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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 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.
Chelsea: Ashendene Press, 1921. Hardcover. One of 236 copies on paper. There were 10 copies on vellum. This exquisite small volume from the Ashendene Press reprints the text of the original manuscript of the Life of St. Clare, written by Verino in the late 15th century and purchased by St. John Hornby, founder of the Ashendene Press in 1918. The Florentine humanist and poet Ugolino Verino was commissioned in by the sisters of the Convento di Santa Chiara Novella in Florence to write this “Life of St. Clare” in Italian. Although a biography of St. Clare of Assisi (1194–1253) had been available in Latin since the thirteenth century, this Italian version allowed members of the Order to read in the vernacular about their founder’s saintly poverty. Charles Harry St. John Hornby writes in his Ashendene Bibliography: "The original manuscript of this Life of Saint Clare, which is here printed for the first time, was purchased by me at the sale of Lord Vernon’s library at Sotheby’s in 1918. It was written at Florence on 39 leaves of vellum in a beautiful late XVth Century hand. At the sale the MS. attracted the attention of the distinguished Franciscan scholar Walter Seton, of University College, London, who asked permission to study it, as it was apparently a hitherto unknown version of the Life of St. Clare. The results of his study are summarized in the Introduction and Notes which are printed before and after the text of the MS. in this volume.". Seton's Introduction tells the history of the manuscript in Hornby's collection and also documents the life of St. Clare and the influence of Saint Francis of Assisi on her religious conversion and lifelong vow of poverty. A facsimile of the beautiful first four pages of the original manuscript is inserted after the introduction. Bound in limp vellum with gilt titling to spine and original green silk ties. Vellum has somewhat darkened but is otherwise fine. Printed in Subiaco type on hand-made paper. The rubricated portions of the manuscript are printed in red and the initials are printed in blue. Text pages are clean and bright with the slightest darkening to page edges. Small quarto measuring 6 x 8 inches. Housed in a custom green cloth slipcase. Near fine. i-xvi, 96 pages. PRI/112222. Near Fine.
Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1932. Softcover. Number 157 of 420 copies. This is the text of an address given by Frederick Ashley, Chief Assistant Librarian of the Library of Congress at the eleventh National Conference on Printing Educationin in honor of the important collection of 15th century books from the library of Doctor Otto Vollbehr. The Library purchased the collection That included a Gutenberg Bible for over one million dollars. Designed and printed by George Henry Carter, the Public Printer of the United States. Bound in white parchment with black and blue titling to cover and printed on handmade paper with Cloister types in two columns of forty-two lines each and illuminated with handmade initial letters similar to the Gutenberg Bible. Prefaced with three black and white photographs of Dr. Vollbehr and the Gutenberg Bible - the Book of Books. Housed in a worn and soiled light blue slipcase. Book is in very good condition. Measures 10 x 13 inches. Unpaginated [14 pages plue colophon]. PRI/012323. Very Good.
La Haye: A.A.M. Stols, 1925. Paperback. Number 23 of 100 copies. Signed by the author and printer. This was the 7th book printed by A.A.M. Stols for his friends. This copy was printed for Eugene Keuchenius. Claude Aveline was the pen name of Evgen Avtsine (1901 - 1992). He was a French author, publisher, and member of the French Resistance. Bound in light grayish paper wrappers with black title to front panel. Browning to spine and edges of wrappers. Printed in black with red initials. Offsetting to endpapers, else clean and bright. IN FRENCH. In original glassine. Creasing and browning to glassine. 16 pages. PRI/022823. Very Good.
Mission, B.C. Barbarian Press, 2023. Softcover. One of 150 copies. This delightful piece is the second in a series of Wayzgoose Pamphlets to be issued by the Barbarian Press. They write in the colophon: "The examples of dingbats were taken from a selection which has expanded over the years - although we are hard put to remember where most of them came from....We have identified as many as possible from typefounders' specimen books in our library....Some remain mysteries." The pamphlet was hand-set in Joanna type in red and black by Apollonia Elsted with help from Kirsten Way after a design by Crispin Elsted. The headpiece was engraved by Sarah Chamberlain in 1984 and is printed from the original block. The paper is Mohawk Superfine and is sewn into rose colored St-Armand Canal Sisal Current covers. The numerous examples of dingbats are printed from the original castings. In fine condition. Measures 8.5 x 5.5 inches. 12 pages including 4 pages of text and 8 pages with dingbat images. PRI/091423 PRICE: C$55.00. Fine.
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.
Mission, B.C. Barbarian Press, 2022. Paperback. One of 125 copies, this being one of the 55 standard copies. This is the 51st book issued by the very fine Barbarian Press that Crispin and Jan Elsted founded in 1977. The book beautifully exemplifies their philosophy in the creation of books and the fine craftsmanship they bring to each. They write about this book on their website: "Robert Bringhurst is widely known as a typographer and designer of books. The Elements of Typographic Style, originally published in 1992, has become a bible to most serious typographers, printers and designers. It has appeared in five subsequent revised editions and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He has also published several collections of essays and talks (or ‘pieces of thinking’, as he calls them) on language, cultural history, poetry, the relations between humanity and the natural world, and many other subjects, all of which are profoundly interesting and endlessly stimulating. He has translated some epic poems from Haida, and the complete writings of Parmenides from classical Greek. But first, and continuing throughout all his other work, he is one of Canada’s leading poets.... In Ten Poems with One Title, Richard Wagener’s passionate, forceful two-colour abstract engravings, reminiscent of the work of such Abstract Expressionists as Robert Motherwell and Franz Kline, meld with Bringhurst’s contemplative, elegant poems, each at once counterpointing and reflecting the character of the other. The relationship is profound and moving." Bound in gray and black paper covers with a black linen spine. The text was hand-set in Walbaum on Zerkall Smooth White Wove paper by Apollonia Elsted after designs by Crispin Elsted in consultation with Jan Elsted. The engravings by Richard Wagener were printed at his studio in California and sent to the press in sheets. The binding was bound by Alanna Simensen at The Mad Hatter Bookbinding Company. Housed in a black paper covered slipcase. In fine condition. Measures 7.75 x 10.75 inches. Unpaginated. [About 40 pages] PRI/112822. Fine.
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. Fine.
San Diego: Bay Park Press, 2006. Hardcover. Number 10 of 10 copies. This is a charming and beautifully produced book by Carolyn LaFrance, a San Diego architect who is affiliated with the gallery at the Bay Park Press. Maxine is Carolyn’s beloved feline friend and companion, and the book describes a day in Maxine’s life through text and illustrations. Maxine begins her story: “Sun’s up, I get to go out. Yes, yes, I know, ‘Be careful,’ the howling creatures may still be about. What, you think I don’t know that? What I need to know is, who has been in my yard? Mr. Smushy-face? Walter? Or that grey and white bruiser? ...” Each page includes a hand-colored intaglio print of Maxine at various moments in her day (11 prints altogether). The text is Bernhard Modern type on lovely Fabriano Rosapina Bianco paper. Oblong folio bound in grey linen with black spine. Paw prints decorate the front cover and endpapers. Housed in a black portfolio with a grey cloth square label illustrated with paw prints affixed to front and cream ribbon closure. In fine condition. Unpaginated. PRI/072012. Fine.
San Diego: Bay Park Press, 2006. Hardcover. Founded by Sibyl Rubottom and Jim Machacek in 2000, the Bay Park Press produces artists’ books, offers classes, and holds book arts exhibitions. Their books address a wide range of subjects from the universe to gardening to opera to Yiddish and more. Most are letterpress printed, many have moveable pieces, and all are illustrated. Number 3 of 10 copies. In her colophon, Sibyl Rubottom gives her love and thanks “to the father I never knew who named me Sibyl hoping I would be shrewd in business. That did not occur, but I did end up making books.” This beautiful book is about five ancient Sibyls, including how they were depicted in Western art. These Sibyls are the Cumean, Delphic, Erythraean, Persian, and the Libyan. They offered prophecies, often through the use of leaves, as being from the thoughts of the gods. There is a brief description of each, accompanied by an intaglio leaf print and a reproduction of each Sibyl from the work of Michelangelo (four plates) or Velasquez (one plate). Each Sibyl is presented within a fold-out page with the description on the facing page and the plate and illustration inside the fold. Bound in red cloth with green spine, with title and author on front cover. The book was printed on Dutch etching paper in Bodoni, Bernard Modern, Albertus, and Patatino types. There are eight intaglio prints, each signed by the book artist. Housed in a brown paper covered case lined with the same red cloth as the book covers. This splendid production captures the mystery and beauty of the Sibyls legends. In fine condition. Unpaginated. ARTISTSBOOKS/080112. Fine.
San Diego: Bay Park Press, 2010. Hardcover. Number 4 of 10 copies. Book artist Sibyl Rubottom grew up on Long Island Sound where Esther Williams was her hero. She grew up watching her movies trying "to relive the fabulous water ballet sequences." As an adult her love of water continued and she began swimming in La Jolla Cove near her home and later in an olympic sized outdoor pool in Mission Valley. She dedicates this book to La Jolla Cove, one of her regular swimming spots when the water is warm enough. Illustrated with six etchings and three unique oil paintings on mylar. Printed on Fabriano Rosapina Bianco paper using letterpress and intaglio prints, some with chine colle. Set in Bernhard Modern. Oblong folio. Housed in a blue clamshell box. Unpaginated. Fine.
San Diego: Bay Park Press / False Bay Editions, 2009. Number 12 of 20 copies. An exquisite production fr. Hardcover. Number 12 of 20 copies. Founded by Sibyl Rubottom and Jim Machacek in 2000, the Bay Park Press produces artists' books, offers classes, and holds book arts' exhibitions. Their books address a wide range of subjects from the universe to gardening to opera to Yiddish and more. Most are letterpress printed, many have moveable pieces, and all are illustrated. This out-of print book is an exquisite work from Sibyl Rubottom and Jim Machacek. It was inspired by Sibyl’s interest in all things botanical and Jim’s family heritage. The result is what they hoped for - "a riotous colorscape for your senses” - with rich and luminous colors and beautiful illustrations. It includes 14 unbound folded folio sized leaves that are housed in a folding case. Twelve of the leaves are dedicated to different types of gardens, each in a different color, with designs and writings to reflect that garden. The gardens are: Japanese, butterfly, desert, night, orchid, primordial, mystical, rose, water, Eros, secret, and herb. Each features a poem or prose by such writers as John Milton, Rumi, Homer, Lord Byron, Robert Frost, Oscar Wilde, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The two other folded leaves are for the title and for the colophon. Printed on Fabriano Rosapina Blanco paper in Venus, Edwardian Script, and Palatino typefaces using letterpress, monoprint, and intaglio techniques. Housed in a custom box in brown cloth lined with handmade paper. The covers open from the middle with a title label on one side and a small metal rectangle with wooden peg closure on the other. In fine condition. Unpaginated. [56 pages.] ARTISTSBOOKS/081612. Fine.
San Diego: Bay Park Press, 2000. Hardcover. Number 40 of 45 copies. This was the premier publication of the Bay Park Press. Its founders, Sibyl Rubottom and Jim Marachacek, have gone on to create many more wonderful books. This work is based on a poem by the 13th century Suni mystic, Rumi. It is constructed from a single sheet of white Fabriano Rosapina paper that has been cut , folded, and printed in shades of blue, light orange, and red. The cover paper is Fox River Confetti. The text is in various sizes of Bodoni and Times Roman. The images were created with polymer plates, monotypes, a linocut, and screen printing. The cover has cleverly cut out a diamond in a pleated page edge, and has printed a brief history of Rumi within the diamond. In fine condition. PRI/073112. Fine.
North Hills, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1982. Hardcover. One of 500 copies. A facsimile of the the important 1664 history of printing by Richard Atkyns and the Caslon specimen book published in 1764. The introductory text by Carey Bliss was composed in Van Dijck types and printed on Frankfurt paper. The facsimiles were printed on Mohawk Text and the binding was done by Gray Parrot. Bound in beige cloth with title label on spine. Housed in a blue paper covered slipcaseshowing slight wear. In fine condition. Quarto. 137 pages. PRI/112222. Fine.
Toronto: Biting Dog Press, 2019. Hardcover. 1 of 35 copies, signed by the translator on the title page and the designer on the colophon. An examination of the "Necronomicon" - "a scientific diary of the putatively insane doctor known as Abdullah Alhazred. He was a scientist and an alchemist who believed cannibalistic funerary rites could both appease the spirits of the dead and access the divine" (page 13). It includes a fascinating discussion of previous translations, historical contextualization, medical and philosophical explanations behind Alhazred's practices, biographical facts about the doctor, and new translations of the five extracts. According to Alhazred, if performed using the correct rituals, ingestion of the dead could transfer their energy or life force, thus extending the life of the consumer. If true, perhaps he is still alive, wandering in the desert (or so this book suggests)! According to the colophon, this book is digitally printed on laid paper in Adobe Jenson Pro with Neue Kabel for captions and Junius Rough for chapter titles. The first half of this edition was printed pre-Covid and the second half was just printed in 2023. Due to paper shortages, this second half has been printed on machine made paper. It includes an original woodcut made by George A. Walker, signed and numbered out of 42, inserted into a pocket on the front free endpaper. The book is bound in grey cloth boards with a black dust jacket titled in white on the spine and front panel. A pattern of grey skulls decorates the jacket. Includes color photographic illustrations that depict fragments from the original Necronomicon, a page from the Book of the Dead, and other historical sources. 37 pages. PRI/031323. Fine.
Toronto: Biting Dog Press, 2003. Hardcover. Number 44of 250 numbered copies, signed by the author, writer of the foreword, and designer and illustrator. It is a humorous and rather irreverent retelling by Jack Ketchum of "an ancient, yet always timely tale." The Panchatantra is an ancient Indian collection of interrelated animal fables in Sanskrit verse and prose. The surviving work is dated to about 200 BC, but the fables are likely much more ancient [Wikipedia]. In this tale, a little mouse unexpectedly falls into the hands of a magician, who transforms the mouse into a young girl who becomes a daughter to him and his wife. It recounts their attempts to find a suitable god for her to marry before they realize that she should be transformed back into a mouse and marry the King of the Mice. With original wood engravings by George Walker that were impressed directly onto handmade Japanese gampi paper from the original wood blocks. The text is printed with Linotype Granjon type on Zephyr Laid paper. Bound in a dark gray full leather portfolio with a tan leather tie that evokes a mouse's tail. A charming book in fine condition. Measures 6.25 x 9 inches. Unpaginated [about 18 pages plus illustrations]. PRI/050922. Fine.
Greenock, Scotland: The Black Pennell Press, 1988. Hardcover. Number 71 of 200 copies. Reprinted from James Watson's original text printed in 1721. Includes a list of general guidelines such as no swearing, no heavy drinking, don't break the windows as well as more specific printing house rules such as requiring compositors to not only pick up and refile fallen letters, but to pay a 1 penny fine. White linen over marbled paper covered boards with black title to spine. Printed on Velin Arches paper in Caslon Old Face type using a handfed Thompson platen press. Headpieces and other ornaments reproduced from those used in Watson's The History of the Art of Printing (1713). Designed, printed, and bound by Thomas Rae. Finely printed in red and black inks. 17 pages. PRI/011623. Very Good.
Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press, 1985. Hardcover. One of 200 cloth trade copies. Inscribed on the title-page. "For Martin & Tracy / with all love on this / good day - in your / new space/ Joel Oppenheimer/ 2/22/86/ Swedesburg." Bound in the original quarter cloth with printed paper boards and dark blue paper title pastedown to spine. Top edge spotted, a few spots of foxing to covers, and small spot to front endpaper; otherwise very good in acetate jacket as issued. A few creases to acetate. 148 pages. POE/101316. Very Good.
Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press, 1979. Hardcover. First Edition. Letter N of 26 copies hand-bound in boards, lettered and signed by the author. There were many copies issued in paper wrappers and also 200 hardcover copies signed by the author. "Rochelle Owens is the award-winning author of many controversial and innovative plays and a pioneer in the experimental off-Broadway movement" (last page, unnumbered). Bound in quarter decorated cloth with green paper boards and green paper title label to spine. Fine in acetate dust jacket. 152 pages. PRI/101416. Fine.
Upland CA: Blackbird Press, 2007 [Distributed in 2010]. Hardcover. Number 40 of 100 copies. Signed by the poet, the book artist, and the illustrator. A poem about the word and concept of "beauty", which is applied to a homoerotic experience witnessed in a machine shop. Writes Gillingwators, "When I first read B. H. Fairchild’s poetry collection The Art of the Lathe, I knew I wanted to publish the opening poem “Beauty” as a letterpress limited edition book. The poem has book characteristics–narrative structure and four, chapter-like divisions–and its visceral, lyrical appeal motivated me." Fairchild's poetry has been widely published and he has been the recipient of numerous awards. The Art of the Lathe was described in the LA Times as "a contemporary classic...finely crafted and perfectly pitched." The book artist continues: "I knew from the initial reading that my book edition would have metal covers, reminiscent of the corrugated-metal buildings that often house machine shops [where the poem takes place]. The making of the book took three years as the book artist and illlustrator learned how to make the tiny metal hinges for the book and how to age the thin aluminum used for the book covers. Each step required research, test trials, and practice. Printed with Centaur and Arrighi monotype on Zerkall Book paper, with linocuts by Alquitela. Housed in a grey clamshell box with title and author in red to spine. In fine condition. 7 x 11". Unpaginated. [11 pages] PRI/031715. Fine.