PRINTING CLOSE UP

GENERAL

BASKERVILLE'S PRINTING PRESS. Simmoneau's engraving of 1688
12 PRINTERS, Leonard Jay at the Birmingham School of Printing ,

1450- 1500

William Caxton , The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers 1477

1500- 1550

THE HOLY BIBLE, DAY AND SERRES, 1549 (5)
ERASMUS, GLOSS ON THE NEW TESTAMENT, 1544 (2)
JOHN GERARD, HERBAL, 1547 (4)
John Heywood, A Play for Love, , 1534, indicative pages
John Heywood, A Play for Love, , 1534, indicative pages

1550- 1600

HOLINSHED'S CHRONICLES, 1577 (4)
HOLY BIBLE, C.BARKER 1599 (5)
APIUS AND VIRGINIA, by R.B.1575
LIKE TO WILL LIKE , by Ulpian Fulwell 1568

1600- 1650

THOMAS DEKKER , THE SHOEMAKERS' HOLIDAY 1600
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, SONNETS 1609
RATHBONE'S SURVEYOR, 1616 (6)
T.HEYWOOD, THE HIERARCHY OF THE BLESSED ANGELS, 1635 (2)
DELLA PORTA, NATURAL MAGICK , 1648 (1)
SIR WALTER RALEIGH, THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, 1614 (3)
ALLIANUS, TACTIKS, 1616 (1)
PONCY, ON THE GENERATION OF MAN 1634 (4)
I.T. , GRIM The Collier of Croyden or the Devil and his Dame, 1642
E.C., The Tragedie of Mariam, 1624 a few pages
The Souldier's Catechisme, 1644, for the Parliamentary Army

1650- 1700

SIR THOMAS BROWNE, URNE BURIALL, QUINCUNX 1658
JOHN SELDON, ON THE OWNERSHIP OF THE SEA, 1652 (4)
WILLOUGHBY ORNITHOLOGY , ORNITHOLOGY, 1676 (2)
MILTON,PARADISE LOST, 1669
A DIATRIBE OF MONY OR COYN, Edward Leigh 1671

1700-1750

HANS SLOANE, NATURAL HISTORY OF JAMAICA, 1707 1725 (3)
THOMAS WARTON, POEMS 1748

1750-1800

JOHN GAY, THE BEGGAR'S OPERA, 1751 text(2) and score (1)
SAMUEL JOHNSON, DICTIONARY 1755 (2)
CHRISTOPHER SMART, A SONG TO DAVID 1763

1800-1850

JOHN KEATS, POEMS 1817

1850-1900

 

1900-1950

Goethe's PROMETHEUS KLEUKENS PRESSE

 

 

 

TYPES

THE STEEL ENGRAVED GIFT BOOK (1931)

 

STEREOTYPE ORNAMENTS

SEARS' CATALOGUE 1825

 

 

From time to time, Claude Cox of Ipswich, that marvellous shop specialising in the arts of printing, would offer for sale a collection of individual leaves from key books. I assumed this was an ingenious means of capitalising on damaged volumes. It certainly gave me access to some fine examples of printing. Using a decent scanner, much more of the fabric and design of printing after 1500 became available in ways that were satusfying for study, and also avoided the buttock clenching terror of copyright law.

Each leaf is a mute witness of what can happen to the printed page. In the details you will explore the finesse (and otherwise) of the way letterforms are inked into paper in the service of meaning; the ways that the letterforms are deployed across the surface of the paper with decoration, rules, empty space and playing to the printed image. Here you will explore the limits of the page, the observance of the edge of the paper, and the damage that can be done, from bruising to tears, splashes and abrasions.

I have added indicative pages over the years, mainly from Facsimiles.

Although I am urged to place a black sheet behind the printed page to avoid the unsightliness of the appearence of the reverse of the page, I enjoy the mute presence of the verso, a reversed echo, a ghostly presence under that which I am reading.

Here too the human hand has intervened, in marginalia, accidental marks, and in the leaf of the 1549 Bible, an elaborate calculation of a forgotten task in ink down the margin.