John Henry Nash, Printer; Legend and Fact in the Development of a Fine Press, Intimately Reviewed

Oakland: The Westgate Press [printed by Alfred and Lawton Kennedy], 1948. First and Limited Edition. Hardcover. No. 180 of 235 copies, octavo size, 79 pp., inscribed by Joseph FauntLeRoy to Fritzie Buchignani. Very good +. Item #20020906

Inscribed "To Fritzie" thus: "To Fritzie / In nostalgic remembrance / of trials and tribulations, / sunshine and flowers. / The Author and Printer, / Joseph FauntLeRoy / August 17, 1949." This can only have been (Mrs.) Fritzie Buchignani, a compositor who "entered Mr. Nash's employ as an apprentice in 1923 and remained with the firm nine years" (this work, p. 12).

John Henry Nash (1871-1947) was one of the pre-eminent printers in the early part of the 20th century, printing high-quality editions at his printshop in San Francisco. He quickly gained a reputation for exceptional precision and attention to detail from his earliest years as a printer, when he was in complete charge of design and production for Paul Elder under the Tomoye Press imprint, and later formed a part of the firm Taylor, Nash and Taylor. He opened his own establishment in 1916 which he operated successfully until the early 30s, when, as a result of the changing economy following the Great Depression, continuing was no longer possible.

This work provides a fascinating glimpse into the life of the man himself as well as his operation. Written by Joseph Fauntleroy who worked for Nash first as a compositor and subsequently as supervisor, his acquaintance with Nash over the span of many years gave him a unique view into both the person and work of John Henry Nash.

___DESCRIPTION: Quarter tan linen spine with paper covered boards, paper spine label with black lettering, fore- and bottom edges uncut, presentation inscription by FauntLeRoy to Fritzie as set forth above on the front pastedown, frontis a tipped-in reproduction of a photograph of Nash by Will Connell, marginal chapter/book titles in red throughout, tipped-in reproduction of a photograph of FauntLeRoy by Lenhardt follows the introduction, first page of text with a lovely eight-line initial capital in blue and gold, Errata slip bound in at the colophon; octavo size (9" by 6 3/8"), pagination: [i-iii] iv-viii, [1] 2-71.

___CONDITION: Better than very good, with clean boards, straight corners with minimal rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; some marks to the cloth shelfback (may be offsetting from the glue used), spine label sunned and a bit rubbed (text still legible), text block edges toned, and some light offsetting to the endpapers. Overall a better than very good copy of a fascinating look into John Henry Nash by a man who knew him likely about as well as any, with the association inscription to Fritzie Buchignani.

___CITATION: Harlan, "John Henry Nash, The Biography of a Career" p. 37.

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Price: $150.00