The Wisdom of Jesus, The Son of Sirach, Commonly Called Ecclesiasticus
Chelsea: Ashendene Press, 1932. Hardcover. One of 328 copies on paper. There were also 25 copies printed on vellum. This magnificent book was one of the last issued by the Ashendene Press. The Ashendene Press was founded by St John Hornby (1867–1946). It operated from 1895 to 1915 in Chelsea, London and was revived after the war in 1920. The press closed in 1935. Its peers included the Kelmscott Press and the Doves Press. Hornby became friends with William Morris and Emery Walker, who helped inspire his work. These three presses were part of a "revival of fine printing" that focused on treating bookmaking as fine art. Ashendene books were carefully printed with large margins, and despite their lack of extravagant decoration, they were considered spectacular works of art. [Wikipedia] In the bibliography of the Press, its founder, St John Hornby stated that "in my humble judgment it is one of the most satisfactory of the books of the Press." In his history of the Ashendene Press, Colin Franklin writes on page 187: "qualities which separately had triumphed in many Ashendene volume were assembled as before the final curtain of an opera. Short chapters and sections showed the poetic setting of Subiaco which best suited that type....Red headings and shoulder notes, frequent and varied intervals assist the reading of a miraculous text."
Bound in bright orange vellum with four silk ties and gilt titling to spine. Slightest tiny wear to corners with original white vellum showing, otherwise fine. Printed on Batchelor paper in red and black with beautiful hand drawn initials in green and blue done by Graily Hewitt and his assistants Ida D. Henstock and Helen E. Hinkley. The colophon credits them along with H. Gage-Cole, the pressman, and and the compositor A.J. Fisk. Top edge is trimmed with the other edges uncut. Missing the original slipcase and nicely housed in a custom brown cloth box with gilt title to spine. A wonderful copy in fine to near fine condition. Measures 7.5 x 11.5 inches. 182 pages. PRI/011823. Fine.