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The Private Presses

Franklin, Colin

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ISBN 10: 0289796202 / ISBN 13: 9780289796207
Published by Dufour Editions, Inc., Chester Springs, PA, 1969
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Dale A. Sorenson (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Colin Franklin. The Private Presses. (Chester Springs, PA): Dufour Editions, Inc., (1969). First American Edition. 8vo. 246 pages including Index. 16 pages of illustrations on glossy paper. Yellow-gold cloth. Book in near fine condition, no owner's name. Dustjacket price clipped, slightly worn, short tear in fold. First full account of the English Private Press Movement. Includes bibliographical descriptions for these presses: Daniel, Kelmscott, Ashendene, Essex, Vale, Eragny, Caradoc, Doves, Gregynog, Golden Cockerel, and Shakespeare Head.; B&W Illustrations; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 246 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 660

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Private Presses

Publisher: Dufour Editions, Inc., Chester Springs, PA

Publication Date: 1969

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: First US Edition.

About this title


The term 'private press' is often used to refer to a movement in book production which flourished at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries under the influence of the scholar-artisans William Morris, Sir Emery Walker and their followers. The movement is often considered to have begun with the founding of Morris' Kelmscott Press in 1890, following a lecture on printing given by Walker at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in November 1888. Those involved in the movement created books by traditional printing and binding methods, with an emphasis on the book as a work of art and manual skill, as well as a medium for the transmission of information. Morris was greatly influenced by medieval printed books and the 'Kelmscott style' had a great, and not always positive, influence on later private presses and commercial book-design. The movement was an offshoot of the Arts and Crafts movement, and represented a rejection of the cheap mechanised book-production methods which developed in the Victorian era. The books were made with high-quality materials (handmade paper, traditional inks and, in some cases, specially designed typefaces), and were often bound by hand. Careful consideration was given to format, page design, type, illustration and binding, in order to produce a unified whole. The movement dwindled during the worldwide depression of the 1930s, as the market for luxury goods evaporated. Since the 1950s, there has been a resurgence of interest, especially among artists, in the experimental use of letterpress printing, paper-making and hand-bookbinding in producing small editions of 'artists' books', and among amateur (and a few professional) enthusiasts for traditional printing methods and for the production 'values' of the private press movement.

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