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Handpress printers and their work

This link will be used primarily to list letterpress printers and artists who are using handpresses, as well as to announce new publications and prints from these presses. If you have a handpress and would like to be posted here, please contact me at handpress@msn.com

 

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Columbian Press
Handpress printers

The following printers use handpresses. If you would like more information about their printing and publishing programs, please contact them directly. Many of them also issue prospectuses and checklists. [Photos of handpress printers have been posted in the Photo Gallery where indicated.]

Årlin, Richard. Stigbergets Stamp och Press; Ateljehuset, Fjallgatan 23; SE-11628 Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail: stampochpress@hotmail.com. Handpress: Polygraph, 1954.

Baris, Robert. Press on Scroll Road. 2210 Scroll Road SW; Carrollton, OH 44615. Phone: (330) 627-1068. E-mail: scottbaris@eohio.net. Handpresses: a pair of Ostrander Seymour Washington presses. [see Photo Gallery]

Barnes, Michael. Cap-à-Pie Press; 4095 First Avenue; Burnaby, B.C. V5C 3W5, Canada. E-mail: mjbarnes@telus.net. Handpresses: Ostrander-Seymour Co.; Reliance, serial number 772.

Corubolo, Alessandro, and Gino Castiglioni. Officina Chimèrea; Via Dall’Abaco, 1; 37131 Verona, Italy. E-mail: acorubolo@tin.it. Handpress: Amos dell’Orto Albion, 1855. [see Photo Gallery]

Cutrone, John, and Seth Thompson. Convivio Bookworks; 1301 North O Street; Lake Worth, FL 33460. Phone: (561) 493-3190. E-mail: mail@conviviobookworks.com. Website: http://www.conviviobookworks.com. Handpress: none; uses other printers' presses.

Desmyter, Erik. Boek-en Steendrukkerij Desmyter; Prinsenhof 22; 9000 Gent. Belgium. E-mail: erik.desmyter@skynet.be. Handpresses: J.H. Bouhoule Stanhope (No. 32), 1821; S.J. Spiers (late Walker) Stanhope (No. 535), ca. 1837; Gilson Frères Albion (No. 49), 1846; and two J.P. Lejeune counterweight Albion (No. 15 and No. 237), ca. 1830-1840. [see Photo Gallery]

Elsted, Jan & Crispin. Barbarian Press; 12375 Ainsworth Road, R.R. 8; Mission, BC V2V 5X4, Canada. E-mail: Barbarian_Press@telus.net. Website: http://www.barbarianpress.com. Handpresses: Super Royal Albion, 1850; Sherwin & Cope foolscap folio Imperial, 1854; Jon. & Jer. Barrett foolscap folio Albion, 1833. [see Photo Gallery]

Gatti, Patricio C. Imprenta Ideal; Pte. Luis Saenz Peña 1284; Buenos Aires, (C1135ABB); Argentina. E-mail: pcgatti@pinos.com. Handpress: A. Hogenforst Ideal, serial number 43900. [see Photo Gallery]

Haste, Jeff. The Press at Deerbrook; P.O. Box 542; Cumberland, ME 04021-0542. Phone: (207) 829-5038. E-mail: jeffwh@idesignbooks.com. Website: http://www.idesignbooks.com. Handpress: R. Hoe Washington, late-nineteenth century, serial number 6448. [see Photo Gallery]

Heaver, Stephen. The Hill Press; 500 Woodlawn Road; Baltimore, MD 21210. E-mail: sgheaver@aol.com. Handpress: Hopkinson & Cope Albion, 1865, serial number 4937. [see Photo Gallery]

Hesterberg, William. Hesterberg Press; 1225 Greenwood; Evanston, IL 60201. Phone: (847) 328-4382. E-mail: bill_hesterberg@sbcglobal.net. Handpress: Paul Shniedewend 20th Century Reliance, serial no. 438. This press was purchased from R. Hunter Middleton. [see Photo Gallery]

Kruty, Peter. Peter Kruty Editions; 85 North Third Street; Brooklyn, NY 11211. Phone: (718) 387-5168. E-mail: peter@peterkrutyeditions.com. Website: http://www.peterkrutyeditions.com. Handpresses: Paul Shniedewend & Co.  Model "New B" Reliance, ca.1902; R. Hoe Washington, ca. 1878, serial number 5957. [see Photo Gallery]

Loney, Alan. Electio Editions; 6/47 Grant Street, Malvern East, VIC 3145, Australia. E-mail: aploney@bigpond.net.au. Website: http://www.electioeditions.com. Handpress: Pratt-Albion foolscap, No. 11, 2005.

Low, Joseph. Eden Hill Press. Some time ago, Wesley Tanner sent me an article from the Summer 1950 issue of a magazine for the graphic arts called Portfolio #2. It featured a story about Joseph Low the illustrator. In the 1940s, Low had purchased a Washington handpress from a West Virginia weekly newspaper office. He used this press to edition his fanciful woodcuts until 1969 when I purchased this press from him. This is the press that I took with me to Verona, Italy, and later to Cottondale, Alabama. Most of my Plain Wrapper Press and Ex Ophidia editions were printed on this press. In 1988, I sold the press to the late Greg Peterson in Incline Village in Nevada. [see Photo Gallery]

Lintott, Mark. Editions Verdigris; Mas de l'Eglise; 34800 Octon, France. E-mail: mark.lintott@worldonline.fr. Handpresses: Harrild & Sons Albion, 1867, serial number 2155; Dubois Harrissard et Cottet Stanhope. [see Photo Galley]

Marlow, Doug. Carnation Press; Watertown, NY. Handpress: Wesel, serial number 227. E-mail: deacondoug@juno.com. [see Photo Gallery]

McGarvey, Michael & Denise. First Hand Press; 40 Pomona Avenue; Port Republic, NJ 08241. E-mail: mcgarvem@loki.stockton.edu. Handpress: R. Hoe Washington, serial number 6027.

McKnight, Norman. Philoxenia Press; 1533 Francisco Street; Berkeley, CA 94703. Phone: (510) 540-5804. Fax: (208) 247-9573. E-mail: philoxenia@earthlink.net. Website: www.philoxeniapress.com. Handpress: Pratt Albion, 2001, serial number 5. [see Photo Galley

UPDATE  Milroy, Rollin. Heavenly Monkey; 1138 Lily Street; Vancouver, BC Canada V5L 4H6. Phone: (604) 255-7705. E-mail: rmilroy@heavenlymonkey.com. Website: http://www.heavenlymonkey.com. Handpress: Ostrander Seymour Extra Heavy Washington press (serial number and provenance unknown). [see Photo Gallery]

Montford, Carl. Montford Press; 3741 33rd Avenue SW; Seattle, WA 98126. Handpress: Wm A. Field Reliance, serial number 1243. Phone: (206) 935-3413. E-mail: candbmontford@quidnunc.net. [see Photo Gallery]

Nero, Mark & Marilyn. Cranberry Press; Box 6040; Chandler, AZ 85246. Phone: (480) 893-1889. E-mail: info@cranberrypress.com. Website: http://www.cranberrypress.com. Handpress: none; uses Dard Hunter’s handpresses at the Mountain House, Chillicothe, OH. Paul Shniedewend No. 2 Printers Proof Press and Shniedewend Midget Reliance Press. [see Photo Gallery]

Pascoe, Juan. Taller Martín Pescador; Apartado Postal 79; 61650 Tacámbaro, Michoacán, México. E-mail: jnpascoe@hotmail.com.  Handpresses: R. Hoe Washington, Imperial No. 1, 1838, serial number 1639; R. Hoe & Co. Washington, serial number 5144; Cummington Press Ostrander Seymour Washington. [see Photo Gallery]

Patierno, Robert. Middle-Age Studio; 756 Ridgelyn Drive; Dallastown, PA 17313-9741. Phone: (717) 246-2766. E-mail: rpatierno@verizon.net.     Website: http://www.patierno.com. Handpress: Heavy-duty Ostrander Seymour Co. [see Photo Gallery]

Rash, Don. Boss Dog Press. 50 Burke Street; Plains, PA 18705. Phone: (570) 821-7050. E-mail: studior@epix.net. Handpress: Morgan & Wilcox. This press was acquired from Mike Peich at the Aralia Press. [see Photo Gallery]
 
Ritscher, Paul. Devil's Tail Press; 104 Bronson Street, No. 5; Santa Cruz, CA 95062. E-mail: chromoxylo@aol.com. Handpress: R. Hoe & Co., Foolscap Washington, 1859, serial number 4109. 

Tallone, Enrico. Tallone Stampatore; Via A. Diaz, 9; 10091 Alpignano (TO); Italy. Phone: 01-967-6455. E-mail: elisatallone@libero.it. Handpress: Stanhope. [see Photo Gallery]

Tanner, Wesley B., and Susan Skarsgard. Passim Editions; 807 Hutchins Avenue; Ann Arbor, MI 48103. E-mail: wbtanner@umich.edu. Handpress: Harrild & Sons Albion, 1862, serial number 1367. [see Photo Gallery]

Thomas, Diana. Poolside Press. The Poolside Press is temporarily in storage. E-mail: thomasgreco@charter.net.  Handpress: Hopkinson & Cope Albion, 1851. [see Photo Gallery]

Voltmer, Fred & Barbara and Chad Johnson. Havilah Press; 4300 Horton Street; Unit 4; Emeryville, CA 94608. Phone: (510) 658-3776. E-mail: info@havilahpress.com Handpress: William Notting Columbian, 1869, serial number 1062. [see Photo Gallery]

Watkins, Milton. Ballarat Bookbinding & Specialist Printing; 312 Albert Street; Sebastopol; Victoria, Australia, 3356. Phone: +61 03 5339 3355. Mobile: 0413 876 467. E-mail: ballarat@bookbinding.com.au. Website: http://www.bookbinding.com.au/. Handpress: Albion press, 1857, serial number 3494. [see Photo Gallery]

Zanella, Alessandro. Ampersand; Località Santa Lucia, 21; 37067 Valeggio s/M (VR), Italy. E-mail: alessandrozanella@tiscalinet.it.   Website: www.ampersandpress.it. Handpress: Stanhope. [see Photo Gallery]

 

Handpress books

Books are listed chronologically under the printer's name. All dimensions are height by width.

Books printed by Richard Årlin.

Ungut & Stanislaus Specimen Typomaniae sive Typorum by Richard Årlin (and Iyad 1083-1149, Johannes Chrysostomos, Birgitta Trotzig). In Swedish, English, and Latin. Translations by Arne Lundgren and sr. Marie Elizabeth OP. 112 pages. 24 x 17.5 cm. 75 copies. Stockholm: Stigbergets Stamp och Press, 1999. 50 hardcover copies upon proprietary stamping-mill processed all linen rag handmade paper, enclosed in a slipcase; 25 softcover copies. Using a steel punch, each copy is identified by a letter, which is hand inked and stamped on the colophon page. Hardcover copies have a drawer that contains a strike from an original patrix (steel punch), an undressed hand-cast piece of type, a finished piece of type, and a CD-ROM with Årlin’s own digital version of Moravus - his own hand-cut and cast typeface; softcover copies include the CD-ROM. Price: hardcover, $1,500; softcover, $800. Shipping extra.

Ungut & Stanislaus: Provgjutning . . . (Trial-casting, setting and printing of type newly cut in the office, freely after their De Sinonymis, 1491 and Johnston/Prince, 1912). In Swedish. 8 pages. 4to. 75 copies printed on dampened Indian gelatin surface-sized handmade paper and sewn into printed covers. Stockholm: Stigbergets Stamp och Press, 1996. Price: $75 (shipping included).

 

Books printed by Robert Baris

The Man Who Created Paradise, a modern agricultural fable by Gene Logsdon. With eight illustrations by Luz Aveleyra. Handset in Bembo type and printed on Twinrocker handmade paper. Bound by Booklab. 55 pages. 6-1/8 x 4-3/4 in. 119 copies. Carrollton: Press on Scroll Road, 1998. Price: $65.00 (plus $4.50 postage).

Bookselling, A Memoir from 1980 by Colin Franklin. Handset in DeRoos type and printed on Twinrocker handmade paper. Bound by Campbell Logan. 31 pages. 7-1/4 x 5 in. 145 copies. Carrollton: Press on Scroll Road, 1999. Price: $50.00 (plus $4.50 postage).

Thinking Like A Prairie by Maurice Telleen, with a Foreword by Wendell Berry. With five illustrations by Marv Smith. Handset in Cloister Lightface type and printed on Twinrocker handmade paper. Bound by Campbell Logan. 52 pages. 9-3/8 x 6-1/4 in. 100 copies. Carrollton: Press on Scroll Road, 2001.  Price: $100.00 (plus $4.50 postage).

A Beekeeping Diary of Early Summer by Colin Franklin. Handset in De Roos types, with initial letters by Merlin von Glahn. Printed damp on Zerkall paper. Quarter-bound at Campbell Logan in cloth or leather with specially prepared decorated papers by Carolyn Whitesel. 24 pages. 10 x 7 in. 102 copies. Carrollton: Press on Scroll Road, 2003. Price: 87 copies in quarter cloth, $140.00; 15 copies in quarter leather, $175.00 (plus $5.00 postage).

 

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NEW Window Poems by Wendell Berry. With a foreword by James Baker Hall and wood engravings by Wesley Bates. Design, composition and presswork by Robert Baris. Handset in Cloister Lightface types and printed in two colors on handmade Gampi Torinoko paper. Bound in Japanese linen by Craig Jensen and Sabina Daly at BookLab II. 9.5 x 6.25 in. 58 pages. 100 copies, numbered in the press and signed by Messrs Berry, Hall, and Bates. Carrollton: Press on Scroll Road, 2003. Price: $185.00.

 

Books printed by Gino Castiglioni and Alessandro Corubolo. The printers offer a 20% discount to libraries; 30% to booksellers.

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Pomes Penyeach / Pometti da un soldo by James Joyce. In English with an Italian translation by Roberto Sanesi. With fourteen lithographs by Valerio Adami. Bound in silk over boards, enclosed in a slipcase. 36 pages. 25 x 21 cm. 90 copies, 80 of which are on Magnani laid paper. Verona: Officina Chimèrea, 1991. Price: $600.

Giorni di Kavafis, a collection of poems by Constantine Cavafy. Translated into Italian by Guido Ceronetti who also wrote the two accompanying essays. With eight full-color lithographs by Sandro Chia. Hardcover, enclosed in a slipcase. 54 pages. 28 x 20 cm. 63 copies. Verona: Officina Chimèrea, 1995. Price: $600.

Antico Angelus, fifteen poems in Italian by Gesualdo Bufalino. With sixteen full-color lithographs by Giovanni Meloni. Hardcover, enclosed in a slipcase. 40 pages. 26.5 x 19.5 cm. 66 copies. Verona: Officina Chimèrea, 1997. Price: $350.

Orfeo, Euridice, Hermes – Alcesti by Rainer Maria Rilke. In German with an Italian translation by Giaime Pintor, with a note by the printers. With three full-page etchings by Sandro Chia. Hardcover, enclosed in a slipcase. [4], 28, [4] pages. 33.5 x 25 cm. 66 copies. Verona: Officina Chimèrea, 1999. Price: $500.

 

Broadside printed by John Cutrone.

The Pilgrim Pumpkin Rhyme. A piece of New England doggerel that was anonymously penned by a Plymouth Plantation colonist in the late 1600s. Illustrated with an 1885 engraving of the French varietal pumpkin Rouge Vif d'Estampes. Broadside. 28 x 43 cm. 150 copies. Printed by John Cutrone on a Wesel handpress at Wolfe Editions. Lake Worth, FL: Red Wagon Press, 1999. Price: $25 (shipping included).

 

Books printed by Jan & Crispin Elsted.

A Christmas Carol, or The Miser’s Warning, a drama in 2 acts, adapted for the stage from Charles Dickens’ Novel by C.Z. Barnett, and first produced in 1844. Illustrated with 6 wood engravings by Edwina Ellis. Hand set in 14pt. Scotch Roman and printed in red and black on Zerkall Cream Wove. Wood engravings printed from the wood. 68 pages. 26.7 x 19.1 cm. 350 copies. Mission: Barbarian Press, 1984. Half scarlet buckram with printed paper over boards, printed label on spine, slipcased. Price: CA$120 / US$90.

This is the earliest of our books still in print, and for that reason has suddenly begun to be sought out again after a number of years’ hiatus. It was the first book published by the press to use wood engravings. There are only a few copies left.

 

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Photo: David Evans

Rumour of a Shark, poems by John Carroll.Text hand set in 14pt. Garamont and printed in dark green and black on Somerset Book Laid. The title page features a tipped print reproduced from a collage by Janet Downey. 60 pages. 25.4 x 15.2 cm. 125 copies. Sewn into covers with labelled wraps of green Japanese Obonai hand made. Mission: Barbarian Press, 1999. Price: CA$75 / US$53.50.

Inishbream, a novella by Theresa Kishkan, with 21 wood engravings by John DePol. Regular edition: Hand set in Joanna, and printed in two shades of green on Zerkall Silurian Green paper. Wood engravings printed from the wood. The title page features a double-page spread engraving with calligraphy by Irene Alexander. 96 pages. 26.7 x 15.2 cm. 175 copies. Mission: Barbarian Press, 1999. Quarter grey-green Japanese silk with patterned paper over boards, printed label on spine. Price: CA$250 / US$175.

Please Note: The Design Edition and the Deluxe Edition are both out-of-print.

Twenty-one Small Songs, poems by Jan Zwicky. The first publication by Zwicky since her winning the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 1999.

A. Deluxe Edition. Out-of-print.

B. Regular Edition. Text hand set in Van Dijck, with Elysian for display. Printed on Zerkall Book White Laid. Sewn on scarlet vellum strips woven through covers of watercolour-washed and printed Opus Watermedia paper. 48 pages. 18.3 x 11.1 cm. 125 copies. Mission: Barbarian Press, 2000. Price: C$95; US$67.

Endgrain Editions Two: Abigail Rorer, 000 wood engravings by Abigail Rorer.

A. Deluxe Edition. Out-of-print.

B. Regular Edition. Text hand set in Joanna roman and italic, with Fournier le Jeune, Bembo, and Meadow Border for display. Printed on Zerkall Book White Laid. Quarter-bound in dark blue silk with patterned paper. 132 pages. 26.6 x 19 cm. 150 copies. Mission: Barbarian Press, 2001. Price: C$275; US$190.

A Sloth of Bears, a showing of 14 press devices and 2 printers’ marks by 12 artists, among them Barry Moser, Simon Brett, Edwina Ellis, John DePol, Nancy Ruth Jackson, Abigail Rorer, and Peter Lazarov, all but one printed from the original wood, signed by the printers. Text hand set in Perpetua Light Titling and Van Dijck. Printed in red, blue, and black on Zerkall paper. Broadsheet. 53.2 x 38 cm. 125 copies. Mission: Barbarian Press, 2002. Price: C$80; US$60; £34.

A Natural History of Surprise, four poems and an essay by Crispin Elsted. Text hand set in Van Dijck roman and italic, with Elysian and Delphian for display. Printed on Barcham Green Chilham and Charter Oak papers. Tipped-in frontispiece. Printed paper-covered boards with spine label. 125 signed and numbered copies. 28 pages. 26.3 x 16.8 cm. Mission: Barbarian Press, 2002. Price: C$135; US$95.

 

Livre d’artiste printed by Mark Lintott

Grapes, a poem by D. H. Lawrence. With eight original chine collé mezzotints by Judith Rothchild. Handset in Vendôme Romain and printed on Lanagravure paper by Mark Lintott on an Albion press. Laid loose in Somerset Black Velvet paper wrappers. Clamshell boxes and slipcases made by Claude Vallin, covered with paper screenprinted by the artist. 14 horizontal panels. Single sheet, accordion folded, 10 x 7 in., closed. 50 copies, signed on the colophon by the artist. Octon, France: Editions Verdigris,1999. Price: contact publisher.

A. Deluxe edition. 10 copies, numbered 1/50 to 10/50, with an extra original mezzotint pulled exclusively for this edition, numbered and signed by the artist. Enclosed in a clamshell box.

B. Regular edition. 40 copies, numbered 11/50 to 50/50). Enclosed in a slipcase.

Written while living in exile in Italy, Lawrence endowed the grapevine with mythical properties, although the poem also reflects his view on the Prohibition of alcohol in the States at the time. The single folded sheet permits the long mezzotints to wind through the verses like the tendrils of the vines.

Fig, a poem by D. H. Lawrence. With five round mezzotints and a screenprint by Judith Rothchild. The first mezzotint, a fig leaf, is overprinted by the title; the other four are of figs in various states of bursting. A two-color screenprint of a fig leaf faces the colophon. This latter image was also reproduced on the Somerset Velvet Black paper wrappers, clamshell boxes, and slipcases. Handset in Vendôme Romain and printed on Hahnemühle paper by Mark Lintott on Albion and Stanhope presses. Mezzotints and screenprints editioned by the artist. Clamshell boxes and slipcases made by Claude Vallin. 34 loose leaves, 11 x 10 in. 48 copies, signed on the colophon by the artist. Octon, France: Editions Verdigris, 2001. Price: contact publisher.

A. Deluxe edition. 12 copies, numbered 1/48 to 12/48, with an extra original mezzotint pulled exclusively for this edition, numbered and signed by the artist. Enclosed in a clamshell box. Copy number 1/48 also includes the copper plate used for the supplementary print. Copies 2/48 to 6/48 each include one of the five original round mezzotint copper plates.

B. Regular edition. 36 copies, numbered 13/48 to 48/48). Enclosed in a slipcase.

Lawrence's poem, which was first published in Birds, Beasts, and Flowers in 1923, became known to a wider public when it was used in a memorable scene in Ken Russell's film Women in Love (1970).

Les jardins disparus, a short text in French by Marie Rouanet, reprinted from the last chapter of her book Tout jardin est Eden. With eight mezzotints by Judith Rothchild. Handset in Univers and printed on Hahnemühle paper by Mark Lintott on an Albion press. Paper wrappers screenprinted in green with a helix design that is also reproduced on the clamshell boxes and slipcases made by Claude Vallin. 14 horizontal panels. Single sheet, accordion folded, 8½ x 6¾ in., closed. 50 copies, signed on the colophon by the author and the artist. Octon, France: Editions Verdigris, 2000. Price: contact publisher.

A. Deluxe edition. 8 copies, numbered 1/50 to 8/50 each include one of the eight original mezzotint copper plates. Enclosed in a clamshell box.

B. Regular edition. 42 copies, numbered 9/50 to 50/50). Enclosed in a slipcase.

Marie Rouanet lives in the Occitan region of France and has published many books and essays based on the culture and her experiences of growing up there. She is also known as a singer accompanying her own texts, in the Occitan language, on the guitar. Although a regional writer, she enjoys a national reputation. Almost of Rothchild’s images include a snail wandering around as if it has invaded the page, as it would an abandoned garden.

L’invitation au voyage, a prose poem in French (the XVIIIth petit poème en prose) by Charles Baudelaire. With nine mezzotints by Judith Rothchild. Handset in Ramses Maigre and printed on Hahnemühle paper by Mark Lintott on an Albion press. Clamshell boxes and slipcases made by Claude Vallin. Wrappers, clamshell boxes, and slipcases screenprinted by the artist, using a design inspired by Ottoman tiles. 16 panels. Accordion folded, 10 x 10 in., closed. 50 copies, signed on the colophon by the artist. Octon, France: Editions Verdigris, 2000. Price: contact publisher.

A. Deluxe edition. 10 copies, numbered 1/50 to 10/50, with an extra original mezzotint pulled exclusively for this edition, numbered and signed by the artist. Enclosed in a clamshell box.

B. Regular edition. 40 copies, numbered 11/50 to 50/50). Enclosed in a slipcase.

Judith Rothchild was inspired by Baudelaire's "Pays superb . . . pays de Cocagne" to produce lush detailed images of canals and interiors interspersed in the text.

Cinq moments chez Swann, short texts in French from LAmour de Swann (Swanns Way) by Marcel Proust. With five large mezzotints by Judith Rothchild. Handset in Vendôme Romain and printed on Hahnemühle paper by Mark Lintott on an Albion press. 19 leaves. 18 x 19 in. Laid loose in a clamshell box made by Claude Vallin, using screenprinted paper. 12 copies; all the mezzotints, as well as the colophon, are numbered and signed by the artist. Octon, France: Editions Verdigris, 2000. Price: contact publisher.

A. Deluxe edition. 5 copies, numbered 1/12 to 5/12, include one of the five original copper plates.

B. Regular edition. 7 copies, numbered 6/12 to 12/12).

The five mezzotints, Tilleul, La Fenêtre, La Porte de Jardin, Faire Catleya, Le Violon, are nostalgic and reminiscent of nineteenth century photographs.

 

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Vues de Venise, two short texts on Venice in French by Georges Sand and Emile Zola. With six mezzotints of doorways, bridges and canals by Judith Rothchild. Handset in Vendôme Romain and printed on Hahnemühle paper by Mark Lintott on a Stanhope press. Mezzotints pulled by the artist. Bound in Venetian hand-marbled paper over boards. Clamshell boxes and slipcases made by Claude Vallin. 18 panels. Two folded sheets, back to back, with the Sand text on one side and the Zola on the other. Accordion folded, 10 x 8 in., closed. 50 copies, numbered and signed by the artist. Octon, France: Editions Verdigris, 2001. Price: contact publisher.

A. Deluxe edition. 14 copies, numbered 1/50 to 14/50, with an extra original mezzotint pulled exclusively for this edition, numbered and signed by the artist. Enclosed in a clamshell box. Copy 1/50 also includes the original copper plate for this supplementary print. Copies numbered 2/50 to 7/50 include one of the six original copper plates.

B. Regular edition. 36 copies, numbered 15/50 to 50/50. Enclosed in a two-piece slipcase.

Sand’s delightful description of Venice in springtime contrasts sharply with Zola’s grim portrayal of a decadent city in decay.

Feathers, eight poems by Ruth Fainlight. With eight mezzotints and two embossments by Judith Rothchild. Handset in Vendôme Romain and printed on Hahnemülhe paper by Mark Lintott on a Stanhope press. Mezzotints pulled by the artist. Wrappers, clamshell boxes, and slipcases screenprinted by the artist on Canevas paper by Thibierge & Comar. Clamshell boxes and slipcases made by Claude Vallin and Mark Lintott. 34 pages. 15½ x 10¾ in. 30 copies, numbered and signed on the colophon by the author and the artist. Octon, France: Editions Verdigris, 2002. Price: contact publisher.

A. Edition de tête. 8 copies, numbered 1 to 8, with an additional mezzotint by the artist and a text in the hand of the author, and one of the eight original copper plates. Enclosed in a clamshell box.

B. Regular edition. 17 copies, numbered 9 to 25. Enclosed in a wood-frame slipcase.

C. Hors commerce. 5 copies, numbered 26 to 30. Enclosed in a wood-frame slipcase.

The poems were inspired by the feather images, and the mezzotints inspired by the poems, forming an ongoing dialogue.

 

Books printed by Rollin Milroy

Reid’s Leaves, a bibliography of the books issued from the private press of Robert R. Reid, published in Vancouver from 1949 to 1962. Preface by Takao Tanabe. With original samples from three of his books. Set in 18-pt Perpetua, printed in two colors on Arches all-rag paper using a Washington handpress. Complete sheets from three of Reid’s books are sewn into the book and protected by handmade paper guards. The text is further embellished with many illustrations - some never before published - printed in various colors. The title page features an original engraving by George Kuthan, loaned from the University of British Columbia’s Special Collections Library. Sewn on four vellum tapes and laced into a stiff paper wrapper specially made for this project, enclosed in a slipcase. 38 pages plus samples. 15 x 11 in. 40 copies, signed by Reid. Vancouver, BC: Heavenly Monkey, 2001. Price: CA$725 / US$500 (plus shipping).

 

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The "Innsmouth Look." Six engravings – plus one new one – by Shinsuke Minegishi from the previously published Heavenly Monkey Studio Edition of H.P. Lovecraft's classic novella, The Shadow Over Innsmouth. Each of the images was adapted from a sketch by Hieronymus Bosch, matching the book's "ichthyian and batrachian" themes. With an introduction, quotes accompanying each engraving, and brief biographies of Bosch & Minegishi. Handset in 12-point Bembo, with Shadow display. Printed in three colors on dampened cotton/flax paper made by Reg Lissel. Engravings printed from the original Resingrave blocks. Quarter-bound by Simone Mynen in vellum with printed paper-covered boards. 27 pages. 15.6 x 10.8 cm. 55 numbered copies, signed by the artist. Vancouver, BC: Heavenly Monkey, 2003. Price: C$175; US$110.

A Letter from Carl Dair about the Paper Mills of Amalfi, Italy, a four-page letter in facsimile from Canadian typographer Carl Dair to a young Robert Reid and Will Carter, proprietor of the Rampant Lions Press. Reid corresponded with Dair during the 1950s and early '60s; most of these letters were donated to McGill University, but this letter was recently discovered in Reid's files. The facsimile was printed damp from polymer plates on handmade Amatruda paper – one of the mills Dair mentions in the letter. With an Introduction & Afterword by Robert R. Reid, handset in 14-point Garamont and printed on damp Lana Antique. Sewn in blue cotton paper wrappers made specially for this project by Reg Lissel. 12 pages. 26.5 x 17 cm. 75 numbered copies. Vancouver, BC: Heavenly Monkey, 2003. Price: C$90; US$55.

 

Books printed by Juan Pascoe.

Facsímil de primer impreso conocido oaxaqueño, con comentarios. With a bibliography of fray Sebastián de Santander y Torres by Juan Pascoe. In Spanish. With 36 linecuts of typographic pages. Soft covers. 152 pages. 21 x 15.5 cm. 110 copies. Printed by Taller Martín Pescador for Amigos de Oaxaca, 1999. Price: $500 (shipping included).

Vivir para contarla: Memorias, by Gabriel García Márquez. With eight illustrated panels by Jan Hendrix. Set in Enrico types. 250 folio pages. 250 signed copies. Family edition: 100 for the pleasure of the author, 50 for the editor, printers, binders, and the illustrator. 100 will be for sale. Santa Rosa, Michoacán, México: Taller Martín Pescador. Work in progress.

 

Book printed by Don Rash.

Rules for Bookbinders by Fritz Eberhardt. An unfinished poem about the processes of bookbinding, in English and German. Illustrations by the author. The poem was lettered by Don Rash and printed from linecuts onto dampened Hannemühle Ingres paper. Non-adhesive binding with semi-limp pastepaper wrapper and printed label. 24 pages. 5 x 7 inches. 100 numbered copies. Boss Dog Press, 2004. Price: $120.00 plus $7.50 shipping. A prospectus is available for the asking.

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Book printed by Enrico Tallone.

La Pioggia nel Pineto, a poem in Italian by Gabriele D’Annunzio. Pamphlet- bound in soft covers, enclosed in a drop-spine box. 14 pages. 32.5 x 20.5 cm. 100 copies: 90 on Magnani handmade paper, 10 on Japanese paper. Alpignano: Tallone Stampatore, 1998. Price: contact publisher.

 

Books printed by Fred & Barbara Voltmer and Chad Johnson at the Havilah Press

Mark Twain and the Great Base Ball Match by Darryl Brock. A sixteen-page monograph printed in 12-pt Caslon Old Style on a Vandercook proof press. Handsewn in blue paper wrappers with a typographic label. 150 copies. Emeryville: Havilah Press, 1999. $20 plus applicable sales tax and shipping of $3.00 per book.

African Figures by Wolfgang Lederer. Black and white drawings printed from linecuts on soft white Zerkall book on a Vandercook proof press. Handsewn with tan Ingres wrappers printed in two colors. 150 copies. Emeryville: Havilah Press, 2000. $20 plus applicable sales tax and shipping of $3.00 per book.

A Familiar Letter from a Daughter to Her Mother by [Alice Van Schaack]. A facsimile of a letter printed in 1871 describing a trip to Yosemite Valley, with a foreword by Yosemite Park historian James B. Snyder. The digitized letter is bound into the center of the text; also includes eight photographs and illustrations. Printed on a Vandercook proof press. Bound in white linen with blue boards. 150 copies. Emeryville: Havilah Press, 2002. $90.00 plus applicable sales tax and shipping and handling of $5.00 per book.

Earth Begotten by Jacqueline Carey. A prequel to the Kushiel fantasy trilogy. Set in 14-pt Centaur and printed on a Columbian press. Handsewn and bound in wood veneer with a paper parchment spine and Lama Li handmade endpapers. 16 pages. 7 3/8 x 6 inches. 50 copies. Publication date: May 2003.

 

Books printed by Alessandro Zanella.

Books printed in Italian by Alessandro Zanella from his series Le Carte del Cielo. Each of the titles in this series measures 24.7 x 15.3 cm. and is bound in soft covers and enclosed in a stiff-paper slipcase. The selection of texts and notes by Sandro Bortone. The date in brackets following the title is the original publication date. Please note: these books were printed on a Vandercook proof press. Price: $270 each (shipping included).

1. Il ramarro [1935] by Bruno Cicognani. With an etching by Pietro Villa. 30 pages. 135 copies. Santa Lucia ai Monti (VR): Edizioni Ampersand, 1994.

2. Elia e Vannina [1917] by Federigo Tozzi. With two etchings by Adriano Boni. 34 pages. 135 copies. Santa Lucia ai Monti (VR): Edizioni Ampersand, 1994.

3. Zaccaria [1912] by Paolo Valera. With an etching by Alessandro Papetti. 38 pages. 135 copies. Santa Lucia ai Monti (VR): Edizioni Ampersand, 1995.

4. Villa con albergo [1935] by Marcello Gallian. With an etching by Piero Leddi. 28 pages. 135 copies. Santa Lucia ai Monti (VR): Edizioni Ampersand, 1995.

5. Finestre sul fiume [1938] by Paola Drigo. With an aquatint by Velasco Vitali. 34 pages. 135 copies. Santa Lucia ai Monti (VR): Edizioni Ampersand, 1995.

6. Donna nervosa [1928] by Bonaventura Tecchi. With an aquatint by Silvio Lacasella. 36 pages. 135 copies. Santa Lucia ai Monti (VR): Edizioni Ampersand, 1996.

7. Nube sopra l'ufficio [1934] by Enrico Emanuelli. With an etching by Enzo Maiolino. 30 pages. 135 copies. Santa Lucia ai Monti (VR): Edizioni Ampersand, 1996.

8. Pensieri [1930] by Giuseppe Rensi. With a mezzotint by Giulia Napoleone. 44 pages. 135 copies. Santa Lucia ai Monti (VR): Edizioni Ampersand, 1997.

9. Carnevale [1934] by Corrado Alvaro. With an etching by Guido Strazza. 36 pages. 135 copies. Santa Lucia ai Monti (VR): Edizioni Ampersand, 1998.

10. L'assedio di Londra [1943] by Lorenzo Montano. With an etching by Enrico Della Torre. 62 pages. 135 copies. Santa Lucia ai Monti (VR): Edizioni Ampersand, 1998.

[end of series]    

 

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Note: The following item from the Carte del Cielo series does not conform to the above series format and price.

11. Poemi Lirici [1914], six long poems in Italian by Riccardo Bacchelli, with a note by Sandro Bortone. With eighteen woodcuts and collages by Tomaso Cascella. Digitally set in Rialto df and Kabel and printed on Magnani handmade wove paper on a Vandercook proof press. Hand-painted soft paper wrappers decorated with a large woodcut, laid in a chemise and enclosed in a slipcase. 54 pages. 31 x 21 cm. 100 numbered copies, signed by the artist. Santa Lucia ai Monti (VR): Edizioni Ampersand, 2002. 

Un Coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard / Un colpo di dadi mai abolirà il caso by Stéphane Mallarmé. In French with an Italian translation by Maurizio Cucchi. With four woodcuts by Jacques Vernière. Soft covers, enclosed in a slipcase. 70 pages. 32.5 x 25.5 cm. 90 copies. Verona: Edizioni Ampersand, 1987. Price: $490 (shipping included).

Persephone by Yannis Ritsos. In Greek with an English translation by Nikos Stangos. With two woodcuts and a screenprint on the front and back covers by Joe Tilson. Hardcover, enclosed in a slipcase. 46 pages. 28 x 35 cm. 80 copies. Verona: Edizioni Ampersand, 1990. Price: $580 (shipping included).

Tre poesie by Vittorio Sereni. In Italian with three engravings by Carlo Rapp. Hardcover, enclosed in a stiff-paper slipcase. 10 pages. 31 x 19 cm. 60 copies. Santa Lucia ai Monti (VR): Edizioni Ampersand, 1997. Price: $270 (shipping included).

L'altro empireo by Umberto Eco. In Italian with three etching/dry point prints by Elena Mezzadra. Hardcover, enclosed in a stiff-paper slipcase. 15 pages. 32.5 x 20 cm. 100 copies. Santa Lucia ai Monti (VR): Edizioni Ampersand, 1998. Price: $400 (shipping included).

Linea. A short fable in Italian by Alessandro Zanella. With two linocuts and a collage by the author. Hardcover. 28 pages. 25 x 17 cm. 60 numbered copies. Santa Lucia ai Monti (VR): Ampersand, 1999. Price: $170 (including shipping).

 

Wrapper Press / Ex Ophidia Books

I have received many inquiries from collectors wanting to buy Plain Wrapper Press and Ex Ophidia books. I no longer have any for sale, but I would be happy to list any offerings here.

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Images & Footsteps, a poem in nine stanzas by Paul Zweig. With five etchings by Berta Moltke. Hardcover, enclosed in a slipcase. 28 pages. 33 x 25.5 cm. 200 copies. Verona: Plain Wrapper Press, 1971. Price: $225 (air shipping included).

The artist, Berta Moltke has seven copies for sale. You can contact her at Gothersgade 143; 1123 Copenhagen, Denmark. E-mail: moltke@mail.dk.   FAX: 45-3333-7434.

 

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Plain Wrapper Press: 1966–1988, an illustrated bibliography of the work of Richard-Gabriel Rummonds, with bibliographical descriptions by Elaine Smyth and a foreword by Decherd Turner. Eight pages of full-color illustrations of the books. 74 pages. 30 x 20.5 cm.300 copies in wrappers. Austin: W. Thomas Taylor, 1993. Price: $45. Available from Oak Knoll Books http://www.bibliocity.com/order/OK/39438.

 

Collegiate presses

This section will be devoted to collegiate presses, which use handpresses for instruction. The presses are listed alphabetically by imprint. Publications from these presses will be listed under Collegiate press books - see below. Collegiate presses without an imprint are listed under the name of the institution.

The Annis Press. Wellesley College; Margaret Clapp Library; 106 Central Street; Wellesley, MA 02481-8203. Phone: (781) 283-2130. E-mail: kmccanle@wellesley.edu. Website: http://www.wellesley.edu/Library/bkarts.html. Katherine McCanless Ruffin, Book Arts Program Director. Handpresses: Paul Shniedewend & Co. Washington press (No. 683), 1900+; Morgans & Wilcox Washington press, 1900+. The presses are used for book arts instruction and workshops. The presses have been used to print books, pamphlets, and ephemera.

Columbia College. Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts; 1104 South Walbash, 2nd Floor; Chicago, IL 60605. Phone: (312) 344-6630. E-mail: aniffenegger@popmail.colum.edu. Website: http://www.colum.edu/centers/bpa. William Drendel, director. Audrey Niffenegger and Mary Kennedy, instructors. Handpresses: Shniedewend and Lee, 1893. The press is used for book arts instruction and workshops. There is also a typographic laboratory.

Book Arts Press. 114 Alderman Library; University of Virginia; Charlottesville, VA 22904-4103. Phone: (434) 924-8851. E-mail: oldbooks@virginia.edu. Website: http://www.rarebookschool.org/. Terry Belanger, Director. Handpresses: full-size reproduction of a wooden common press, made by Clinton Sisson; 1885 Wesel Washington-style flatbed platen press. Founded in the early 1930s within the rare book department of the Columbia University Libraries, the BAP went dormant during World War II. It was revived in 1972 as the bibliographical laboratory of the rare book program of Columbia's graduate School of Library Service. In 1992, it moved with Terry Belanger to the University of Virginia, where it supports various courses in Rare Book School.

The King Library Press. University of Kentucky Libraries, Special Collections Department, Lexington, KY 40506-0039. E-mail: Paul Holbrook, Director, peholbr@post.harvard.edu or James D. Birchfield, Curator of Books, klijdb@uky.edu. Handpresses: Reliance Midget Washington, chase: 14 x 18 inches (this was Carolyn Hammer's press at the Press of Carolyn Hammer, Anvil Press, and Stamperia del Santuccio; now property of Paul Holbrook and on loan to the King Library Press); Paul Shniewend & Co. Washington, chase: 15 x 18 inches (this was Joseph C. Graves's Press at The Gravesend Press); Morgan & Wilcox Washington, chase: 21 x 26 inches; Ostrander Seymour Co. Washington, chase: 20 x 26 inches; B. Rouse & Co. Washington-style proof press on an iron cabinet stand, with brass eagle atop, chase: 14 x 16 inches; Wooden Hand Press of Victor Hammer, made by Victor Hammer and Ezio Pratesi, Florence, Italy, 1920s, chase: 20 x 26 inches, but the platen is half-size, requiring two pulls per sheet, a la eighteenth-century presses.

Standing at Victor Hammer's wooden hand press are Paul Evans Holbrook, Director of the Press, with several members of the Press, including Frank Jones, Jim Birchfield, Alex Brooks, and Eric VanOsdol; not pictured are David Elbon, John Johnson, and Sue Anne Childers.

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Photo: Martha Birchfield.

 

The Massey College Press. Robertson Davies Library, Massey College; 4 Devonshire Place; Toronto, ON M5S 2E1; Canada. Phone: (416) 978-2893. E-mail address: massey.library@utoronto.ca. Website: http://www.utoronto.ca/massey/library.html. Contact person: Marie Korey. E-mail: marie.korey@utoronto.ca. Handpresses: Hopkinson & Cope Albion Press (table press), Finsbury, London, 1852; T. Mathews Improved Albion Press, London, 1870; D.&J. Greig Columbian Press, Edinburgh. [n.d.]; J. Cope & J. Sherwin Imperial Press, 1848; Washington Press. [n.d.]. The Massey College Press, established in 1963, is a bibliographical press used for teaching purposes to provide students with an understanding of printing technology and book production. The presses are used for printing keepsakes for College events and teaching purposes.

Red Butte Press. University of Utah; Rare Books Division; Special Collections; J. Willard Marriott Library; 295 S. 1500 East; Salt lake City, UT 84112-0860. Phone: (801) 585-9191. E-mail: mgarrett@library.utah.edu. Dr. Gregory C. Thompson, assistant director for special collections. Madelyn Garrett, curator. Handpresses: Columbian, 1846; miniature Albion. The presses are used for book arts instruction and publishing (see Collegiate press books below).

Thaumatrope Press. University of California, Riverside; Special Collections Library; Riverside, CA 92517. Sheryl Davis, Acting Head of Special Collections. Phone: (909) 787-3233. E-mail: sheryl.davis@UCR.edu. Handpresses: Imperial, 1820s; Royal Columbian, 1834; Albion (tabletop), 1846; Albion (tabletop), 1852. Other presses of interest: Civil War field press, 1861; Adana flatbed press, 1940s. The presses are used for bibliographical instruction, book arts instruction, publishing, and workshops. The presses are used for printing books (see Collegiate press books below), pamphlets, ephemera, and typographical exercise.

Wells College. Book Arts Center; Aurora, NY 13026. Phone: (315) 364-3420. Jocelyn Webb, Victor Hammer Fellow. E-mail: jwebb@henry.wells.edu. Handpress: Hoe Washington; this press was used by Victor Hammer during his years at Wells College. The press is used for demonstrations.

 

Collegiate press books

This section will be devoted to books printed on handpresses at collegiate presses. The books are listed chronologically under the name of the press. The presses are arranged in alphabetical order. All dimensions are height by width.

Books printed at the Red Butte Press.

The Genius of Culture by Sterling M. McMurrin. With 3 lithographs by Wayne Kimball. Day Christensen, printer. 23 pages. 39 x 20 cm. 23 copies. Salt Lake City: Red Butte Press, 1991. Hardcover, enclosed in a drop-spine box. Out-of-print.

A Poet’s Alphabet of Influences by Mark Strand. With 27 drawings by Bonnie Sucec. Day Christensen, printer. 26 pages. 39 x 20 cm. 90 copies. Salt Lake City: Red Butte Press, 1994. Hardcover, enclosed in a drop-spine box. Out-of-print.

Wilderness Letter by Wallace Earle Stegner. With 5 etchings by Vivian Douglas Snow. Day Christensen, printer. 24 pages. 39 x 20 cm. 100 copies. Salt Lake City: Red Butte Press, 1995. Hardcover, enclosed in a drop-spine box. Out-of-print.

 

Books printed at the Thaumatrope Press.

Banjo Dog, four new poems by Donald Justice. 18 pages. 26.5 x 17.5 cm. About 200 copies. Riverside: printed by the Doe Press for the Thaumatrope Press, 1995. 150 in wrappers; 50 in boards. All copies signed by the poet; the deluxe copies additionally signed by the designer/printer. Price: $75 /$125, shipping extra.

Six Letters to an Apprentice, first edition of letters by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Willa Cather, George Ade, Ellen Glasgow, Don Marquis, and Ring Lardner - on how to become a writer. Foreword by Ernest Kroll. 16 pages. 22 x 15 cm. About 150 copies. Riverside: Thaumatrope Press, 1994. The letters are on various handmade papers, enclosed in a portfolio made of paper by Timothy Barrett. $150; shipping extra.

 

In memoriam

This section will list obituaries of handpress printers. The notices are arranged alphabetically by surname.

 

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Victor and Carolyn Hammer, ca.1956

Carolyn Reading Hammer (1911-2001)

Carolyn Reading Hammer died on July 24, 2001. She had just celebrated her 90th birthday a few days earlier on July 19.

I first met Carolyn on one of her many trips to Italy in the 1970s. She was in Verona to discuss a projected three-volume study on the multifaceted work of her late husband Victor Hammer with Martino Mardersteig at the Stamperia Valdonega. Our mutual love of working on the handpress brought us together, and we became instant friends, continuing to visit and correspond with each other right up to a few months before her death. Any face-to-face relationship with Carolyn, by definition, had to be intimate. Although her soft, husky voice was barely audible even to a person seated beside her, she enjoyed carrying on spirited conversations with friends and students, always keeping them mesmerized by her vast knowledge of printing and private press books.

Also Carolyn was indirectly responsible for the chain of events in my life that eventually brought me to Seattle. In the late 1970s, when James Ramer, the dean of the Graduate School of Library Service at the University of Alabama, asked her to recommend someone who could help him develop an MFA in the Book Arts program at the university, she enthusiastically suggested me. Thus, I became the founding director of the program and continued to teach at the university until 1988.

James Birchfield, the present Curator of Rare Books in the King Library at the University of Kentucky, sent me the following notice. Jim asked me to share this information with the book arts community at large.

Carolyn Reading Hammer received her undergraduate degree from Transylvania University in Lexington and her graduate degree in Librarianship from Columbia University. She worked in the Cataloging Department at the Library of Congress and afterwards as Curator of Rare Books at the University of Kentucky. She was interested in printing and typography over many years, founding the Bur Press in the 1940s with a circle of book artist friends. After Victor Hammer arrived in Lexington in 1948, CRH studied with him, learning handpress techniques. Sometime after the death of Rosl Hammer, Victor and Carolyn Hammer were married in 1955. She played a full role in the work of the Stamperia del Santuccio and the Anvil Press, and founded the King Library Press at the University of Kentucky in 1956. Her work as a printer exhibited beautiful design work, sometimes incorporating the two-color initials of Victor Hammer, and typically using the American Uncial type and its cursive form, Andromache. Her friendships were worldwide, including John Dreyfus, Berthold Wolpe, Stanley Morison, Martino Mardersteig, R. H. Middleton, Paul Standard, Ulrich Middeldorf, Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., and many, many others in the world of art and the book arts.

 

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John Ryder (1917–2001)

John Ryder died on January 18, 2001. His book, Printing for Pleasure, introduced and inspired generations of printing enthusiasts to become hobby printers. His book was, in fact, the first printers’ manual that I owned. Many years later, Ryder’s straight-forward approach to printing was the genesis for my own manual, Printing on the Iron Handpress. The following tribute/obituary is reprinted here with the permission of the publisher, The Times. The Times homepage is http://www.thetimes.co.uk/.

Designer who grappled with "Ulysses," made handsome books for Bodley Head, and encouraged a generation of enthusiasts to print for pleasure.

With news of the death of John Ryder, blinds will be lowered in a host of back kitchens and basements, garages and converted sheds. Inky-fingered persons in striped aprons will hunt out a case of Black Letter and set up memorial notices to their patron, whose "Printing for Pleasure" was handbook and inspiration to generations of amateur Caxtons.

First published in 1955, then added to the Teach Yourself series, and finally given extensive revision in 1976, the book was the fruit of an enthusiasm which Ryder had nurtured since the end of his school-days in 1934. At that time he had gone to work in John Baker’s Phoenix Bookshop and had begun experimenting with the design of text settings, first with a typewriter and then with a table-top printing machine, the Adana flatbed, giving himself the title of the Miniature Press.

John Baker did not appreciate these distractions and in 1938 Ryder was asked to leave. Before he could settle to new work the war began, and he registered as a conscientious objector. That eventually led to his joining a surgical unit, and on D-Day he was parachuted into France.

He remained attached to the Army up to the crossing of the Rhine, when he was transferred to the Middle East. There he gathered together materials about the European campaign and supervised their printing, page by page, in 1946 as "Over the Rhine," under the imprint of the Canopy Press.

Returning to civilian life be resumed his association with Baker, who had set up a publishing company as Phoenix House and who was glad to recognise his former employee’s potential as a book designer. Ryder was given charge of production almost from the outset, and at once showed his natural aptitude (the only training he had was a single day at the Central School of Art and Design).

"Printing for Pleasure," which he had printed for him by the old-established Chiswick Press, is a fine example of his style, as is its successor, an elegant and authoritative study of printers’ decorative flowers, "A Suite of Fleurons" (1956), which marked his long and close collaboration with Tinlings of Liverpool.

Such distinguished work was not lost on fellow typographers. He was elected to the Double Crown Club in 1956, and when Max Reinhardt took over the Bodley Head in 1957, Ryder was commended to him by Will Carter of the Rampant Lions Press. Once installed at Earlharm Street as art director, he became one of the team that made the company one of the most dynamic in British publishing for the twenty-odd years before bureaucracy and agglomeration took their toll.

The opportunity to give a distinctive character to a succession of remarkable books, along with all the supplementary publicity material, stimulated John Ryder to a career of sustained achievement. He is perhaps most celebrated for his two assaults on the problem of designing Joyce’s "Ulysses," first in 1960, when he made of the standard, rather cumbersome square octavo, a more elegant and manageable book, and secondly in 1986, when he adapted to a trade edition, the computer-set text of Hans Walter Gabler’s huge "critical and synoptic" edition. This allowed for a wider measure, so avoiding any of the word-breaks that Joyce always disliked.

He also showed his verve when overcoming the diverse challenges posed by the Bodley Head’s excellent list of children’s books (and with Antony Kamm, in 1961, he contributed the text for a felicitous book on printing in the firm’s Study Book series for children.

It was his consistent dedication to what Jack Lambert, the historian of the Bodley Head, characterised as "legibility" that distinguished his work, but Ryder would probably have glossed that as "typographic reticence": the art that conceals art. Nevertheless, this reticence, like that of his near-contemporaries, Wren Howard at Cape and Berthold Wolpe at Faber, had its own style, a congruity of all the elements of format, paper, typeface, text-setting, and binding which went to make up a Bodley head book.

Ryder was immersed in the history of his craft. Alongside his work in the office he found time, with Iain Bain, to resurrect the publishing name of Nattali & Maurice, under whose imprint were published a sequence of books related to printing and the graphic arts, With Bill Hummerstone he was a director of the Stellar Press at Hatfield, where he could involve himself in the practical completion of work from the design-table. His surveys of illustrators, "Artists of a Certain Line" (1960) and "Drawing for Radio Times" (1961), were disappointingly brief, however, and the arguments of his several studies of typography were disappointingly unclear.

Of a quite different order were his close investigations of letterforms, which resulted in a concatenation of projects from facsimile publishing of Italian sources to the promotion of hand-lettering (in collaboration with Michael Harvey), and to a long association with Giovanni Mardersteig of the Officina Bodoni in Verona. His substantial analysis of the work of that famous press appeared as sole contents of an issue of "The Private Library" in 1972, for which he drew upon his own collection, said to be the largest outside Italy.

This collection was destined for the Bodleian Library, to which Ryder made a series of donations, which have included working papers, correspondence, manuscripts and a huge body of material related to the private press movement. The Bodleian responded by mounting an exhibition of some of these treasures in 1974. In that year Ryder was elected a Fellow of the Society of Industrial Artists, and three years later he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Typographical Designers too.

Ryder remained a modest, unpretentious and kindly man, a perfect colleague whose professional life was sustained by his love of the arts, especially music (the title of his last book, "Intimate Leaves from a Designer’s Notebook," from 1993, alludes to Janacek’s "Intimate Letters." He was devoted to his wife, Herta Hagen, whom he had met and married in 1947 when she was in London as a scout for a Swiss publisher. She predeceased him; there were no children.

© The Times, 25th January 2001.

 

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Hugh Woodruff at the Arizona Javeline Press

Hugh Woodruff (1925–2000)

By now, many of you will already have heard the sad news that Hugh Woodruff died suddenly in Phoenix, Arizona, of a massive heart attack on May 6. He had just finished reading three of his favorite poems at a church-sponsored talent show for which he received a standing ovation. Backstage, he collapsed without regaining consciousness. I never met Hugh personally, but shortly after my book Printing on the Iron Handpress was published in 1998, I began to receive, almost monthly, letters from him. The first of these pointed out most of the typographical errors in my text, as well as a few illustrations that were misleading. These were followed by more letters with technical questions and examples of the work that was being done at the Arizona Javelina Press, under Gladys Mahoney’s direction in the Rare Book Room at the Phoenix Public Library. Hugh was not a "fine" printer, but his energy and knowledge of printing made it possible for a group of printing enthusiasts in Phoenix to meet once a month to discover the pleasures of the handpress. Even though these sessions will not be the same without Hugh, Ms. Mahoney told me that the group will continue to meet and carry on the wonderful legacy that Hugh left them. It was for printers like Hugh that I wrote the book, and I will sorely miss him.

 


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