Ditchling, Sussex: S. Dominic's Press, 1927. Hardcover. Twenty-fourmo size, 44 pp. Near fine. Item #22061404
The Saint Dominic's Press, founded by Harry (Hilary) Douglas Clarke Pepler, flourished at Ditchling, Sussex, from 1916 to 1936. The first home of the Press was "a disused stable", with a hundred-year-old Stanhope hand-press which supposedly had belonged to William Morris. Pepler endeavored to do everything possible by hand, believing that such would both produce the best results and also be a "more individual or 'humane'...product". He therefore "preferred the handpress to the machine, handmade to machine-made paper, and handset founder's type to the products of typesetting machines."
Pepler met Edward Johnston and Eric Gill while living in Hammersmith; Pepler and his family would eventually move to Ditchling to join Gill, who was one of the most important artists to provide illustrations for the St. Dominic's Press. Other artists who provided illustrations included David Jones, Desmond Chute, Philip Hagreen, and Mary Dudley Short, among others.
Being a religious community, it's hardly surprising that many of the books produced by the S. Dominic's Press would be religious in nature, as is this Mass Book. What is surprising is its scarcity; as of this writing, we see no copies online and no auction records (per RBH). Our search of OCLC locates twenty institutional holdings, with neither the book itself nor the bibliography noting the limitation size.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in quarter ivory linen over black paper boards, the title in silver on the front board, title page illustration of the Paschal Lamb, small illustration on p. 11 of Christ carrying the Cross, kissing a woman (we presume the Virgin Mary, it could also be a depiction of S. Veronica); twenty-fourmo size (5 1/8" by 3 7/8"), pagination: [i-iv] 1-40.
___CONDITION: Near fine, with clean boards, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; the top corners very gently bumped but not rubbed, the bottom corners straight with minimal rubbing, light sunning to the spine, and light offsetting to the free endpapers (likely from the glue used on the pastedown endpapers).
___CITATION: Taylor & Sewell no. A146, which states that the title-page engraving is unidentified; there is another small illustration on p. 11 which we presume to be also unidentified.
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