Mission, BC: Barbarian Press, 2013. Simon Brett. Hardcover. Endgrain Editions Four. Limited to 120 copies in the regular edition. This is the first addition to the Endgrain Editions since 2003, and it is a major return to the series. It is a celebration of the work of Simon Brett documenting his fifty plus years as an engraver. Simon is acknowledged as one of the masters of wood engraving of the past half-century. With 134 engravings printed from the wood, an introduction by the artist, and a chronological catalogue of the more than 1,000 engravings Simon has so far engraved, this is a major work of 250 pages, and is certain to be an important reference on Simon’s work as well as being a splendid book from this important private press. Text printed in Joanna with Fry’s Ornamented for display in green and black on Zerkall Cream laid with engravings printed on Zerkall White Smooth. Bound in quarter green cloth with paper patterned boards and title label to spine. In fine condition. PRI/062014. Fine.
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Mission, B.C. Barbarian Press, 2017. Number 89 of 100 copies for sale. Signed by the book artists. This delightful book celebrates the wonderful Barbarian Press's 40th anniversary and is the 47th book to be issued by the press. The Crispins thought that the occasion seemed to require some formal observance. Crispin writes: "Some of the more frequent questions asked us concern bears: Why do we have a bear as a press device? Do we really have bears around the press room? Is the bear a symbol of something? Is the bear really Crispin? – and so on. One of the most requested ephemeral pieces we ever produced was A Sloth of Bears, a broadsheet we printed in 2002 which showed all the press devices we had by that time commissioned from engravers who had illustrated our books. Since we have had several new devices engraved since 2002, and since the ‘FAQ’s (as they are now inevitably called) listed above are not answered by a broadsheet, we decided to print a small book about them. The book opens with a Preface about bears, our relationship with them, and theirs with the press. The body of the book prints all nineteen devices to date in chronological order, each image accompanied by a list of the titles in which the device has been used, and a note about the engraver and our work together. As well as versions of our press device, we have sometimes had pairs of printer’s marks engraved for us. These marks, in effect graphic ‘signatures’ of an individual printer or designer, have at various times been a feature of book design and production. The most famous modern example is probably Bruce Roger’s thistle. In our case, we initiated the marks with A Christmas Carol, or, The Miser’s Warning in 1984. Jan’s features a robin singing atop a tombstone bearing her initials; Crispin’s is a hand holding a hornbook which bears his initials and the word ‘Felicitas’. The reasons behind these are explained in an afterword, which also prints all six of the earlier printer’s marks, two each by Edwina Ellis, Colin Paynton, and Nancy Ruth Jackson. In celebration of our 40th anniversary, we have commissioned a fourth pair from Andy English, who has also created a twentieth press device, and his device and printer’s marks will be displayed on the book’s colophon page. The book thus includes a total of twenty devices and eight printer’s marks, all but one of the images printed from the wood, by fourteen artists and engravers: Louis Turpin, Edwina Ellis, Colin See-Paynton, John DePol, Barry Moser, Wesley Bates, Ted Staunton, Simon Brett, Gerard Brender à Brandis, Abigail Rorer, Peter Lazarov, Andy English, Nancy Ruth Jackson, and John Lawrence." Ursus typographicus is designed in a small landscape format, bound in decorated boards, with a delightful frontispiece by Andy English featuring three cartouches showing the exterior of the press building and two interiors with two bears hard at work. The text is set in Van Dijck roman and italic with Castellar drop caps, printed in black and blue on Zerkall Book White mouldmade paper. The engravings are all printed from the wood, except for our first device by Louis Turpin, which is printed from a photo-engraved magnesium block taken from his original drawing. The book is quarter bound in grey morocco with paper over boards printed with a pattern adapted from a binding brass engraved by Alex McGuckin as a gift to the press, and is contained in a blue silk-covered slipcase. In fine condition. PRI/041618.
Mission, British Columbia: Barbarian Press, 2021. Hardcover. From an edition of 125 copies. This is one of the copies from the Regular state of 43 sale and 10 hors commerce copies. The Deluxe state comprises 62 sale and 10 hors commerce copies. This beautiful produced work is the 50th book from the renowned Barbarian press. It presents the evocative and moving poetry of Molly Holden from her five books published during her lifetime and eight previously unpublished poems in nine thematic groups, with a half-title derived from one of the poems in each section. The introduction provides a biographical sketch of Holden, documenting her life as a writer and her struggles with multiple sclerosis, which caused her death at the age of 55. In his afterword, Crispin offers a wonderful discussion of the nature of poetry and of Molly Holden's poems in particular. He writes that her poetry is "innately curious - both persistently questioning and stubbornly independent....After spending time reading Molly Holden's poems, we might well find her own account of her state after 'Country journeys' an apt description of our own condition: I arrive at the end of journeys/prostate with experience, my backside/stiff, my humanity overflowing,/my self plural with anticipation." The poems were hand-set by Apollonia Felicity Elsted in Joanna roman and italic with Tiern Titling for display, and printed by Jan and Apollonia Elsted. Printed on Zerkall Smooth White Wove paper. The engravings by Andy English are printed from the wood. Bound in half green Japanese silk with paper decorated with typographical ornaments and housed green cloth slipcase with cream title and author label to spine. Bound by Alanna Simenson of Mad Hatter Bookbinding. In fine condition. Measures 7.75 x 11 inches. 271 pages plus an afterword of ten pages. PRI/012822. Fine.
US: Fine Press Book Association, 2005. Hardcover. Deluxe edition issued in hardcover. In original orange cloth covered slipcase with decorative paper covered side panels. Includes supplemental portfolio of printed pieces. The portfolio for this issue includes pieces from the following presses: Full Moon Press, Brown Trout Press, Tryst Press, Sherwin Beach Press, Peter Rutledge Koch, Incline Press, Red Howler Press, Frog Hollow Press, Littoral Press, The Lone Oak Press, The Aliquando Press, Cotton Socks Press, Loveletter Press, with papers designed by Claud Lovat Fraser for the Curwen Press. Clean and bright. 60 pages. BOB/102721. Fine.
US: Fine Press Book Association, 2002. Hardcover. Deluxe edition issued in hardcover. In original olive green cloth covered slipcase with decorative green paper covered side panels featuring illustrations of frogs. Includes supplemental portfolio of printed pieces. The portfolio for this issue includes pieces from the following presses: Arion Press, Bradypress, Bullnettle Press, The Hill Press, Lock's Press, Midnight Paper Sales, (M)other Tongue Press, Passim Editions, Robin Price, Sherwin Beach Press, Whittington Press, Yellow Barn Press. Clean and bright. 64 pages. BOB/102721. Fine.
US: Fine Press Book Association, 2004. Hardcover. Deluxe edition issued in hardcover. In original orange cloth covered slipcase with decorative orange paper covered side panels. Includes supplemental portfolio of printed pieces. The portfolio for this issue includes pieces from the following presses: Whittington Press, Red Dragonfly Press, October Press, Fox Run Press, Walking Bird Press, Lone Oak Press, Warwick Press, Port Press, Barbarian Press. Clean and bright. 64 pages. BOB/102721. Fine.