KELMSCOTT PRESS – PRINTING IN PUBLIC

Gothic Architecture: A Lecture for the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society.

(Colophon:) London, Kelmscott Press at the New Gallery, sold by William Morris, 1893.

16mo in 8s, pp. [2], 68, [6 (blank)]; printed in black in Golden type with shoulder-notes in red, with 4- to 6-line woodcut initials; an excellent copy in the original holland-backed boards with blue paper sides, title printed in black to upper board.

£1000

Approximately:
US $1376€1181

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A splendid copy of the first edition of Morris’s lecture on Gothic architecture, an experimental project in printing for a public audience at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition.

Gothic Architecture, a lecture given by Morris to the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1889, was used by the Kelmscott Press as a public demonstration – though the type was set at Hammersmith, a press was moved to the New Gallery on Regent’s Street, where the text was printed ‘under the eyes of an interested and constantly renewed crowd’ (Sparling) for the Arts and Crafts Exhibition in October and November 1893. ‘This “moving exhibit” formed one of the salient attractions of the Exhibition’ (ibid.).

The edition was limited to 1500 copies on paper (this copy with a curious paper-maker’s crease in the lower corner of a1) and 45 on vellum. It is the first sextodecimo printed by the Kelmscott Press, and the first use of this attractive set of four-line woodcut initials. The paper copies appear in three states, of which this is the second, with ‘Van Eyck’ misspelled ‘Van Eyk’ on page 45 but ‘guilds’ corrected on page 41.

Peterson A18; Rosenthal 35, William Morris 18; Scott, p. 22; see Sparling, p. 87.

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