Fine Press News 2013

{Ed. Note: For 2014 News, see here.  For 2012 News, here.}

This page will occasionally be updated with announcements on upcoming books to be published by fine press producers, along with others news that may be of interest to those collecting fine press books. Fine press publishers are welcome to send me information on upcoming releases, or other announcements that may be of interest to Books and Vines readers. Occasionally their may be some announcements on releases of certain collectible wines which, of course, should be imbibed while reading fine press books.

December 14, 2013

The prospectus for George Orwell‘s  Animal Farm, the last publication of the 2013 publishing year from Arion Press, has been released. I should have the book soon, and will post a review soon thereafter. The edition contains twenty-four prints from artist Jonathan Hammer and an introduction by historian Peter Stansky. The book is large octavo, 10 1/8″ x 7 1/2″, with 204 pages. The type is Times New Roman in Monotype, with display sizes set by hand. It was printed letterpress on Zerkall ivory book, a German mound made paper. The twenty-four relief prints are printed by letterpress from polymer plates made from films scratched by the artist with an etching needle for the black images, with photo-polymer plates made from overlay drawings in pencil for the red tints. The binding is three-piece cloth, with a maroon spine and ochre sides, imprinted with images of the gate of Manor Farm on the  back and the gate of Animal Farm on the front, with the same materials used for the slipcase. The book is limited to an edition of 300, and the non-subscriber price is $600 ($420 for subscribers).

November 15, 2013

On November 21, Alberto Tallone Editore (detailed review of this wonderful Italian press is here) will be presenting, as a gift by the City of Fabriano to the Library of Congress, their latest work titled Typographical Manual on the aesthetic of papers, watermarks and inks, at a private ceremony given by the Italian Ambassador to the United States. This manual, four years in the making, dedicated to the relationship between paper and ink, is done on handmade paper by Fabriano’s master papermakers.  Alberto Tallone Editore tells us:

Lightweight and delicate, paper is yet as unstoppable and hallowed as the transmission of knowledge itself. Paper has been mankind’s conveyor of ideas and sentiments for centuries. Paper has been the medium of extraordinary projects, works of art, musical pieces, scientific treatises, poems and literature: fragments of humanity that otherwise would have lost in space and time.

Here are a couple pictures of the Manual:

Typographical Manual on the aesthetic of papers, watermarks and inks, Alberto Tallone Editore, Cover
Typographical Manual on the aesthetic of papers, watermarks and inks, Alberto Tallone Editore, Cover
Typographical Manual on the aesthetic of papers, watermarks and inks, Alberto Tallone Editore, Samples
Typographical Manual on the aesthetic of papers, watermarks and inks, Alberto Tallone Editore, Samples

Here is a description of the book (click to enlarge):

Typographical Manual on the aesthetic of papers, watermarks and inks, Alberto Tallone Editore, Book Description
Typographical Manual on the aesthetic of papers, watermarks and inks, Alberto Tallone Editore

If interested in the magnificent work, please contact Alberto Tallone Editore.

November 9, 2013

At The Oxford Fine Press Book Fair, The Colours of Rome, from The Old School Press, won one of the five Judges’ Choice Awards.  Congratulations Martyn Ould! The Press also just released Stockholm Reflections, with modern and ancient responses to the vibrant Stockholm waterfront, with digital images by Leslie Gerry. Letterpress text (freshly cast, Eric Gill’s Joanna in the 14pt size, with headings in variations of Gill Sans) on pale-blue hand-made paper from the Velké Losiny mill in the Czech Republic together with giclée digital images, in a huge format: the eleven images occupy a landscape sheet 370mm tall by 560mm wide (that’s about 14.5 inches by 22 inches) and they are compiled as a concertina-fold book, with a further illustration on the title page and two more on the front and back covers of the book.  Here is an image:

Stockholm Reflections, The Old School Press
Stockholm Reflections, The Old School Press

November 7, 2013

Nawakum Press is currently at work on two new editions: one for 2014 titled LOOM, a poetical exploration by poet and hand press printer Alan Loney of sixteen wood engravings by artist Richard Wagener, whose companion piece Sierra Nevada Suite was just published by The Book Club of California. The edition will debut at the Codex Australia Book Fair in Melbourne in March 2014. For 2015 the Press is at work on Part One of Hermann Hesse’s novella Siddhartha. The edition will be in artists’ book format, taking inspiration from Buddhist palm leaf prayer books. Berkeley artist Keith Cranmer will be creating chine colle etchings for the edition.

November 1, 2013

The next Arion Press publication is George Orwell’s satiric masterpiece from 1945, Animal Farm, to be issued in December.  The introduction is by Stanford University historian Peter Stansky and the 24 color illustrations are by Jonathan Hammer. A separate portfolio of hand-colored prints will accompany the book. An event in San Francisco with the artist, who will travel from Spain for the occasion, and historians Peter Stansky and Adam Hochschild, is planned for January 2, 2014. Under consideration for 2014 and 2015: the poetry of Jorie Graham, the Lampedusa novel The Leopard, a selection of poems from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and the Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird, among others.

October 12, 2013

The release party for “The Mad Angler’s Manifesto” by Michael Delp, from Deep Wood Press,  is turning into quite the event. Chad Pastotnik, of Deep Wood Press, has agreed to offer his books and broadsides at Landmark Books, a new rare and modern firsts bookstore in Traverse City, Michigan. This event will also be a grand opening for Landmark Books and a portion of our sales will go to the organization FLOW – water protection advocates in Michigan.

They will have local vineyards with vino, appetizers coming from coming from some fantastic eateries right in the Mercato and even music, cello anyone?

Saturday, November 9th, 5-8pm at the Commons in Traverse City, 1200 West 11th, Suite 116. Call 231-632-4151 for information.

October 9, 2013

The new work from Whittington Press, POSTERS FROM WHITTINGTON, 1996-2013 has its book launch and exhibition of posters at the Schneideman Gallery. A private view will be held on Thursday 31st October, 6.30-8.30pm. John and Rose Randle will be at the gallery and copies of the book as well as individual posters will be on sale. Please RSVP to or at 020 7354 7365. The gallery is at 331 Portobello Road, W10 5SA.

September 26, 2013

The Arion Press Fall Open House is on Saturday, October 5. It is a rare chance to experience the production facility on a weekend, with tours at noon and 3 p.m. Arion Press will also be in New York, November 6 through 10, where we are showing our new books with artists Kara Walker (Porgy &  Bess) and Jonathan Hammer (George Orwell’s Animal Farm) at the Park Avenue Armory during the IFPDA Print Fair.

Arion Press is in the Harvard Magazine’s September/October issue, entitled “An Almost Perfect Book.” It highlights the Press’s 30-year collaboration with the eminent Harvard professor and poetry critic Helen Vendler, who has edited eleven Arion books, including Seamus Heaney’s Squarings and Stone from Delphi, the last book by the great Irish poet to be published in his lifetime. The author of the article, Nathan Heller, is a 2006 Harvard graduate and San Francisco native who has just joined The New Yorker as its youngest staff writer.

September 23, 2013

Chad Pastotnik of Deep Wood Press is contemplating doing some fine press Oscar Wilde short stories. While he is currently working on The Nightingale and the Rose, on his blog he asks:

How about a small collection of favorite Oscar Wilde short stories? Maybe three or four of them,  I’m fond of The Canterville Ghost and The Selfish Giant at the moment but there are still a few pieces I need to read again. I don’t think a fine press has paid attention to Wilde’s short stories lately (please correct me if I’m wrong) while many have lavished detail on the plays. Beardsley’s Salome illustrations leave an indelible mark on one’s book brain. I’d be happy to hear from anyone reading if they had a favorite candidate for inclusion.

I sure would love to see a handful of Wilde’s short stories produced by Deep Wood Press.  Contact Chad and encourage him to proceed with this idea!

September 3, 2013

If it was me, and I was anywhere within a couple  hundred miles, I would drop all existing weekend plans and attend the next Whittington Press Open Day, which is this coming Saturday, September 7, 2013.  The event starts at 2pm. As usual it will coincide with the annual Whittington Summer Show, with all its many attractions. Whittington Court will be open to the public, and the Press will be showing off its latest work, with displays of printing and typecasting. Outside there will be usual array of printers, binders, marblers, wood-engravers and paper-makers, showing off the myriad skills that go into the production of a properly produced book. Whittington is 40 miles west of Oxford, 5 miles east of Cheltenham, just off the A40.


John Randle, of Whittington Press, was also kind enough to remind me about The Oxford Fine Press Book Fair which will take place on November 2nd and 3rd, 2013 at Oxford Brookes University, Main Hall. More information is here.

Oxford Fine Press Fair

A couple further notes concerning John Randle and Whittington Press.

1) I received the prospectus for Posters from Whittington 1996-2013. Wow, this is going to be a stunning book.  Nice size also, 20″ x 15″, set in 22-point Caslon and printed on a heavyweight Zerkall mould-made paper, one poster tipped into each double-page spread, with accompanying commentary. There are three options:

  • 60 copies half-bound in Oasis goatskin and printed paper papers, coloured endpapers, containing 35 posters, including some of the Press’ rare pochoir posters, and accompanied by a portfolio of 10 other (unfolded) posters. In a dropback solander box with gold-blocked label on the spine. £1110 (£925 before publication)
  • 80 copies bound in buckram and printed papers, coloured endpapers, containing 25 posters, all in a chemise with silk ties. £650 (£525 before publication)
  • 10 copies bound in buckram and printed papers, coloured endpapers, containing the full text, and 10 posters. £225 (£175 before publication)

If you have any interest at all, I would suggest contacting John & Rosalind Randle and getting a prospectus, as seeing it in hand will make your decision easy!

2) I hate to admit this, but I have never held an actual copy of the Randle’s award winning Matrix series in my hand until today. I have always heard nothing but effusive praise for the series, and now that I actually have Matrix 31 in hand, all I can say is anyone remotely interested in Private Presses, Fine Printing and/or the Book Arts should be lining up to subscribe. It is more than impressive, it is truly must have. Rather than blab on about it here, I will plan an article in Books and Vines over the coming weeks to better highlight Matrix 31, so you can see up close and personal how spectacular this really is. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and look into the Matrix series and get your hands on Matrix 31.

August 17, 2013

Lumiere Press has announced their newest limited edition book, that being Black Star, a historical print collection of the Black Star Publishing Company. The book contains an essay by Michael Torosian and an introduction by Peter Higdon. The prospectus explains:

In 2005, Ryerson University was the recipient of an extraordinary gift – the complete black and white print archive of the New York photo agency Black Star. A collection of almost 300,000 photographs chronicling world events and personalities from the First World War to the nineteen-eighties the archive was, in the words of Collections Curator Peter Higdon, “the largest gift of cultural property ever made to a Canadian university.” This limited edition is In celebration of this landmark acquisition.

August 12, 2013

The Folio Society has the following Limited Editions planned for later this year and in 2014:

  • October  – Fifty Fables of La Fontaine
  • March 2014 – Toilers of the Sea (Victor Hugo)
  • May 2014 – Goya, Disasters of War
  • June 2014  – Facsimile edition of William Morris’s manuscript of the Odes of Horace

Toilers of the Sea is not yet a sure thing, it is dependent on there being enough demand. See here to read more about this potential edition and to express interest.

As for the Fifty Fables of La Fontaine, here are some details. As most of you know, La Fontaine was the most popular poet of 17th-century France. His fables, written in verse, were originally issued in several volumes between 1668 and 1694. It is primarily through them that we know famous fables such as The Crow and the Fox.

  • Selected and illustrated by Quentin Blake, who has long wanted to illustrate them
  • Introduced by Sarah Bakewell, author of How to Live: a Life of Montaigne, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography 2011 in the United States and the Duff Cooper Prize for Non-Fiction 2010 in the UK
  • Edition limited to 1,000 copies
  • Bound in Indian goat skin blocked in gold foil. Set in Garamond. Gilded top edge.
  • Printed on Modigliani Insize Neve paper
  • 128 pages. 11¼” x 8½”.
  • Uses the award-winning translation by Norman R. Shapiro

August 5, 2013

I recently received word from Martyn Ould of The Old School Press that their new work, The Colours of Rome, is currently with their binders and they hope to have copies ready for sale in late September, though certainly in time for the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair (2-3 November – see Here is a brief description of the book, from Martyn:

A notable characteristic of Italian cities is the special range of earth colours used to paint the walls of the buildings. Indeed, it turns out that each city has its own palette within that range, Rome in particular. John Sutcliffe is a decorative artist specialising in the painting and restoration of murals. In his time he has been a curator with the English National Trust and an advisor to paint companies on their traditional paint ranges. A frequent visitor to Rome he has made a study of the colours that characterise the walls of the buildings in the centro storico and our forthcoming title – The Colours of Rome  – is his essay on the origins and use of colours in that great city.

No book about colour would be complete without representing those colours in some way and a luxury that we can indulge in with a limited edition book is to have the colours applied by hand to each copy of the book. In fact, in The Colours of Rome we have made full use of the opportunity. Firstly, John has identified nine basic pigments, such as Yellow Ochre, that underpin the palette, and each of those appears in the form of a brush-stroke that he has applied to one opening in the text. Secondly, he pinned down twenty colours – mixes of the basic pigments – that capture the range of colours that he found and copied in the centro storico; for each of these John has painted its own loose sheet so that the colour can be seen in a large area, – these ‘paint-outs’ can then be overlaid on each other by the reader to experiment with the different combinations that can be seen on the street; those twenty paint-outs and a handy swatch card showing them all are housed in a portfolio built into the binding. Finally, in the twenty-five de luxe copies, each of the nine basic pigments is displayed as a powder in a bottle built into the solander box that houses them and the book itself.

A book on Rome naturally demands Italian materials, so we have chosen a hand-made laid paper from Magnani for the text and a heavy wove Magnani paper for the paint-outs. The text is printed in 14pt Monotype Dante with titles in a warm Mediterranean yellow printed from wood-type. It’s a smallish edition with ninety-nine standard copies (which include the paint-outs and swatch card) and the twenty-five de luxe (which additionally have the bottled pigments).

Martyn has assembled a picture diary of some of the stages in the making of the book at their website, take a look – just follow the link from the home page.

August 1, 2013

Barbarian Press has shipped the wonderful The Seasons: Four Bagatelles (which will be reviewed soon on Books and Vines) and it is now out of print, as are all of the previous publications. However, they have a handful of exciting projects in the works, including:

If you do not subscribe to Barbarian Press, you owe it to yourself to do so.  Their work is at the pinnacle of fine press artistry and craftsmanship, as you can see from this review of Pericles.

Chad Pastotnik of Deep Wood Press has also been busy and his work is also well worth subscribing to! Besides the somewhat recent release of The Intruder, by Robert Traver (which will also be reviewed soon on Books and Vines), he has also published The Path, by Sigrid Christiansen and a couple of wonderful broadsides, The Trout in Winter by Jerry Dennis with a copper engraving by Glenn Wolff and If by Rudyard Kipling with a wood engraving by Chad himself.  I just picked up If, and it is delightful. Chad is currently working on The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde. With luck, it should be out this fall. He will also soon publish (~September) another broadside in his fishing series, The Mad Angler’s Manifesto by Michael Delp. I am also looking forward to his The Hunter Gracchus, by Franz Kafka, which should be out sometime in 2014.

Arion Press recently released The Day of the Locust (which will also be reviewed soon on Books and Vines). Also in the works:

  • Porgy & Bess, the libretto, will have 16 lithographs by the acclaimed artist Kara Walker bound into the book. In addition, there will be a separate portfolio of four lithographs that are different from those in the book. This project has been in planning for four years and should be one of the Press’s important artist books, comparable to Cane.
  • George Orwell’s classic 1945 fable Animal Farm, with a preface by Orwell expert and Stanford professor of history Peter Stansky, and images by Jonathan Hammer. There may be as many as 24 Hammer images in the book and there will also be prints in a portfolio.

Other news is that Harvard Magazine will have a feature on Arion Press in its September issue, by a young writer who is a rising star at The New Yorker,  Nathan Heller.

Peter Koch Printers:  There is an excellent article concerning Peter Koch and his Montana Gothic literary magazine from the mid-1970’s. As shown here, there was an event last Friday on this in Missoula that would have been great fun!Montana Gothic Invitation MAM final_2


{Ed. Note: For 2014 News, see here.  For 2012 News, here.}

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