of Gaylord Schanilec‘s work on his Lac Des Pleurs. It is fair to say it seems to be amongst the most stunning fine press work I have ever seen. Only a few copies remain, althou
Lac Des Pleurs, Gaylord Schanilec, Sample Map and Illustration (available as prints)

Report From Pool Four contains the poems written while out on the water working on Lac Des Pleurs. The book is 8 x 6 inches with 24 pages. 200 numbered copies. 2 two-color wood engravings by Gaylord Schanilec. Signed by the author. Handset in Bembo type. Printed on Zerkall paper with hand-made cover paper by Amanda Degener and Briget O’Malley of Cave Paper. In a slipcase.  Only a few left and priced well at $120.

Report From Pool Four
Report From Pool Four, Gaylord Schanilec

Plunging is a favorite of Mr. Schanilec. Edwidge Danticat‘s poem was inspired by the tragic fall of an immigrant construction worker into wet concrete he had just laid in Bal Harbour, Florida’s most fashionable destination. His wallet contained pictures of his daughter and two single dollar bills. The binding of the deluxe is particularly nice with its leather spine and fore edge. They had been listed as “out of print” for some time on the website, but a couple were recently found. The book is about 5 1/2 x 7 inches with 20 pages. 115 standard and 26 lettered copies. 2 multi-color wood engravings by Gaylord Schanilec. Signed by the author and the artist. Handset in Walbaum monotype. The standard is printed on Printed on Mohawk Superfine, and Zerkall papers. The deluxe is printed on Twin Rocker handmade and Zerkall mould made papers. The standard is bound in cloth and slipcased. The deluxe is bound in blue quarter morocco by Gregor Campbel with Cave handmade paper and morocco fore edges with two single dollar bills laid in. In a clamshell box. The standard is priced at $140, the deluxe at $390.

Plunging, Gaylord Schanilec
Plunging, Gaylord Schanilec

Mayflies of the Driftless Region by Entomologist Clarke Garry, professor of biology at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, with 14 color wood engravings (13 specimen plates plus a microscope) with each hue printed from a separate block of end-grain maple, by Gaylord Schanilec. The book is hand-set in Bembo monotype. Printed on Zerkal mould-made paper. Bound in quarter leather by Gregor Campbell with handmade paper by Mary Hark. Issued in a slipcase. Edition limited to 300 copies and is $530. This book was the winner of a Judges Choice Award at the 2005 Oxford Fine Press Bookfair and of the Carl Hertzog Award for “excellence in book design.” Note the book is also now available in a trade edition, limited to 1,000 copies, for $85.

Mayflies of the Driftless Region - Standard Edition by Clarke Garry and Gaylord Schanilec
Mayflies of the Driftless Region – Standard Edition by Clarke Garry and Gaylord Schanilec

Waterfalls of the Mississippi by Richard Arey, published in 1998 as a commissioned book for Minnesota Outdoors Press, includes 7 stunning color wood engravings by Gaylord Schanilec.  The type is composed in Garamond Monotype by Michael Bixler and the work is printed on Zerkall mould-made paper. The book is 6 x 10 inches with 84 pages. The deluxe edition, limited to 26 lettered copies and priced at $1850, includes a portfolio of progressive proofs of Minnehaha Falls, a hand-colored map by Richard Arey, and a video by Dave Carlson.  It is bound in quarter leather by Jill Jevne and comes in a clam-shell box. The standard edition, limited to 200 copies and priced at $350, includes a map by Richard Arey and is bound in cloth over boards at the Campbel-Logan Bindery, with leather label and slipcase.

Waterfalls of the Mississippi, by Richard Arey, Minnesota Outdoors Press, 1998 Standard Edition (Commissioned Book)
Waterfalls of the Mississippi, by Richard Arey, Minnesota Outdoors Press, 1998 Standard Edition (Commissioned Book)

Please do check out Mr. Schanilec’s web store for a full listing of books, broadsides and prints available.

Hand and Eye Editions

Phil Abel’s next publication, Dear Edwardis in production. The edition includes twenty years of correspondence between the great English artist Edward Bawden and his dealer, Peyton Skipwith. There are over 300 letters covering from the late 1960’s to Bawden’s death in 1989, providing “a glimpse into the art world before it became a billion dollar global business driven by the big auction houses….The letters are about work, exhibitions, catalogues, publications, commissions…” The edition, at 240 pages and 220mm x 120mm in size, will be limited to 300 copies. The text is set in Eric Gill’s Joanna italic and is interspersed with a number of Bawden illustrations, all letterpress printed on Mohawk Superfine paper. It is bound in a new Bawden pattern paper. Pre-publication price is only £90 plus postage, with the price moving to £140 after publication.

It is worth mentioning that there remain some copies of their marvelous A Christmas Carol (reviewed here) which, if ordered with Dear Edward, can be purchased for £145 for the standard edition or £225 for the special edition (a large discount from the normal £180 and £280, respectively). Mr. Abel’s work is excellent, as those with his previous work (including Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde,the aforementioned A Christmas Carol, and some editions of The Folio Society Letterpress Shakespeare (such as Hamlet) can testify to.  Pick these up before it is too late!

Hand & Eye Editions, A Christmas Carol, Sample Illustration
Hand & Eye Editions, A Christmas Carol, Sample Illustration
Hand & Eye Editions, A Christmas Carol, Sample Illustration
Hand & Eye Editions, A Christmas Carol, Sample Illustration

Contact Hand & Eye here.

Incline Press

Graham Moss has many excellent works to consider, all very fairly priced.  See here for a look at each and see this review from Books and Vines for a sampling of his works, many of which are available.

Newly released is Stones by Matthew Hollis. Incline Press mentions that:

Stones is the first publication from Matthew Hollis since ‘Now All Roads Lead to France: the Last Years of Edward Thomas’ was awarded the 2011 Costa Award for Biography. A longer poem of around 200 lines, it takes its setting from the Lake District, in a scene handsomely illustrated by a wood engraving by Paul Kershaw. It was here that the author was living when he began work on the poem in 2006; it has taken a decade and more than 300 pages of drafts to since complete. It is this very element of time, and its contribution to our well being, that occupies the poem: after trauma, how can we live well in the present without doubting or denigrating the past? Or must we retain our connection to formative experience, whatever the personal cost, in order to understand the present?…..Matthew Hollis’s first collection of poems, ‘Ground Water’, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Award, the Guardian First Book Award and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Its follow up, ‘Stones’, is a swirling meditation on loss and recovery in six parts that asks how far must we change in order to overcome the past? And what of ourselves will we have lost in so doing?

Stones is printed in Verona type, a Stephenson Blake face that has not yet been digitised, on Zerkall paper with a sedimentary watermark. The titling is DeLittle of York’s Number 41, a san serif wood type. The cover paper was handmade in Montreal at the Papeterie St-Armand for this book. The edition is of 160 copies, each numbered, and signed by the author. The cost is only £18, so this should be on your shelf!

Stones, Mathew Hollis, Incline Press
Stones, Mathew Hollis, Incline Press

One book of particular interest to me is The Long Journey, a book of poems by Robert Louis Stevenson, with two-colour wood engravings by Robin Mackenzie (who was recently newly elected to the Society of Wood Engravers). The core of the book is the nine poems that Ralph Vaughan Williams set to music, as sung by the Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel on The Vagabond CD (issued by Deutsche Gramafon), to which Mr. Moss added poems chosen from all that Stevenson published, so the book begins with songs of childhood from his Child’s Garden of Verses, and ends naturally enough with the epitaph he wrote that is engraved on his tomb, and on that long journey the poems looks at success, growth and friendship, as well as poverty’s knock. Set in 16pt Lutetia and again on Zerkall 160gsm paper, bound in-house using the last of a Curwen Press patterned paper designed in the late 1940s by Sarah Nechemkin, edition total of 175 copies, about eleven inches tall and seven wide. There is a special of forty copies that include a portfolio of black prints of the wood engravings. Regular edition from £54 and the special from £96.

The Long Journey, by Robert Louis Stevenson, with two-colour wood engravings by Robin Mackenzie, Incline Press
The Long Journey, by Robert Louis Stevenson, with two-colour wood engravings by Robin Mackenzie, Incline Press

Layers of Concord: The creation of the landscape garden at Le Berceau, by Carole George, looks to be a superb work. An edition of 170 copies, Layers of Concord is set in Monotype Centaur. Thirteen and one-half inches tall by ten inches wide, it is 70-pages in length. It is illustrated with photographs by Eduardo Galliani and includes a full-page map drawn by Abigail Rorer, after a visit to the garden. Bound in paper over board, it is housed in a slipcase.  Priced from from £175.

Layers of Concord, Incline Press, Sample Photograph
Layers of Concord, Incline Press, Sample Photograph

When in Doubt, Washby David Blamire, is a perfect gift for cat lovers everywhere!  The book has seven nice wood engravings by Christ Daunt. Each engraving shows a different named breed of cat. Uniform with Incline’s series of cat poems, the 48-page book is 11 by 8 inches, printed on archival quality Zerkall paper using 12 pt Bell type with Bold Madonna for display, as above. The edition is of 240 copies. Forty of those copies are specials and include an additional portfolio of the wood engravings. The standard edition is case-bound in an original 1946 Curwen patterned paper designed by Elizabeth Friedlander over boards and a cloth spine. The deluxe edition displays a newly designed patterned paper by Kiran Ravilious for the book, the slipcase and the portfolio. The standard edition is nicely priced from £75, with the deluxe priced from £144.

When in Doubt, Wash, Incline Press, Title Page
When in Doubt, Wash, Incline Press, Title Page

Contact Mr. Moss at Incline Press here.

Limited Editions Club

Jeanne Shiff was one of the first to support Books and Vines with lots of kind words and encouragement. I am thrilled to have met her a number of times, and to have all the editions of what Limited Editions Club (LEC) collectors call “the Shiff era” — an LEC era in which livres d’artist was the focus, and all works were done with the absolute best materials by the absolute best craftsmen and artists. Any of these books are the centerpiece of any room they happen to be in, as the grand style (and often grand size) draw wonderment and exclamations of oohs and ahhs. Ms. Shiff has a number of books available, a complete list of which is here. These are heirlooms, true works of art!  Here are a few examples, all of which are available.

A Tribute to Cavafy was recently reviewed on Books and Vines here. The edition was designed by Dan Carr and printed by Julia Ferrari, both of the Golgonooza Letter Foundry & Press and was illustrated with five photographs by Duane Michals, who also provides an Afterword. The photogravures made and hand printed by Jon Goodman. The original Greek is printed interlinearly with the translation by Edmund Keeley & Philip Sherrard. The work is set in 12 point Greek Gill Sans Light, with the English translation in 18 point Monotype Dante, cast and set at the Golgonooza Letter Foundry & Press and the title page is set in blue 60 point Perpetua Light Titling and the remaining in Dante, shaped into a centered vase design by Carr. It is printed on Arches Vellum paper. The books were hand sewn and bound in dark purple Japanese linen at Jovonis Bookbindery, with the same linen covering the suede-lined solander box. It is a large book at 16″ x 20″. The edition is limited to 300 copies, and is signed by Duane Michals.

A Tribute to Cavafy, Limited Editions Club, Sample Illustration with Text
A Tribute to Cavafy, Limited Editions Club, Sample Illustration with Text

The Man Who Planted Trees, by Jean Giono. Taking place in the first half of the twentieth century, The Man who Planted Trees tells the tale of a shepherd living a lonely life in the sparsely populated foothills of the Alps in Provence who takes it upon himself to re-forest an area that has long been treeless and desolate. Seed by seed, this man spends decades cultivating trees and turning what was a barren landscape into a sort of Garden of Eden. Over time, families move back to the area and what was once a forgotten wasteland is now an optimistic valley, full of life.

This edition of The Man who Planted Trees defines what fine/private press means. The binding, one of the most beautiful and unique of the LEC library, was hand bound in mulberry tree bark by Carol Joyce at her Academy Bindery. The tree-free paper used for the text pages is mould-made Magnani paper (from Pescia, Italy) made from all rag silk and cotton fibers. Similarly for the gravures, mould-made Arches paper (from Epinal, France), made from all rag silk and cotton fibers, is used. The typographic treatment from Michael Bixler is marvelous (just see the examples below, especially look at the bite in Macro #2 of Sample Text #1). For font, he used English Garamond No. 156, which was created in 1922 by Stanley Morison. Last but certainly not least, the photographs from photographer Martine Franck (1938-2012) are beautiful; in fact, mesmerizing. Jon Goodman shows once again that he is the master of photogravure.

The Man Who Planted Trees, Limited Editions Club, Spine and Covers
The Man Who Planted Trees, Limited Editions Club, Spine and Covers
The Man Who Planted Trees, Limited Editions Club, Frontispiece and Title Page
The Man Who Planted Trees, Limited Editions Club, Frontispiece and Title Page

Poems of Frank O’Hara with an Introduction by Riva Castlman and lithographs by Willem De Kooning. Seventeen of de Kooning’s charcoal drawings are reproduced here for the first time as originally intended‑-with their subtle strokes and wide tonal range. De Kooning’s drawings were transferred from their original mylar sheets to lithographic plates and printed on hand­-made ochre‑tinted Kitakata paper. Each print was torn by hand and pressed into the book’s pages by the intaglio method. The thirteen poems begin with O’Hara’s Ode to Willem de Kooning.  This is a huge volume at 17-3/4″ x 22″! Bound in black Nigerian goatskin, the book is set in a black fabric covered and lined case. It is limited to 550 copies and  sells for $3,000. A review from Books and Vines is here.

Poems of Frank O’Hara, Sample Text Page with Illustration
Poems of Frank O’Hara, Sample Text Page with Illustration

Sight and Touch by Octavio Paz with color woodcut prints by the great artist Balthus. What a stunning work of art this is!  The poem is presented in the original Spanish, in English and in French. It is very large at 22-1/2” x 23-1/2, and contains three color woodcut prints by Balthus. The three Balthus paintings have been turned into multicolor woodcuts by Keiji Shinohara and printed on Kozo Uwazen paper made by hand in Japan. The text is set in a Monotype version of Lutetia–sharp and brilliant in cut, crisp and contemporary in feeling. The boards are covered with pure linen on the sides, overlapped on the spine with Nigerian oasis goatskin. Set in a linen covered and lined case. The edition limited to three hundred numbered copies, with each book signed by Balthus and Octavio Paz. It sells for $2700. A review from Books and Vines is here.

Sight and Touch, Balthus
Sight and Touch, Balthus

Letter From Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr. with eight serigraph prints by Faith Ringgold, and an afterword by Dr. C. T. Vivian.  Another large size book at 14-1/2” x 12-1/4”, it is stunning! Printed letterpress on handmade paper, this edition is limited to 420 numbered copies. The prints were edtitioned by Curlee Holton at his studio in Easton, Pennsylvania. The book is hand bound in red linen, with the same fabric covering its hinged and lined case. The edition limited to four hundred twenty numbered copies with each signed by Faith Ringgold. It sells for $4,850.

Letter From Birmingham City Jail ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. ~ Eight Serigraph Prints by Faith Ringgold, Afterword by Dr. C. T. Vivian
Letter From Birmingham City Jail ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. ~ Eight Serigraph Prints by Faith Ringgold, Afterword by Dr. C. T. Vivian

The Revelation of Saint John the Divine by John of Patmos with fifteen relief engravings by Allan Rohan Crite. The volume clocks in at 16″ x 22”. Mr. Crite’s relief engravings were printed on Japanese paper and mounted on heavy paper handmade in Pescia Italy. Typographical design is by Dan Carr, who drew the verse numerals and cast them by hand into punches for typesetting. The volume is hand bound in burgundy linen. The hinged box, covered in black Italian cotton, is inset with Nigerian goatskin bearing the title stamped in 22‑karat gold. The edition limited to four hundred numbered copies with each signed by Allan Rohan Crite. It sells for $1500. A review from Books and Vines is here.

The Revelation of Saint John the Divine, John of Patmos, Engravings by Allan Rohan Crite
The Revelation of Saint John the Divine, John of Patmos, Engravings by Allan Rohan Crite

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë with fifteen lithographs and an afterword by Balthus.  The volume size is 12-3/4” x 16-1/2”. The Balthus drawings have been turned into lithographic plates and printed, in brown‑toned black ink, on fine Japanese paper by Bruce Porter at his Trestle Editions in New York City.  They were mounted on mould made paper from the Arches mill, in Epinal, France.  The text was also printed on this paper, uniquely watermarked with the coat of arms of the family Klossowski de Rola.  The book is bound in Nigerian goatskin dyed gray-green to suggest the Yorkshire moors. Linen covered and lined case. The edition limited to three hundred numbered copies with each book signed by Balthus. The price is $4800. A review from Books and Vines is here.

Withering Heights, Balthus
Wuthering Heights, Balthus

Sunrise Is Coming After While by Langston Hughes with six color silkscreen prints by Phoebe Beasley with an introduction and afterword by Maya Angelou.  Maya Angelou selected the poems and the artist, as well as wrote the introduction and the afterword! This is another grand LEC production at 16” x 21”.  The binding is purple cotton and the book and prints come a hinged and lined black cotton covered box. The edition limited to three hundred numbered copies with each book signed by Maya Angelou and Phoebe Beasley. The price is $1500.

Sunrise Is Coming After While ~ Langston Hughes ~ Six Color Silkscreen Prints by Phoebe Beasley with Introduction and Afterword by Maya Angelou
Sunrise Is Coming After While ~ Langston Hughes ~ Six Color Silkscreen Prints by Phoebe Beasley with Introduction and Afterword by Maya Angelou

If you search on Books and Vines you will find reviews of most of the Shiff-era LEC’s. Please contact Ms. Shiff directly with interest or questions, from which you may also discover some excellent holiday specials for Books and Vines readers, including on the works mentioned above!

Nawakum Press

David Pascoe’s Nawakum Press is producing some of the greatest fine press books today. Their work just keeps getting better and better! Limitations are very small, so if you see something you like, I suggest moving quickly!  Here is a complete list of their works.

Nawakum Press just recently released The Sea Fogs by Robert Louis Stevenson. ‘The Sea Fogs’ is the tenth of fourteen episodes –narratives, character sketches, and extended moments –that make up Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Silverado Squatters, one of the finest of the many essays and several books of travel and locale that he wrote during his twenties and early thirties. It is drawn from Stevenson’s journal, which he kept while on a two-month stay on Mount St. Helena, at the head of the Napa Valley in California. He had come to the area for his honeymoon in 1880, and for his health as well, hoping to get away from the damp, coastal climate of San Francisco. Unable to afford the ten dollars a week for a room at the local hotel, he and his bride instead “squatted” an old bunkhouse, at an abandoned silver mine on the side of the mountain.

The book is 32 pages and measures 6 -1/4 by 10-3/4 inches. The typeface is Ehrhardt, with Isadora for display. Patrick Reagh cast the type and printed the book on Zerkall Frankfurt at his shop in Sebastopol, California. Illustrations printed letterpress, with color triptych printed digitally at Black Cat Studio. The Sea Fogs is published in one state, in an edition of 55 slipcased copies, each numbered and signed by the artist. Publication price is $485.

The Sea Fogs, Illustrated by Gary Alphonso, Nawakum Press
The Sea Fogs, Illustrated by Gary Alphonso, Nawakum Press
The Sea Fogs, Illustrated by Gary Alphonso, Nawakum Press
The Sea Fogs, Illustrated by Gary Alphonso, Nawakum Press

Forthcoming at the Press for early 2017: A Kerosene Beauty is an artist’s book, where exceptional poetry and mezzotints meet, carry equal weight, and interact on a hand crafted stage. Award-winning poet, essayist, and translator Jane Hirshfield’s new and unpublished poetry takes the form of precious laments speaking to the central issues of our existence – impermanence, desire, loss, beauty, and of a fragile planet. Using the somewhat archaic, labor intensive  printmaking process of the intaglio family, the mezzotint, known for its velvety blacks and the luxurious quality of its tones, artist Holly Downing scraped on copper plate seven images reflective of her deeply personal response (a video of Downing creating one of the mezzotints can be seen here).

A Kerosene Beauty is 48 pages and measures 15″ × 9¾” in landscape format. The typefaces are Monotype Bembo for the text and Perpetua Titling for display. Patrick Reagh cast the lead type and printed the books letterpress on his Heidelberg cylinder press. The papers are Rives BFK from France, St. Armand Linen from Canada, Slate Stone Leaf from Brazil, and Wheat Straw from Hook Paper in Indiana. The book is bound in Japanese black quarter cloth with actual stone leaf paper over boards, and commissioned paste paper on the back cover. It is housed in a custom wooden box crafted in Japan, with access to the book coming by means of a false bottom. Binding and paste papers are by Lisa Van Pelt. Published in an edition of 28 numbered copies, signed by the poet and artist. Publication price is $2450.

There are a few copies left of the Press’s most recent publication, Trading Eights, The Faces of Jazz by Ted and Dana Gioia, with wood engravings by James G. Todd. The Faces of Jazz is an exploration into jazz culture, the music played, and those who played it so well. Jazz is improvisation, and this edition brings forth that same spontaneity in portraying the smoky back rooms where jazzmen were kings. Deeply personal, it shares a vision of this unique style of music through the eyes of an artist, music historian and poet. A new review of Trading Eights by Crispin Elsted of Barbarian Press, in the journal Parenthesis, is available here.

Trading Eights, The Faces of Jazz is sixty-four pages and measures 9 inches by 14 inches. The typefaces are Ehrhardt and Janson, cast in lead by Patrick Reagh. The text is printed by Richard Wagener and Patrick Reagh. The binding is French Chagreen quarter goatskin, with blue-black and grey paste papers over boards. The work includes portraits of eight iconic jazz figures, engraved by James G. Todd Jr., an innovator in the field of wood engraving. Accompanying these penetrating engravings are words from jazz pianist and writer Ted Gioia, author of The History of Jazz, and poetry from his brother Dana Gioia, poet and former Chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts. Wood engraver Richard Wagener has printed each portrait from the original blocks. Trading Eights, The Faces of Jazz is co-published in one state, in an edition of fifty-five. Forty copies are for sale and signed by the author, poet, and artist. The price is $975.

Trading Eights, The Faces of Jazz, Mixolydian Press and Nawakum Press, Cover
Trading Eights, The Faces of Jazz, Mixolydian Press and Nawakum Press, Cover
Trading Eights, The Faces of Jazz, Mixolydian Press and Nawakum Press, Frontispiece and Title Page
Trading Eights, The Faces of Jazz, Mixolydian Press and Nawakum Press, Frontispiece and Title Page

Contact Nawakum Press here.

The Old School Press

Martyn Ould’s Old School Press has published two major books in the past year, as follows.

Following the sell-out The Colours of Rome, also conceived and written by decorative artist John Sutcliffe, The Lost Colours of the Cyclades has as its theme one close to the heart of the Press: colour. John asks the question “why are the buildings in these Greek islands uniformly white and were they always thus?” In his travels around  the Cyclades he found and recorded traces of a glowing palette of colours beneath the whitewash, colours ranging from traditional ochres to off-whites, blues, and even purples. His new book describes the change that occurred and its causes, and most interestingly explores the parallel between the “de-colouring” of the buildings and the decolouring of the local food as experienced by the tourist visiting the islands.

Standard copies take the form of a case-bound book presented in a sleeve to the inside of which is attached a portfolio of twenty large, individually hand-painted cards illustrating the representative colours that John found, together with a swatch card with colour chips of each. Within the book John describes each of the colours which are illustrated by further hand-painted chips. The colour paints used were specially mixed to match John’s field records. The book itself is bound in full cloth that has been silk-screened with stripes in the colours of the Greek national flag. The sleeve is a simple case, bound in blue cloth with a spine label, and the portfolio is formed from a heavy mid-grey paper. The text is printed in 14pt Perpetua on Madrid Litho and six linocuts by John are scattered through the text. Copies are available at £185/€270/US$290 each, plus shipping at cost. (The de luxe edition is all sold.)

The Lost Colours of the Cyclades, Standard Binding, Old School Press
The Lost Colours of the Cyclades, Standard Binding, Old School Press
The Lost Colours of the Cyclades, Sample Text, Old School Press
The Lost Colours of the Cyclades, Sample Text, Old School Press
The Lost Colours of the Cyclades, Deluxe Edition Individually water-coloured, by John Sutcliffe, Old School Press
The Lost Colours of the Cyclades, Deluxe Edition Individually water-coloured, by John Sutcliffe, Old School Press

The other major publication in the past year has been the first volume of a three-volume study by Martyn Ould entitled Printing at the University Press, Oxford, 1660-1780. It sets the scene by describing a key resource of the Press, namely the sequence of premises that it occupied over the period: its first home was the Sheldonian Theatre and by the end of the period it was settled in the Clarendon Building, but between those two magnificent buildings, the Press had a third home in wooden premises that were built especially for it. The second topic covered is the roles that made up the management of the Press: the Architypographus, the Warehouse-keeper, and the Printer. Finally the book delves in detail into the history of another key resource of the Press: the paper that it used, covering where it came from, how it was obtained, how much was paid for it, and how it was used and stored. To illustrate the narrative ten contemporary documents from Oxford University Press and the Bodleian Library are newly reproduced as tipped-in photographs. The text has been set in 12pt Van Dijck and 250 copies have been printed on 148gsm Mohawk Superfine paper

190 standard copies are case-bound  with a printed dust-jacket. Copies are £125/€190/S$200 plus shipping at cost. Fifty de luxe copies are quarter-bound in leather with a marbled paper on the boards. They come with an extra forty-page volume, Correspondence on Paper, that presents a collection of hitherto unpublished letters from London paper dealers to Thomas Yate from the 1670s, printed on an antique Rives BFK mould-made paper and case-bound. The two volumes are presented in a slip-case. Copies are £320/€460/US$400 plus shipping at cost. Sets of sheets are available for binders. Details of volumes II and III (already written) can be found on the Press’s website.

Printing at the University Press, Oxford, 1660-1780, Deluxe Edition, Old School Press
Printing at the University Press, Oxford, 1660-1780, Deluxe Edition, Old School Press
Printing at the University Press, Oxford, 1660-1780, example tipped-in photograph of contemporary documents, Old School Press
Printing at the University Press, Oxford, 1660-1780, Example tipped-in photograph of contemporary documents, Old School Press

See here for a full list of works available, many at very affordable price points. Contact Mr. Ould at Old School Press here.

The Old Stile Press

Frances and Nicolas McDowell of The Old Stile Press have been producing fine books for quite some time! As such, they have quite a selection for you to choose from (here is the full list), including:

The most recent publication is The Book of Job, with the text taken from the King James Bible and linocut images by John Abell. Abell’s images “express the harrowing events of a life being reduced to nothing from such comfortable heights and then suddenly reversed.” Information on the standard edition: Paper is Canaletto Velino Bianco 210 gsm. Type is Aries. Linocuts printed directly from the blocks cut by John Abell. The book is bound by The Fine Bookbindery, Northamptonshire. It is bound with a blue leather spine and the sides are covered with papers printed in four colours from blocks cut by John Abell within a red slipcase with a label. 150 copies were printed of the Main Edition and copies are available to buy at £295 each. The special edition comes within a ‘velvet’ lined solander box together with 8 original prints on biblical themes by John Abell which do not appear in the book: Creation, Adam & Eve, Cain & Abel, Abraham & Isaac, Noah, Jonah, Moses & the Burning Bush, Babel. Only 10 copies were printed of the Special Edition and copies are available to purchase at £1350 each.

The Book of Job, Old Stile Press
The Book of Job, Old Stile Press

 

The Book of Job, Old Stile Press, Sample Text and Illustration by John Abell
The Book of Job, Old Stile Press, Sample Text and Illustration by John Abell

A Song about Myself is a letter from John Keats to his young sister while he is travelling in Scotland. We had long wanted to try representing calligraphy in a letterpress printed book and Andy Moore, who is a calligrapher in the UK was excited to see what we could all do. The result is a delight – lots of details about the making of the book here and here. The paper is Vélin Arches. The original calligraphy was created in two colours and printed letterpress from photopolymer plates. The book is case bound at The Fine Bookbindery with a loose paper wrapper printed with a calligraphic design. 138 copies were printed of the Main Edition and copies are available to buy at £145 each. There is one special remaining which comes in a velvet lined drop back box together with a portfolio in which there is an original piece of Andy Moore’s calligraphy on handmade paper and the original four pieces of artwork for a double page spread in the book. The special is £650.

A Song about Myself, Old Stile Press
A Song about Myself, Old Stile Press
A Song about Myself, Sample Page, Old Stile Press
A Song about Myself, Sample Page, Old Stile Press
A Song about Myself, Special Edition, Old Stile Press
A Song about Myself, Special Edition, Old Stile Press

The Diary of a Dead Officer – selected posthumous papers of Arthur Graeme West with linocuts throughout and Afterword by John Abell. In this remarkable diary – Arthur Graeme West’s only book – we read of the journey from being a young Balliol scholar eager to join the army in 1914 to a disillusioned man who loses his faith in the army in which he served and then his belief in God.One purchaser of this work said:

Considering the content and images, it feels strange to use words like ‘magnificent’ etc (which it is) but it is certainly a text worthy of the treatment that is unique to The Old Stile Press, and the singular and harrowing images from John Abell appear as relevant and appropriate as any I’ve seen. The design of the page layouts with the cuts wrapping around the columned text must have been quite a challenge, but the results look wonderful…. This text and this artist were made for each other . . . stunning – an important book.

The paper is 250gsm Vélin Arches. John Abell’s images were printed directly from his linocuts. The book was casebound at The Fine Bookbindery in quarter cloth with paper sides printed with linocut images by the artist. Red ‘velvet’ lined slipcase. The main edition is limited to 150 copies, numbered and signed by the artist. A special edition, of just 10 copies for sale, has sold out.

The Diary of a Dead Officer, Old Stile Press, Cover
The Diary of a Dead Officer, Old Stile Press, Cover
The Diary of a Dead Officer, Old Stile Press, Sample Illustration and Text
The Diary of a Dead Officer, Old Stile Press, Sample Illustration and Text

Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France, in a new translation into English from the French of Blaise Cendrars by Dick Jones with imagery by Natalie d’Arbeloff. This extraordinary epic poem – known for short as the Trans-Sib given its deliberately awkward and cumbersome title – was written by Blaise Cendrars in 1913. It is a compound of the literal and the surreal, a breathless travelogue, historical commentary and dreamscape narrative. His daughter, Miriam Gilou Cendrars, writes for this edition a note about the importance of Cendrars’ work to modern poetry of the twentieth century and has enthusiastically praised this translation. Dick Jones and Natalie d’Arbeloff were both equally excited by Cendrars’ writing and together created a rhythmic, pounding fusion of image and words retelling this journey across Russia on the famous Trans-Siberian railway – a journey which deserves to be better known beyond the French-speaking world.The paper is Canaletto Liscio 160gsm. Typeface is Storm Sans. In the printing of the text twenty four different colours were used, chosen at random. The suite of vinyl cut images are printed directly from Natalie d’Arbeloff’s original blocks. The book was case-bound at The Fine Bookbindery with papers designed by the artist and the lined slipcase is blocked with an image of Cendrars. The Main Edition is 150 copies numbered and signed by artist and translator, priced at £295.  There were ten special copies but those are sold out.

Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France, Old Stile Press, Cover

Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France, Old Stile Press, Cover
Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France, Old Stile Press, Sample Illustration and Text

Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France, Old Stile Press, Sample Illustration and Text

Contact Old Stile Press here.

Peter Koch, Printers

The 6th Biennial International Book Fair and Symposium, CODEX 2017, will be held from February 5th – 8th, 2017. There is an excellent selection of speakers for the symposium, including artist and a poet Johannes Strugalla, writer, curator and historian Betty Bright, book designers and illustrator Lu Jingren, artists Sue Anderson and Gwen Harrison, artist Gaylord Schanilec and Xu Bing who is one of the “most innovative artists working in the medium of language and the book today.”  See here to read more about these presenters. In addition, there are over 200 exhibitors from over 20 countries who will be exhibitors at the book fair, see the full list here. If you have not been to CODEX, you really need to attend!

Liber Ignis is the third volume in a collaborative project of appropriations, constructs, and inventions documenting the ongoing civilization of the American West by Peter Rutledge Koch. This contains a serial collage poem (composed in counterpoint to the images) by Adam Cornford with engineering design, image manipulation, and binding structure by Jonathan Gerken. Liber Ignis consists of six .033″ lead sheets printed at Magnolia Editions on a UV cured acrylic flatbed press interleaved with laminated felt and Evolon split microfiber sheets dyed black and printed from polymer plates on the Hacker Test Press at Peter Koch Printers. The binding is constructed with soldered copper tubing and linen thread. The text was composed in Fell Roman and Italic with Rockwell for titling. Box construction by John DeMerritt Bookbinding, Copper cover plate executed by Christopher Stinehour. Editions Koch: 12 x 18 inches, 22 pp (boxed]. Edition of 25, $12,500. Please see the prospectus with much more information here.

Liber Ignis, Editions Koch

Contact Mr. Koch here.

The Prototype Press

The Prototype Press acquired the rights from HarperCollins to produce a deluxe limited edition of 50 copies of Charles Bukowski‘s Ham on Rye and are n0w one year into casting and printing. It is cast in 12pt Goudy Powell by the press, and printed four pages at a time on dampened custom, handmade paper from St. Armand. The paper has alternating watermarks of the the authors initials, as well as the main character. It will include 30 woodcut illustrations in two colors from the artist Sean Starwars. Printing of the text is halfway done. The first half of the book will be melted down and cast into the second half over the holidays. Copies should be available next summer or early fall. It will be housed in a slipcase and bound by the press. If you are interested in following the production of the book, it is available on instagram, @theprototypepress, or send an email Mr. Sarigianis here. A pre-order of this work would be an excellent, special and unique gift, and would assist The Prototype Press in this endeavor.

A few copies remain of the first work from The Prototype Press, Me, Myself and the Monkeyface Eel. See the Books and Vines review of this wonderful book here.

  • Illustrations by Leighton Kelly are printed relief from linoleum carvings
  • Printed in three colors on Somerset Book Paper from Monotype Hess Old Style and hand-set Libra types
  • The title page and Parts I and II are gold foil stamped
  • The cover is half-bound in cow leather and handmade paper from Twinrocker
  • The appendices are printed on paper handmade by the publishers with the help of Shotwell Paper Mill in San Francisco; the paper bears the watermark of Shotwell, as well as a fishing hook, added specially for this project
  • The standard edition is limited to 75 copies, signed by Kirk Lombard and Leighton Kelly
Me, Myself and the Monkeyface Eel, The Prototype Press, Sample Illustration #1 with Text
Me, Myself and the Monkeyface Eel, The Prototype Press, Sample Illustration #1 with Text

A few copies of Copies of Why Beer Matters, by Evan Rail, are available at $100. There is a cover illustration by Christine Dryer. It is hand-set in 14pt California Old Style and Italic and is printed on BFK Rives. It is hand-sewn and case bound. Cover papers are hand-made from hop sacks donated by Anchor Brewing Company, and paper made by Pam Deluxe of Shotwell Paper Mill. The book is 7.25″ x 9.75″ and is 23 pages.  The edition is limited to 225 copies.

Why Beer Matters,The Prototype Press
Why Beer Matters,The Prototype Press

Contact Mr. Sarigianis here.

The Salvage Press

Jamie Murphy continues to produce amazing works and I cannot wait to get what is coming soon: Winter, a book project based on WW1 poetry from the hands of 14 revered Irish poets including W.B. Yeats, Francis Ledwidge, William Orpen, Katherine Tynan, Thomas McGreevy, George Russell, Patrick McGill, C.S. Lewis and others. The illustrations have been drawn by renowned Irish illustrator David Rooney. The book carries an introduction by the editor, Dr. Lisa Griffith. The text has been hand-set in 18 point Caslon Old Face, first released in 1916. Printed on 225gsm Zerkall mouldmade paper.

Approximately 66 books have been made. Mr. Murphy is currently in the process of designing and printing the experimental broadsides which will accompany the books. The 40 copies in the standard edition will consist of a quarter bound (cloth and paper covered boards) illustrated book accompanied by a portfolio containing experimental settings of ten of the poems in broadside format. Housed in a slipcase. Launch price will be €550. The 26 books in the deluxe edition will consist of a quarter bound (moroccan goat and paper covered boards) illustrated book accompanied by a portfolio containing experimental settings of each of the poems in broadside format. Housed in a solander box. Launch price will be €880.

Winter, The Salvage Press, illustrator David Rooney
Winter, The Salvage Press, illustrator David Rooney
Winter, The Salvage Press, illustrator David Rooney
Winter, The Salvage Press, illustrator David Rooney

Launching in 2017 is A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift. This book will be produced to mark the 350th anniversary of the birth of Jonathan Swift. The book will be designed and hand-typeset by Jamie Murphy. The illustrations will be in the form of ten large lithographs by David O’Kane, editioned by hand with the help of Michael Timmons in Dublin. Jessica Traynor has written nine poetic responses to the text. Renowned Swift scholar Prof. Andrew Carpenter has supplied the introduction. Based on the typographic peculiarities of the original publishing (1729), the text will be experimental in its layout. The type will be Caslon 24pt small face, cast into founts at The Whittington Press. The paper will be 250gsm Zerkall mouldmade. The marbled paper used in the binding of the standard copies has been made by Jemma Lewis based on marble patterns found at St. Patrick’s Cathedral where Swift was once Dean.

The book is full double crown folio (approximately 20″ x 30″ spreads) with 64 pages. 35 copies will be produced. 26 lettered copies will make up the standard edition, bound in Dublin by Tom Duffy. These will be half bound in Pentland goat with marbled paper sides, housed in a solander box with a porcelain inlay to the front side. Five artist proofs will be similarly bound for collaborators. Priced at €3800 pre-launch / €4750 on launch. The four de luxe copies will be bound in unique full leather designer bindings by Kate Holland which will be accompanied by a portfolio containing a full loose suite of the lithographs and a full loose suite of the poems, together these will be housed in a solander box. Priced at €9800.

Recently launched is After Easter, penned by Gerard Smyth to mark the centennial year of the 1916 Easter Rising. Designed, typeset by hand, letterpress printed and sewn by Jamie Murphy with assistance from Michael Simpson and Jordan Huysmans. The type used is 18 point Monotype Caslon Old Face (released 1916), cast into founts at The Whittington Press, Cheltenham. Brian Maguire’s artwork has been printed from three magnesium plates after an original drawing made for this book. The slipcases and solander boxes were made by Tom Duffy at his workshop in Dublin’s Five Lamps area. 100 books have been completed. Numbered 11 to 100 and protected within slipcases, standard copies have been printed on 100 gsm Zerkall mouldmade. Numbered 1 to 10 and presented in cloth covered solander boxes, De Luxe copies have been printed on a special making of 115 gsm Irish handmade wove produced by Mike Gibbs at Griffin Mill, Co. Roscommon. Standard copies remain, €180.

After Easter, Deluxe Copies ready to go! Salvage Press
After Easter, Deluxe Copies ready to go! Salvage Press
After Easter, Salvage Press
After Easter, Salvage Press
After Easter, Salvage Press
After Easter, Salvage Press

Also available now is Imagination Dead Imagine, by Samuel Beckett, which won a Fine Press Book Association Judges’ Choice Award in Oxford in 2015. This edition of loose sheets celebrates the 50th anniversary of the original publishing in 1965. The project is a collaboration between typographic designer Jamie Murphy & visual artist David O’Kane. The work is introduced with an essay by renowned Beckett scholar Stanley E Gontarski.

The text has been hand-set & letterpress printed by Jamie Murphy in 18 point Caslon Old Face, supported by a newly drawn ten line grotesque typeface by Bobby Tannam, cut from maple by Tom Mayo. David O’Kane has supplied two lithographs inspired by the text, editioned by Thomas Franke at Stein Werk Lithography studio in Leipzig. The sheets are printed on 250 gsm French made Venin Cuve BFK Rives mouldmade.

The edition is limited to 50 copies, 40 of which make up the standard format, ten accounting for the de luxe. The bindings were executed by Tom Duffy in Dublin. The standard is housed in a cloth covered portfolio, protected inside a slipcase. The de luxe is presented in a clam-shell box accompanied by a typographic triptych based on the text. The standard copies are numbered 11 – 50, the de-luxe are numbered 1 – 10. Standard copies remain priced at €1250. See here for much more detail and pictures.

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-9-49-11-am
Imagination Dead Imagine, Salvage Press
Imagination Dead Imagine, Salvage Press
Imagination Dead Imagine, Salvage Press
Imagination Dead Imagine, Salvage Press
Imagination Dead Imagine, Salvage Press

See here for the complete list of available works. You can contact Mr. Murphy here.

Shanty Bay Press

Shanty Bay Press is currently working on their next release, Still Life. Walter Bachinski tells me:

I have begun work on our 8th book and it is somewhat different from what we have done before. Up until our last book VENUS POEMS, our books have been about creating images to accompany classical texts that are important to us. We have also made two books on the circus using late 19th and 20th century authors. This last book, as noted in the description proceeding this text, revolved around a large complex pochoir triptych depicting the Birth of Venus. This image was derived from an amalgam of three large pastel paintings that I had done a few years previously and I chose three relevant poems to accompany the image. This new book, STILL LIFE, takes my personal involvement as an artist to another level in the making of a book. For some time now I have been thinking about how I might make a book that would focus on my approach to still life. My conception for this book includes five large complex pochoirs based on what I think are important still life works that I have done. Interspersed with these colourful images will be an equal number of black and white still life woodcuts. The text which I have written describes how I evolved as an artist, and to eventually demonstrate, that my still lifes were equal in importance to my figurative work. In the text I make some reference to the history of still life but essentially this book is about how I have come to understand and to practise within the genre.

The text will be hand set 16 point Deepdene printed on 200gsm Arches Cover. The woodcuts will be printed on 58gsm Fudagami Oguni which is, for Shanty Bay, a new beautiful Japanese paper. There will be 5 complex large pochoirs, 5 black and white woodcuts and the title page and colophon image will colour lino cuts. The book will have 46 pages with a page size  14 7/8 X 10 inches.

Shanty Bay Press, Still Life, Walter Bachinski
Shanty Bay Press, Still Life, Walter Bachinski
Shanty Bay Press, Still Life, Walter Bachinski
Shanty Bay Press, Still Life, Walter Bachinski
Shanty Bay Press, Still Life, Walter Bachinski
Shanty Bay Press, Still Life, Walter Bachinski
Shanty Bay Press, Still Life, Walter Bachinski
Shanty Bay Press, Still Life, Walter Bachinski

Shanty Bay Press has a few copies remaining of a few books: Birth of Venus, Stories from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, and CIRCUS: The Artist as Saltimbanque (See here for reviews of each of those works, including many pictures). With art by Walter Bachinski and typesetting, presswork and binding by Janis Butler, these livre d’artist books are simply outstanding productions, beautiful works that I admire. That would make amazing Christmas gifts, including for yourself!

For the publication of Venus Poems, Mr. Bachinski designed a pochoir triptych based loosely on the large format pastel painting on the birth of Venus mentioned above. This beautiful pochoir triptych for Venus Poems clearly shows the influences mentioned above through synergistic blending of thematics and imagery of Venus, the Three Graces and bathers paintings (such as those from Cezanne, Matisse & Renoir). The pochoir is matted and set within the cover of the large clamshell box (15.25″ x 22.5″) , designed in a fashion to allow the viewing of the triptych while reading the poems. Besides the pochoir, there are 5 other color linocuts in the book. These are not meant as specific illustrations to the text, but “rather as decorative elements having an emotional connection to the three poems.” The illustrations are wonderfully colorful and dreamily evocative of the theme.

The text of the book consists of three Venus related poems: ‘Sun and Flesh by Arthur Rimbaud, which was written when he was a mere 16 years of age, described by Mr. Bachinski as an “exuberant, luscious read by a precocious teenager who would turn the world of poetry on its head in only a couple years“; ‘The Birth of Venus‘ by Rainer Maria Rilke, which “describes the sensuousness of the occasion with precision and invention“; and ‘Pervigilium Veneris‘ (‘The Vigil of Venus‘), often attributed to Tiberianus,  which is “a description of a festival about the rebirth of spring under the protection of Venus.

Venus Poems, Shanty Bay Press, Pochoir Triptych and Book in Clamshell
Venus Poems, Shanty Bay Press, Pochoir Triptych and Book in Clamshell
Venus Poems, Shanty Bay Press, Sample Text #1 with Decoration
Venus Poems, Shanty Bay Press, Sample Text with Decoration

The translation used for Ovid’s Metamorphoses is the one compiled by Sir Samuel Garth in 1715, in which he used leading poets of the era such as John Dryden and Joseph Addison. This is a large book with a page size 36.8 by 25.4 cm. There are 152 pages including blanks. The type is hand-set Bembo, printed on 200 gsm Arches Cover. Each of the 15 stories begins with a photogravure of a drawing to illustrate the story.  Walter Bachinski worked on the drawings over a period of a year and then had them made into photogravures by Jon Goodman who also printed the plates. The price for the Regular Edition is $3,500 (quarter bound in calfskin with Japanese Gampi paper over boards), the deluxe $7500 (it is fully bound in calf skin with a portfolio containing an extra set of the photogravures from the book).

Metamorphoses, by Ovid, Illustrations by Walter Bachinski. The type is hand-set Bembo, printed on 200 gsm Arches Cover. Each of the 15 stories begins with a photogravure of a drawing to illustrate the story, quarter bound in calfskin with Japanese Gampi paper over boards. $3500. (Shanty Bay Press)
Metamorphoses, by Ovid, Illustrations by Walter Bachinski.  (Shanty Bay Press)

CIRCUS: The Artist as Saltimbanque is another amazing work. Shanty Bay explains the book:

This book contains a variety of writings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries loosely based on the idea of the artist and the circus. The authors include Apollinaire, Beaumont, Baudelaire, Miller, Rilke and Twain. The excerpts are different in both style and content: they are funny, surreal, serious and poignant. Together with the illustrations we hope to evoke the richness of the circus experience, where there are three rings of simultaneous activity, with something different happening in each one. 

The book measures 37.8 x 26.6 cm and there are 72 pages including blanks. The book is hand-set Deepdene on 200 gsm Arches cover. The book is quarter bound in cloth and Somegami paper and is housed in a cloth-covered slipcase. It has been designed jointly by Janis Butler and Walter Bachinski. There are 4 full page pochoirs and 8 multi-coloured linocuts created and executed by Walter Bachinski. Printing on a Vandercook Universal 1 and binding were done by Janis Butler. Limited to 55 copies and the price is $3000.00.

CIRCUS: The Artist as Saltimbanque, Shanty Bay Press, pochoir
CIRCUS: The Artist as Saltimbanque, Shanty Bay Press, Baudelaire pochoir

Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite is yet another outstanding work from Shanty Bay. It is translated by Susan C. Shelmerdine with a preface and 3 full page pochoir illustrations and 3 two-colour woodcuts by Walter Bachinski. It is handset on Somerset Satin paper 250 gsm using Bembo type and has 40 pages including blanks. The size is 13 x 9 3/16 inches and it is limited to 100 copies.

Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, Shanty Bay Press, Seduction Pochoir
Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, Shanty Bay Press, Seduction Pochoir

Contact Shanty Bay Press here.

Solmentes Press

David Esslemont’s latest work, to be released in the coming few months, is Pizza from Scratch. Mr. Esslemont says:

Heirloom tomatoes and basil are raised from seed; ground is cleared to plant wheat; and clay is mixed with sand to make a wood-fired oven. The wheat will be ground into flour for a sourdough crust; the tomatoes made into sauce; milk into cheese; and pork becomes salami. Eventually the oven is fired up, the pizza assembled and cooked, magically, in less than a couple of minutes. This is a visual narrative – woodcuts and lino cuts document every stage of making pizza from scratch including scale drawings for the adobe clay wood-fired oven.

There will be an edition of 45, the “regular pizza” – Hand printed from the original wood and lino blocks approximately (10.5 x 15 ins) landscape, with over forty illustrations. In printed cloth-covered boards, presented in a drop-back box. Pre-publication price is 50% less than once published, $1,200 (vs. $2,400 post release). There will be an edition of five, “deluxe pizza”, that is bound in white alum-tawed goatskin with a design painted in acrylic ink based on one of the pizzas, created with toothbrushes and stencils, with gold tooling. Sewn on linen tapes with hand-sewn headbands and leather-jointed Italian handmade-paper endleaves, in a felt-lined cloth-covered drop-back box. Pre-publication price is 50% less than once published, $2,400 (vs. $4,800 post release).

Pizza from Scratch, Solementes Press
Pizza from Scratch, Solmentes Press
Pizza from Scratch, Solmentes Press
Pizza from Scratch, Solmentes Press
Pizza from Scratch, Solmentes Press
Pizza from Scratch, Solmentes Press

Another work available is Taxi Driver Curry. Mr. Esslemont tells us:

There are many different ways to cook curry – this transcript of a conversation with a taxi driver describes just one approach and was recorded at 4.30 a.m. while travelling between terminals at London’s Heathrow airport. The woodcuts are based on kolam, Indian designs that are created outside homes to ward off evil spirits.

Fifty copies hand printed from the original wood- blocks, the text from polymer plates, bound as follows: forty-five copies in cloth-covered boards, presented in a drop-back box – $460 and five copies in a deluxe binding ($3,600) that is bound in white alum-tawed goatskin with a design painted in acrylic ink based on one of the Kolam woodcuts, created with toothbrushes and stencils, with gold tooling. The design continues inside the covers as an outline of gold dots on the doublures, so “closing” the cells of the Kolam to keep out the evil spirits. Sewn on linen tapes with hand-sewn headbands and leather-jointed Indian handmade-paper endleaves, in a felt-lined cloth-covered drop-back box. The size of the work is 175 x 254 mm ( 7 x 10 ins), 24pp, 10 woodcuts.

Taxi Driver Curry, Solmentes Press, Sample Woodcuts

Taxi Driver Curry, Solmentes Press, Sample Woodcuts

Mr. Esslemont has much more to choose from, including books painting, drawings and prints. See here. You can contact Mr. Esslemont here.

The Whittington Press

John Randle’s work is famously outstanding, and you really must have some of his work!  There are a number of works available from Whittington Press, all would make excellent additions to your library and/or excellent gifts. Here is the list of works.

Their truly amazing Matrix series continues, with Matrix 34 being the latest. Matrix 34 encompasses a wide variety of topics, united by its primary interest in printing by letterpress, from metal type. This preoccupation can take many forms, and includes this year: Printing at a small west-country newspaper using a Monotype caster and a Wharfdale cylinder press; the extraordinary archive of the Officina Bodoni; an insider account of the Westerham Press, the most technically innovative, and amongst the most typographically aware, printers of its time; setting poetry on a Ludlow caster; the inter-reaction of pottery and letter-cutting; selling and installing Wharfdale presses in the 60s and 70s; learning to cut a punch from one of its few remaining practitioners; an untypical warm correspondence with Edward Bawden; a little-known Polish private press in pre-war Florence, using Nicholas Cochin types; working for Gordon Russell; Matisse and the books he created in Paris with Tériade; Stinehour Press and Meriden Gravure; and much else besides.

All type has been cast from the moulds of Monotype casters in Caslon, Poliphilus, Goudy Modern, Scotch Roman, Bell and Cochin types, and printed with the crisp impression of an SBB Heidelberg cylinder press: a rare combination of technical and literary excellence – possibly even unique in our careless, digital age. All of this for a mere £90.00.

Venice, by John Craig, provides a scintillating series of double-page spreads which, with over 80 wood-engravings and a few linocuts, will lead the reader through the lesser known by-ways of Venice, the narrow passages, hidden squares and waterways that often elude the casual visitor, seen through an acute architectural eye. It is not a lengthy book. Yet, one can spend hours in this book allowing themselves to get lost, immersed in the labyrinth that is Venice — a labyrinth here so expertly conveyed in Craig’s work. This is the Venice that all who have been and wandered beyond the beaten path have fallen in love with. The nooks and crannies of a city like no other, a city that poets have sung praises of more than any other, are brought to life by engravings that somehow convey not only the physical nature of the water, stone and rock which are the basic elements of Venice, but the passion that seems to exude from these very elements in this seemingly magical place.

Of the engravings, four are printed in color on lightweight Korean and Japanese hand-made papers, and tipped in (which you will see below). Centaur and Arrighi types are used, with printing is done on Zerkall Mould-made paper, which we are told was “specially hot-pressed to give an extra sheen for the engravings.” The pages are bound in a French-fold manner, left folded at top edge, printed throughout on the smooth side. The work was bound by the Fine Book Bindery in three editions. A review from Books and Vines, showing all editions, is here.

Venice, Whittington Press, 'B' Edition Spine and Sides
Venice, Whittington Press, ‘B’ Edition Spine and Sides
Venice, Whittington Press, Sample Illustrations #3 with Text
Venice, Whittington Press, Sample Illustrations with Text
Venice, Whittington Press, Sample Illustrations #8 with Text
Venice, Whittington Press, Sample Illustrations with Text

On A Vision of Order, Whittington Press says:

Andrew Anderson’s linocuts on a monumental scale. Indescribable, but the inspiration probably includes mediaeval architecture, Eric Gill, the holy spirit, and the tradition of fine printing on an Albion press.

When I saw them, they hit me straight between the eyes, and I knew we had to make a book of them. At that time Tom Mayo was regularly escaping to the Press from the local art school, and seemed keen to be involved. The linos were large (they just fitted onto our Western proof press), fragile (some thirty years old), and demanding careful inking, with the use of a hand-roller to top up the solid areas for each impression. The Crown format demanded a large type size for the text, which was set in 22- and 18-point Caslon, and printed on the Wharfedale. Two colours apart from black were used for the linos, ochre and terracotta (the colours of Andrew’s shirt and tie on one of the occasions he came to the Press). The result was a tour de force, and the edition soon sold out, a relief as Andrew had kept a low profile with his architectural practice ever since the negative response he had had to an early exhibition of his linocuts.

A Vision of Order, Illustrations by Andrew Anderson, Whittington Press
A Vision of Order, Illustrations by Andrew Anderson, Whittington Press
A Vision of Order, Illustrations by Andrew Anderson, Whittington Press
A Vision of Order, Illustrations by Andrew Anderson, Whittington Press

Contact Whittington Press here.

Other 

The one issue with presenting a list of publishers, as I have done above, is leaving people out. I wish I could avoid such, but I can only cover what I am familiar with! With that in mind, here are a few other works that I have had interest in for some time, and certainly should be considered in your fine press purchasing plans:

There is a new private press, run by Derek Lamb in Australia, called Officina Athelstane. Mr. Lamb tells me that the press grew out of a passion for literature and fine editions. It is modeled as a traditional private press and uses only hand-set type and an iron handpress. The first serious offering from the press is a new illustrated edition of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal. It is handset in 16pt Centaur and Arrighi on Magnani Biblos and sewn on tapes and bound in quarter navy buckram with marbled paper sides by Joan Ajala. The 12 illustrations are pen and ink double and single page and in-text by Maaret Sinkko, reproduced by serigraph. An introduction was commissioned from Swift scholar Emeritus Professor Clive Probyn of Monash University. It is a numbered edition of 75 and costs $375AUD. The work has been very well received in Australia and the Australian National Library has acquired a copy.

Next up Mr. Lamb is working with a local author and another illustrator on a long children’s poem and also is planning to produce something to mark the anniversary of the Great War. Contact Derek here.

Officina Athelstane, A Modest Proposal
Officina Athelstane, A Modest Proposal
Officina Athelstane, A Modest Proposal
Officina Athelstane, A Modest Proposal
Officina Athelstane, A Modest Proposal
Officina Athelstane, A Modest Proposal

I have been lucky enough recently to have picked up a few books from Sebastian Carter’s historic Rampant Lions Press. While the Press is no longer producing new works, Mr. Carter did produce this year, and has available a new work called SIQ, of which he says:

An evocation of the experience of walking along the narrow gorge – the Siq – at Petra, in Jordan. After an approach along the valley that leads from Wadi Mousa, the visitor enters an opening in the cliff, and then walks a couple of miles down a deep cleft in the rock, rarely more than a few yards wide, with the sky visible far above. Eventually, round a bend, the Treasury is first seen through the end of the Siq. 

The book has no words apart from the title and the colophon, both screen printed from hand-cut stencils. The images are cut in sheets of different coloured Canson Mi-Teintes paper, with some screen-printed colour, and the façade of the treasury is also screen printed from a hand-cut stencil. The binding is in wooden boards, within a card chemise with the title screen printed on the front. The format is 37.5 x 26 cm. The design, printing, cutting and binding were carried out by Sebastian Carter. There are ten copies, of which eight are for sale at £625. Contact Mr. Carter here.

SIQ, Sebastian Carter, Detail of the binding: the sections are sewn on to hide strips laced into wooden boards.
SIQ, Sebastian Carter, Detail of the binding: the sections are sewn on to hide strips laced into wooden boards.

María Verónica San Martín, who used to publish under Craft Press Chile, is now working as a book artist and an artist in general. You can see her website and offerings here.  She can be reached here. Her last book project was Indignity and Resistance in the Foothills of the Andes: A Case Study of Villa Grimaldi, was published in February 2015. It is focused on one of the most symbolic torture centers during the dictatorship in Chile, best known as Villa Grimaldi.

The book has two written sections, and one illustrated. The written part contains an introduction to Villa Grimaldi; the list of the victims that were murdered at the center; names of DINA collaborators; testimony of victim, Gladys Diaz; and several quotations of other survivors taken from the center’s archives. The central image is printed in both sides of the book. The technique used is monoprints etching and screenprint, and the shape of the book resembles a circular accordion. On one side of the book—the front side— several illustrations represent prisoners while tortured by DINA agents, showing also the solidarity between the victims.  On the other side—the back—a long print of the Andes Cordillera, which surrounded the Villa, is depicted with glass beads.

In an effort to show what happened both inside and outside the center, the structure of the book unfolds and converts into an illusion of the inside, while in the outside the figure of the Andes reflects how life continued no matter what occurred inside the wall. In the inside of the circular shape, some tortures techniques are depicted, such as the following: Road of Death; corvi houses; railroad tracks; blindfolded way; and forced labors.

María Verónica San Martín
María Verónica San Martín, Indignity and Resistance in the Foothills of the Andes: A Case Study of Villa Grimaldi

I had previously reviewed Ambrose Bierce‘s The Ocean Wave from The Press of Robert LoMascolo, which looks to still be available.  His newest book which was just released this fall is titled Peregrinations of French Types in the Sixteenth Century: Printing of Robert Bellamarine’s Disputationes in Southern Germany. This book is somewhat of a rarity in this modern age being a true leaf book. Each book contains 2 original leaves (4 pages) printed in 1591 by David Sartorius in Ingolstadt. The text was expertly written in a scholarly manner by noted book designer Mark Argetsinger. The text explores how French types, especially those of Garamond and Granjon, came to be used in Sartorius’ printing in Southern Germany. The peregrinations of these French types is a subject that deserves more study, and this book will be of interest to all those concerned with the history of the book, type, or perhaps even Sartorius’ counter reformation printing. Professor emeritus Herbert H. Johnson has written the foreword as well as provided the leaves from an incomplete volume in his impressive collection of rare books.

  • Each book contains 2 original leaves (4 pages) printed in 1591.
  • Accompanying text written in a scholarly manner by noted book designer Mark Argetsinger. Foreword by Herbert H. Johnson.
  • Book is beautifully letterpress printed at The Press of Robert LoMascolo with black, red, and gold ink used throughout.
  • Thoroughly illustrated with type specimens and woodcuts taken from Sartorius’ work.
  • The paper is Lettra, and made from 100% cotton.
  • Dimensions are 8.75 x 13.75 inches when closed and consisting of 36 numbered pages.
  • Completely hand-bound with paper covered boards and vellum spine.
  • The edition is limited to 200 numbered copies.
  • Price is  $375
The Press of Robert LoMascolo
The Press of Robert LoMascolo, Peregrinations of French Types in the Sixteenth Century: Printing of Robert Bellamarine’s Disputationes in Southern Germany
The Press of Robert LoMascolo, Peregrinations of French Types in the Sixteenth Century: Printing of Robert Bellamarine’s Disputationes in Southern Germany
The Press of Robert LoMascolo, Peregrinations of French Types in the Sixteenth Century: Printing of Robert Bellamarine’s Disputationes in Southern Germany
The Press of Robert LoMascolo, Peregrinations of French Types in the Sixteenth Century: Printing of Robert Bellamarine’s Disputationes in Southern Germany
The Press of Robert LoMascolo, Peregrinations of French Types in the Sixteenth Century: Printing of Robert Bellamarine’s Disputationes in Southern Germany

In addition, Mr. LoMascolo has some very inexpensive choices, including Christmas Cards, Broadsides, and a Miniature.

The Press of Robert LoMascolo, Christmas Card
The Press of Robert LoMascolo, Christmas Card ($5)
Sonnet 117, written by William Shakespeare, Broadside
The Press of Robert LoMascolo, Sonnet 117, written by William Shakespeare, Broadside ($60 plus shipping)

Chester Creek Press is in pre-release for Fingerings for words, selected poems by Jim Gross with an introduction by George Economou.  Printed from handset Kennerly Old Style type on dampened Hahnemuhle Biblio mouldmade paper, and endpapers are Antique Rose Hahnemuhle Burga. Cover paper handmade from Cotton Rag fibers and flecks of Day Lily stems. Hand bound inboards with Asahi book cloth. Type casting is by Swamp Press Letterfoundry. Limited to 40 copies, price is $325.

Fingerings for words
Chester Creek Press, Fingerings for words, Pre-release mockup

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven (based on a version published in the Saturday Courier of Philadelphia in 1846) along with Poe’s The Philosophy of Composition (an essay in which Poe expounds on his methodology in writing The Raven, first published in the April 1846 issue of Graham’s) is available.  It is printed letterpress from handset Centaur and Arrighi type on handmade cotton rag paper. Illustrated by the printer, with a portrait of Poe adapted from a drawing by Anne Gregson. Illustrations printed from photopolymer plates. Printing, binding, and paper making by Robert Walp at Chester Creek Press. 6-1/2 x 10 inches, 38 pages. It is limited to 22 copies, and is priced at $290.

The Raven, Chester Creek Press
The Raven, Chester Creek Press, Cover
The Raven, Chester Creek Press, Sample Page
The Raven, Chester Creek Press, Sample Page

There are a number of other works available from Mr. Walp here.

St. Brigid Press proprietor Emily Hancock has a number of wonderful letterpress products at excellent pricing, including books, cards, coasters, journals and broadsides — all of which make for unique and beautiful gifts. One excellent example is Reverie ~ four poems for the re-greening of the world which includes two poems by Emily Dickinson and two by Emily Hancock, illustrated with nature-prints of grasses collected from the meadow at the Press. Every book has its own unique grass-prints. Designed, hand-set with metal type (typeface is Bembo, roman and italic), and printed on our circa-1915 Ostrander-Seymour iron handpress. Eight pages, hand-bound in a decorative Japanese “hemp-leaf” side-bound pattern with linen thread. Produced in a limited edition of 65 books. Cost is only $40!

Reverie
St. Brigid Press, Reverie
St. Brigid Press, Reverie
St. Brigid Press, Reverie

Another excellent example of Ms. Hancock’s work is Tasting the Wild Strawberry, by Nancy Maxson. Limited edition book of poetry. Introduction, haiku, and cover art by Nancy Maxson. Hand-set, letterpress printed, and hand-bound at St Brigid Press. Typefaces are Koch-Antiqua, Monotype Sans Serif Light, and Deepdene Italic. Papers are Legion Bamboo Text, Thai Unryu, and Nepalese Lokta. Binding is traditional Japanese 4-hole stab, with red linen thread. Each edition is numbered, and can be signed upon request.

Tasting the Wild Strawberry
St. Brigid Press, Tasting the Wild Strawberry

Russell Maret‘s has available Some Problems with Red, described as:

‘Some Problems with Red’ encountered by Russell Maret while daydreaming in his studio and here explored with the aid of multichromatic letterpress consists of five short texts dealing with the difficulties of describing and reproducing color, each of which is paired with an illustration. As suggested by the title, the book is a whimsical project that grew out of my “General Color Theory” from Æthelwold Etc., and continues my recent exploration of alternatives to the photopolymer image-making techniques that I have been using for the last eight years. Four of the five illustrations are printed from linoleum, end-grain maple, or metal type ornaments, while the fifth is drawn in ink with a compass.

There are one hundred copies printed on Zerkall Litho paper, bound in quarter cloth with paper covered boards and housed in a plexiglass slipcase. 10.5 x 4.75 inches, 28 pages. $350

Russell Maret, Some Problems with Red
Russell Maret, Some Problems with Red

Mr. Maret also has Æthelwold Etc available in meticulous facsimile from Editions Schlechter, comprising the complete standard edition of the original as well as the diary of ink colors that accompanied the deluxe edition. Photographed at an insanely high resolution by 42-Line in Oakland, California, every line, impression, and paper fiber of the original edition is reproduced with remarkable clarity. 750 copies have been printed, of which 55 are signed, numbered, and accompanied by an original letter from the edition. We are told:

The twenty-six letters of Æthelwold Etc were designed to explore the relationships between alphabetical form and literary content, the limits of a letter form’s individuality within the context of the alphabetical community, and the tensions between typographic assumptions, personal history, and creative desire. Theses various themes are further explored in the second half of the book, a section of notes in which any poetry related to a letter’s design is also included. The printing of the letters was conceived in the spirit of chromatic maximalism, requiring as many as nine colors to realize a single letter form and 105 different ink colors for all twenty-six. 

Russell Maret, Æthelwold Etc
Russell Maret, Æthelwold Etc

The cost is only $75. Mr. Maret has a number of other works, as seen here. You can contact Mr. Maret here.

Bob McCamant’s Sherwin Beach Press has some excellent works to choose from. Searching For Morris Fuller BentonDiscovering the designer through his typefaces by Juliet Shen, includes a foreword by Roger Black, frontispiece wood engraving by Carl Montford, and dozens of typographic specimens from Europe and North America. We are told that:

Benton is the most prolific type designer of the hot metal era, but unlike Frederic Goudy, Bruce Rogers, or William Dwiggins–whose ideas about type design are well documented–Benton wrote nothing about his own work, nor was it the subject of analysis by others.

Juliet Shen has made a meticulous study of his work, including a new enumeration of designs appropriately attributed to him. She gained access to papers from the ATF library, now housed at Columbia University. Shen places Benton in the context of American life at the turn of the 20th Century, when branding, advertising, and marketing were first becoming major factors in the economy. She compares his typefaces to similar ones from the same period, discovering the elements which he found important.

The book is designed by Robert McCamant, set in Cloister Oldstyle cast by the Dale Guild Type Foundry from ATF matrices and typeset by Art Larson and Rose Wisotzky at Horton Tank Graphics. It is printed on Mohawk Superfine, with letterpress by Michael Russem of Kat Ran Press, and offset illustrations and captions by Capitol Offset. Trisha Hammer has designed and executed the binding. 58 pp, 7 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches. Edition of 75. $450.

Sherwin Beach Press, Searching For Morris Fuller Benton
Sherwin Beach Press, Searching For Morris Fuller Benton
Sherwin Beach Press, Searching For Morris Fuller Benton
Sherwin Beach Press, Searching For Morris Fuller Benton

I have long had interest in Mr. McCamant’s edition of Innocents Abroad from Mark Twain.  The Innocents Abroad was printed in an edition of 200 on Johannot, set in Monotype Bell, and re-spaced manually. It has 445 text pages plus 20 pages of illustrations in two volumes which are each 7 3/4 by 11 1/4 inches. The non-adhesive binding with exposed spine sewing consists of 7 black double raised cords attached to hard covers wrapped in red cloth. The two volumes are in turn housed in a black and white linen covered hard case wrapper with black leather straps over brass studs, intended to suggest a portmanteau. It was designed by Bob McCamant and printed by Martha Chiplis. The binding was designed and executed by Trisha Hammer. It is numbered and signed by the artist and bookmakers.

Sherwin Beach Press version of Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad
Sherwin Beach Press version of Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad

Mr. McCamant also has other unique, interesting and well done works to choose from. See here for a complete list. You can contact Mr. McCamant here.

Lastly, a reminder to check Books and Vines links, which includes other fine press publishers not mentioned in this article. They all deserve a perusal and hopefully some of their works will interest you!

And Finally….

Other excellent options, sure to make book lovers smile without breaking the bank, include subscriptions to the essential Matrix from Whittington Press, or Parenthesis from the Fine Press Books Association. Subscriptions to one or both would make anyone interested in private and fine press books very happy! For private press books no longer in print, Books and Vines lists a number of my favorite book sellers, all of which are a credit to the fine book ecosystem, by their fair prices and fantastic knowledge of the treasures they make available to us.

Need an excuse to take a trip to New York City?  Perhaps buy the tickets now for March, 2017 as a gift to your significant other. By coincidence (!), while there…The Fine Press Book Association in collaboration with the Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Show is pleased to announce the fourth annual Manhattan Fine Press Book Fair on Saturday, March 11, 2017, from 10am to 5pm. The fair will constitute an added section to the existing Vintage Book Fair, known colloquially as the “Shadow Fair,” as it is the less formal, less expensive fair held during the same weekend as the New York Antiquarian Book Fair at the Park Avenue Armory.

Many of you have fine books to give away. Please consider donations to schools or libraries that can take care of these fine works, while exposing many more people to the beauty and importance of fine press works. Those with time, consider doing presentations at a local university, school or club, where again the opportunity presents itself to expose many more people to the beauty and importance of fine press works. It is by exposing more and more people to this beauty, and helping them to understand why this craft, and the output from it, is important as a cultural link from previous to future generations, that will allow the private press eco-system to thrive.

Lastly, there are scores of emerging letterpress printers and printing shops whose work focuses more on the scale of invitations, cards, etc.  Please seek out such local printers and use them for all your printing needs! I know that Christmas cards I order from such places always end up much more beautiful and unique than the mass produced junk found elsewhere. And, it is an easy way to re-acquaint lots of people to the majesty of letterpress and fine papers. Letterpress card printers, feel free to leave comments on this thread with links to your wares!

Happy Holidays and order away!!!

7 thoughts on “It’s the 2016 Holidays — Support the Private and Fine Press Eco-System!

  1. Chris,great article and many choices. Wishing you and your family all the best and I hope you are back posting again soon.

    Gary

  2. Another year, another wonderful year-end review of the exceptional artists, artisans and printers that create these collectible treasures. Frankly, I cannot recall a year in which I read this review and did not find a private press book I had overlooked, resulting in a purchase. This year has not been an exception and my order has already been placed.

    These private presses are small operations, often owned and operated by a solo practitioner or a “mom-and-pop” team, i.e., husband and wife. Designing, crafting, and printing letterpress books is tedious, time-consuming work, a labour of love for those involved. Operating a private press is clearly not the road to riches nor will it enable you to join the “1%-ers” in the United States. As Chris has mentioned, their survival depends upon the kindness of strangers through judicious purchases and words of encouragement and support.

    The importance of this timely review is that it reaffirms the enormous range in subject matter and price amongst current private press offerings. Although the livre d’artiste books costing thousands of dollars are, for most of us, objects to be admired from afar (and occasionally on the web pages of Books and Vines !!), many books are affordable for the vast majority of B&V readers. Additionally, many of the private presses offer smaller items, e.g., holiday and seasonal cards, broadsides, single-page poems or illustrations, etc., that reflect the same imagination, care and technical expertise for under one-hundred dollars. Sending a close friend or relative a beautifully designed card or humorous broadside printed letterpress on handmade paper immediately separates you from the madding crowd, reflecting favorably upon your thoughtfulness and good taste.

    Read, then reread this long review carefully – then purchase something for you or a loved one. It does not require a king’s ransom to slowly and carefully assemble a collection of beautiful private press books destined to become lifelong friends. These small purchases are the lifeblood of most small private presses, often enabling them to continue their work and survive another year. If you cannot afford a purchase, send a friendly e-mail of encouragement reflecting your interest in and admiration of their skill.

    Kudos to Chris for a job well done, of service to both book collectors and the private presses that enable us.

    1. dlphcoracl

      So so true!!

      My first read through resulted in 1 purchase. My second and subsequent reads have resulted in 3 more purchases. 2 of the these have purchases have been for publications for $100 or less. So much choice!

      Gary

  3. Wow, thank you so very much for this beautiful curation of fine press work, and for your eloquent support, presentation, and promotion of the same. I learn a lot from your posts.
    With gratitude,
    Emily Hancock

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