Chillicothe, OH: Mountain House Press, 1927. Number 175 of 200 copies signed and numbered by Dard Hunter. He states on the limitation page that owing to the methods used in producing this book the edition is necessarily limited.This is a scarce groundbreaking early work by Hunter. Dard Hunter (1883-1966) is considered by many to be the father of hand papermaking in the United States. Hunter travelled extensively around the world, learning about papermaking and collecting artifacts related to the topic. He wrote several books on hand papermaking traditions, and also studied other paper-like materials such as papyrus and amatl. Primitive Papermaking was Dard Hunter’s first book on international, non-Western papermaking. Most of this volume concerns the production of tapa [bark cloth] in the Pacific and in Southeast Asia. Hunter made the case that although usually termed ‘bark-cloth’ by Westerners, this material, made by beating the fibers of the inner barks of trees, is actually paper. The first explorers to encounter this material termed it “cloth” primarily because of its uses, not because of its construction. Hunter spent years acquiring the samples of tapa, many of which were quite old. Hunter noted the affinity of “silverfish” for tapa. Thus, older pieces do not survive well in their tropical places of origin. The craft had already disappeared in places Hunter visited in the first quarter of the 20th century, although he was able to obtain historical samples [University of Utah exhibition on paper through the centuries]. Hunter traveled to the South Seas, including Tahiti, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Hawaii, in addition to Mexico and parts of South America. He collected bark and bark paper specimens every where he traveled, and carefully studied and documented the techniques and methods used by the papermakers in each location. Printed with Hunter's own hand-cut and hand-cast type, with the statement in the preface: "The punches, matrices, moulds, and tools which were employed in the making of this type are now in the Smithsonian institution and after the cessation of my publishing the type itself will be destroyed." The book has photographs, illustrations of tools and techniques, facsimiles where original specimens were not available, two bark specimens and 31 bark paper specimens. Occasional light offsetting from specimens and very light browning to some page edges. With untrimmed loose bifold sheets as issued, and housed in the original paper portfolio with cloth spine and corners, printed paper cover label, and three sets of ribbon ties. Light bumping to corners. With 47 numbered pages and 56 unnumbered pages with the specimens. In very good plus to near fine condition. Folio volume measuring 12 x 17 inches. PRI/091123. Near Fine.
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