18 August 2014
The first prototype of the box for the Exemplary copies of our Waterloo anthology has arrived. It has been beautifully crafted in sapele wood and then finished in our bindery. There are more pictures in the gallery at waterloobook.co.uk Now we have the box we can concentrate on the finish and the linings, so please keep in mind that it will change as we improve on the final details.
14 August 2014
I know that strictly speaking you can't really have limited edition chocolate. That said on a recent trip to Guernsey to discuss the Folio Society's edition of The Toilers of the Sea [ see previous posts ] I came across chocolatier Ben Le Prevost, click on his name to discover his extraordinary [ and we don't use that word lightly ] range of fantastic chocolates. My personal favourites include peanut butter on toast and basil. Invest in a box, you won't be disappointed, they look and taste fabulous.
2 July 2014
if you need to keep up with the world of contemporary art, then you will be familiar with Hyperallergic. if not click here to read thier lovely piece on book endpapers. Shown on the right is a rather lovely dandelion design, upside down on their blog as one eagle eyed commentator noticed [ otherwise I wouldn't have known ]
27 June 2014
Just 200 copies of this fabulous edition of the classic RING OF BRIGHT WATER are being released, get in the queue by clicking here. The book will help to support the Eilean Ban Trust who look after the island, home of Gavin Maxwell and the otters.
3 June 2014
On May the 8th I was delighted to help launch the Folio Society's limited edition of Victor Hugo's Toilers of the Sea.
Having lobbied and cajoled for over a year in order to persuade Folio to publish the first ever edition illustrated with Hugo's own illustrations, I was especially thrilled that we were able to launch the book in Hauteville House in Guernsey. I should thank the Guernsey Evening press for all their support and for this picture of the book, lying on the desk where Hugo wrote it!
I am also thrilled that Folio have already sold over 900 of the 1250 copies available, if you want one click this link, don't delay it will sell out soon.
29 April 2014
Television Comes To Ballarat
Written by Robert C. Littlewood Illustrated by Hilary Paynter
A personal memoir by Robert C. Littlewood with wood engravings by Hilary Paynter. Stoke-on-Trent : The Lytlewode Press, 2010. Quarto, gilt-decorated cloth in matching slipcase, 13pp., illustrated with three original wood engravings by Hilary Paynter (one signed). Limited to 275 copies signed by the author and artist.
An autobiographical account of Littlewood’s childhood spent in Ballarat in the 1950s, and the wonderment of the introduction of television to Australia. Charmingly illustrated with original prints by England’s most highly regarded contemporary wood engraver. Limited to 275 copies printed on Zerkall mold-made paper and bound in Shropshire, England. Signed and numbered by the author. Printed by Paul Kershaw in Ripon, North Yorkshire.
Octavo, Case bound within matching slipcase. See more at www.lytlewode.com
26 March 2014
Bazaar is a book large in format, noisy in colour, and crowded with textures and patterns. It contains a collection of observations on the experiences of visiting these chaotic, vibrant and expressive places, together with a series of eight original prints.
The wanderings are set out in sections devoted to different subjects, among which are food and flowers, spices, personalities and a section on temple memorabilia. There are crabs with electric blue legs in Alexandria, spare teeth in Marrakesh, marigolds in Mysore, woven beds in Jaipur and cheroot-smoking ladies somewhere near Pindaya in Burma.
The words and images are taken from writings and drawings and photographs made in the various locations. The text is designed and laid out simply and spaciously. It is printed letterpress in Optima – Roman and Italic – with titles in 36 point Roman Open, on 200gsm. Zerkall paper using colours that integrate with the prints.
You can see more of Susan's stunning works at susanallix.com
26 March 2014
Susan incorporates intaglio processes such as etching, aquatint, drypoint, carborundum, and surface roll with hand colouring. Of the eight images, one is a lino cut and the large letters of the title page have also been cut in lino. The prints are complicated, using multiple colours and separate plates, often inked ‘a la poupee’ with further hand work in watercolour and acrylic. The paper for the prints is J. Green 310gsm. mould made, bought from the mill before it closed many years ago.
Each of the eight openings is enclosed in a sheet of hand made paper that extends beyond the edges of the printed pages, acting as a frame to accentuate the colour and atmosphere of the spread. Most of these papers have been made especially for this book in the paper-making town of Sanganer in India. Their brightness, pattern and shine help to create, in their close proximity to one another, something of the confusion and exhilaration felt in a crowded bazaar.
The whole is enclosed in a binding of silk, leather and painted paper over boards, with endpapers and doublures of hand made paper. The spine is leather with the silks and paper arranged on the boards, and the ‘floating’ headband is made to accommodate the variations in pages. The title is lettered in wide spacing in coloured foils on the front board. Each book is different in colour and design, and is enclosed in a dark blue cloth box. The book measures 55x42 cms. (58x44 cms. boxed), has 86 pages and is in a limited edition of 14 copies.
20 March 2014
Exhibitors on the FPBA stand at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair - No: 3
Publishers of books with a strong interest in illustration and Lewis Carroll. We will be exhibiting Illustrating Alice, exploring over 500 sets of illustrations for these two books, a new Through the Looking-Glass with illustrations by John Vernon Lord and the last few copies of Alice’s Adventures under Ground, typeset with Lewis Carroll’s original drawings, enlarged and coloured by Ian Beck.
see more of their work by clicking here:
14 March 2014
Exhibitors on the FPBA stand at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair - No: 2
Books Illustrated have over the years specialised in original illustrations, championing some of our most loved and most famous illustrators. Now they are breaking out into publishing some stunningly illustrated books.
Shown here is Purr & Feather a collection of much loved poems about cats and owls, brought to life by Angel Dominguez, the award-winning illustrator who so richly illustrated ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ in 1996.
See more at www.booksillustrated.com
14 March 2014
Exhibitors on the FPBA stand at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair - No: 1
At The Old School Press, Martyn & Angela Ould print and publish new texts in limited editions with specially commissioned illustrations. We use traditional letterpress printing techniques – metal type and fine papers – and our books are hand-bound to our designs.
click here to go to their website www.theoldschoolpress.com
27 February 2014
We are thrilled to announce that there will be a Fine Press Book Association stand at this years London Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia from the 22nd to the 24th of May.
The following presses will be represented: Old School Press, Inky Parrot Press and Artists' Choice Editions, Hand & Eye Letterpress, Caliban Press, Gateway Publishing, Sherwin Beach Press, Susan Allix, Books Illustrated Limited, The Folio Society, Lytewode Press, Queen Anne Press and Extraordinary Editions. Please see our links page to find details of all the presses.
I hope to profile each press over the weeks leading up to the show, so watch this space. This is a rare opportunity to see the work of a number of the country's leading fine, art and letterpresses all together in a single London location - not to be missed.
10 February 2014
The Folio Society now have their web page live, click here if you wish to buy a copy of the limit edition. Its already proving popular so please don't delay.
For more lovely Channel Island books click here
22 January 2014
The Folio Society have now finalized their design, which features Hugo’s image of the steamship Durande on the slipcase and his famous Octopus on the cover. It is quarter leather bound in a dark brown leather and will be published in April in a limited edition of 1500 copies at £195 each. Islanders can still reserve a copy by contacting Martin Morgan on 077.220.57184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A very big thank you to everybody who has helped to publicise the campaign and to everybody who has pledged to buy a copy.
22 January 2014
I am delighted to be able to announce, that such has been the response to our campaign to persuade the Folio Society to publish a definitive edition of The Toilers of the Sea, that they have decided to go ahead and the book is now in production.
The Toilers of the Sea has never been published with Victor Hugo’s original artwork. The 36 images he bound into his original manuscript are absolutely stunning and help bring a whole new perspective to this the greatest of all Channel Island novels.
6 January 2014
Michael Kuch created the etchings and paste-paper images, printed the copperplates and designed the book with oversight from Liv Rockefeller and Ken Shure. Dale Guild Type Foundry cast the 18 point Parsons [Will Ransom’s only metal typeface] Russel Maret created the fleuron and title lettering based upon a Ransom design. The letterpress was undertaken on a Vandercook Universal IV by Art Larson.
6 January 2014
The popularity of Margaret Wise Brown’s classic, Good Night Moon" endures in America today, over 60 years after her death, such that you can chart birth rates by the sales of that book. She composed The Little River in 1950 and it has never been published before. Margaret gave the manuscript to her fiance, the father of publisher Liv Rockefeller. The book comes complete with a facsimile of the original manuscript and essays by Michael Kuch describing his printing techniques and Liv Rockefeller who describes the role Margaret played in her life as well as the alternative endings to the manuscript. There are only 60 copies of this absolutely beautiful book and there aren’t many left.
6 January 2014
The Little River by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Michael Kuch of the Double Elephant Press and published by Two Ponds Press was the very worthy winner of two awards a the Oxford Fine Press Fair, unsurprisingly receiving both the Judges Choice Award and the Parrot Prize award for the best illustrated book of the last two years.
26 November 2013
The Exemplary Edition of the SAS War Diary has been won by a Telegraph reader from Northern Ireland. We are especially delighted that the winner comes from Paddy Mayne's hometown of Newtownards and that in a quirk of fate our winner comes from a community that has been raising funds for a copy of the Diary to be placed in their local library. So this very special copy of the Diary has gone to a home where its significance is understood and where it will be hugely appreciated.
30 October 2013
The Telgraph of Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th of November will feature two, 8-page pullouts featuring material from the SAS War Diary. One lucky reader will also be able to win an exemplary edition of the SAS War Dairy worth £15,000. You can see the promotion on the Telegraph website,
4 September 2013
I know that this is a book blog but I cannot resist bringing The Space Pirates of Rocquaine to your attention. Released this summer in a limited edition of just 500 copies this is an album to make your heart sing. If you could bottle this infectious energy and enthusiasm you would make your fortune, as it is sit back and rock along with the pirates.
3 July 2013
Toilers of the Sea
I have recently been chatting with Joe Whitlock-Blundell at the Folio Society. I was explaining that I had always wanted to see a full English translation complete with the 36 illustrations that VIctor Hugo bound into the original manuscript. I have long maintained that these images were as important to the novel as the text and that the two make a single integrated artwork. Joe is hugely enthusiastic and tells me that if I can find enough people to agree that Folio will produce one one their wonderful limited editions, complete with all the images. So I am going to start a Channel Island wide campaign to see if we can't get a complete Toilers published. Email me for more details: email@example.com
25 June 2013
Lots of old friends and lots of new ones at the London Antiquarian Book Fair. Derek Hood was taking his turn on the Designer Bookbinders stand and Shepherds were showing off their indestructible Explorer notebooks from their Wiltshire Barn Project, which helps with the rehabilitation of services personnel. The Explorer is ideal for Christmas, but hurry as they are selling like hot cakes and rightly so..
New friends included Judith Wiesner, expert conservator. Judith gave us a crash course in paper conservation, showing us why you really shouldn't try this at home. If you have valuable paper that needs restoring look no further. You can check out the before and after images on her website if you need convincing.
We were also delighted to meet Enitharmon, one of the few British publishers commissioning collaborations between distinguished artists and writers. We brought a copy of Side by Side by Gilbert and George and lusted after the sumptuous My Yorkshire by David Hockney, in a deluxe limited edition. Not only have they have been publishing stunning books since 1997 they are based around the corner from us, once we’ve been round for coffee, we’ll tell you what they are up to next!
Last and not least Glyn and the team from the St Bride Foundation, keeping the art of printing alive, with classes and a world class typographic library. When you are in London you need to go and see them - really you do.
4 June 2013
Back from the Book Expo in an absolutely sweltering New York, but hey, we go so you don't have too. Sadly there was no sign of either Scriptorium or Moliero, both of whom had been listed as attending from an out of date list. However we did catch up with the charming Giorgio Armaroli from Scripta Maneant, who was showing their facsimile of the British Library's Pslater of Robert de L'Isle.
Containing two of the masterpieces of the fourteenth century, the 39 pages of the Psalter are lavishly embellished with gold and of the 450 copies being made, 40 will be completed in 22 carat gold tooling. The results are well worth the wait and the book was getting a lot of attention at the show. Our photos weren’t taken under the best of conditions, but they do show something of the impact the book has. The facsimile comes complete with a companion volume and is packaged in a Perspex box for more information visit Scripta Maneant.
23 May 2013
We are off to New York for Book Expo America and hugely looking forward to it. Among the specialist publishers exhibiting are , Heritage Edizioni and Scripta Maneant, whose De Lisle Psalter which is wholly printed on vellum looks absolutely stunning. We are also keen to see works by Scriptorium for the first time as they have just produced their first work on vellum. Hopefully when we get back we can fill you in on the details.
9 May 2013
The list of presses and booksellers attending this year's Oxford fine press book fair in November has just been released and it is looking to be the biggest and best fair yet. We will bring you a list of the delegates and as many links to their websites as we can manage. Apologies if you are left out - just get in touch and we will put you on the blog. Of the presses, publishers and booksellers there are two Canadian , eleven from the USA, three from France, two from Ireland, two from Germany, two from Spain and one each from Australia, Russia and the Netherlands.
18 April 2013
We saw less limited editions and facsimiles at the fair this year, but were very happy to catch up with the glamorous Lucia and Francesca from Franco Cosimo Panini. You may remember Panini as producers of stickers and books to put them in for children, however Lucia's father was an enthusiastic antiquarian book collector and that led him into publishing renaissance masterpieces. Click on their name to see the fabulous books on their website.
Also at the show was Armin Sinnwell of Faksimile Verlag. Armin always has something stunning on display and this year he excelled himself with the Codex Aureus, which he is proudly showing off in the photo. It is a breathtaking work and limited to just 333 copies.
12 April 2013
Its that time of year again as the London Book Fair starts on Monday. We will be there - stand R801 - do please come and see us. We'll also be having a good look around for limited editions and facsimiles, although it looks as if there are less specialist publishers than last year.
This year we are also visiting Book Expo America, in New York in late May where we will be checking out what's happening stateside.
Then we'll be back for the London Antiquarian Book Fair on June 13th , 14th and 15th. In a new innovation LIVE at the Antiquarian Book Fair will be featuring binding, calligraphy, and letter press work. Look out for our seminar, Everything You Wanted to Know About Books But Were Afraid to Ask.
June will see us at the International Medieval Conference in Leeds and then we'll be at the Oxford Fine Press Fair in Oxford in November. It only happens every other year and is undoubtedly the finest fine press and art book show in Europe, not to be missed.
In between we'll be bringing you sneak previews of up and coming editions and looking at some of the finest binding in the country. If you love books - keep an eye on us.
7 February 2013
I NEVER MET A BOOK...
I no sooner see a book: I need it!
[Even though I'll never read it],
Books in any binding, any font;
Though it’s always my ambition
To acquire a first edition —
I never met a book I didn’t want!
Of my rivals in the chase: (God bless ’em!)
How I long to dispossess ’em —
Dreams of bookish burgling haunt my sleep,
Though the smell of vellum lingers
On a dreaming felon’s fingers —
I never dreamt a book I didn’t keep!
‘Would you care to borrow this?’: I have it!
(Swear me out an affidavit!)
Flattery finds fools who never learn;
Those who loan ’em — losers weepers!
I disown ’em! Finders keepers! —
I never took a book I could return!
By kind permission of Felix Dennis