Some books about actual art in bookbinding


Lithographic Prints from Stone and Plate by Manly Banister, 1974.

Paperback, good condition. For the rank beginner at lithography, telling you everything you need to know except for where to get the darn litho stones. I’ve been looking for years for a larger stone. Lots and lots of detail and photographs showing every step including how to flatten a stone, how to build the wood stand, arrange the print shop, I mean everything. I don’t dare read any further or I’ll be tempted to take up the art, and we’ve already established that I don’t have the stones for it.

The Encyclopedia of Lithography by Miles, 1938. Brown cloth hardcover with an owner’s name inscribed in pencil inside. Otherwise clean and tight. A most encyclopedic work and perhaps you will be entertained by some excerpts. I am. “No other graphic industry for instance has presses that will use completely planographic plates, that use water fountains, that use an offsetting cylinder or that use a stone as the reproducing medium. Neither do other graphic processes use a colloidal phenomena to achieve their printing plates.” Well, duh. Long reprint of a technical paper The Theory of Three Color Reproduction with way more graphs, charts and equations than you the artist probably want, and all in glorious black and white. What’s wrong with this picture? Redeems itself with wonderful entry under Letter Construction which includes ” … The H goes to the uttermost extremes a letter can occupy in space, and every letter with which it is associated with must conform to it in size or the area it occupies in order to get uniformity of quantity. Even the W and the M have to be whipped into line if the Orthodox idea of excellence is the criteria, though both of these letters are much wider than the H.” Such stern threats against poor W and M. Is this why they have to stand on the doors of public toilets everywhere? are they being punished for some sort of insubordinate width?

A Collection of Interesting And Historic Prints, 1909, State Street Trust Company. Being a single section paper covered book of …. Here, let them explain it: “The State Street Trust Company takes this means of presenting to you its compliments. It hopes this booklet of historic prints will be of interest to you. All of the reproductions are taken from copies or originals in the possession of this company, which are to be seen at its main office, 38 State Street. Many of them to depict some interesting phase of Boston’s history. Please consider this booklet also as an invitation for you to inspect the prints from which these reproductions have been made.” I think they are just trying to get you into the bank so they can talk you into opening a Christmas club account. If you go, check and see if all the pictures are still there. I bet some of them have been smuggled home over the years along with other office supplies.  It is a nice collection of historical prints.  I’m particularly fond of one described thusly:  celebration incident to the introduction of Cochituate water into Boston in 1848, and first exhibition play of the fountain in the frog pond on the Common. In left foreground, with a dog behind him, is Daniel Webster.” It’s quite the gathering of the masses. I didn’t see any port-o-lets in the etching … Perhaps some advantages accrue to wearers of hoop skirts, after all. 

Prints And Books, Ivins, 1926. Cloth spine over paper hardcover, Newberry Library bookplate in front, not stamped discarded so there may be some overdue fines. A little dirty, front joint is contemplating  loosening up, but good condition. May I quote? “The following …papers were written because the writer, in the course of his work, became so enthusiastic about certain things that he wanted other people to be interested in them, too.” Written for the regular non scientific reader who would like to learn about prints and books and maybe look at some nice illustrations. Utterly fascinating, srsly.

The Illustration of Books, by David Bland, 1951. Pretty yellow cloth hardcover with dust jacket. A history of book illustrations with black and white and color images, discussion of processes and techniques. I just read the section on William Morris, and I can only sigh with delight. A wonderful book.

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