Ditchling Sussex: S. Dominic's Press, 1924. Fourth Edition. Wraps. Duodecimo size, 100 pp. Very good +. Item #CNBR435
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.
This work was originally published in 1916 under the title "A Book on Vegetable Dyes", being the first published book of the fledgling Press. The author, Ethel Mary Mairet (née Partridge, 1872-1952) worked in the arts of both weaving and dyeing; she was highly influential to a generation of weavers and was called by Japanese potter Shoji Hamada "the mother of English hand-weaving" (n.b., quote from Wiki). She learned about vegetable dyes both by studying the art at Oxford's Bodleian Library, as well as, most likely, from her father who worked as a chemist. After working with Hilary Pepler on the first edition of this work (1916), she moved to Ditchling to be in closer contact with him and the others who were gathering together in Ditchling. This fourth edition of "Vegatable Dyes" with Eric Gill's press device (P145) on the title page.
___DESCRIPTION: Stiff brown wrappers, the front wrap with lettering in black and the woodcut of a sunflower in black, the spine and back wrap both plain, fore- and bottom edges uncut, title page with Gill's press device (P145), with an eight-page Index at the back; duodecimo size (6 3/4" by 4 3/8"), pagination: [i-iv] 1-96.
___CONDITION: A bit better than very good, the wraps clean but with some overall wear, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and free of prior owner marking; some wear to the spine including slight loss of the paper at the head and tail, the aforementioned light wear to the wraps, and some toning to the uncut edges.
___CITATION: Taylor & Sewell, no. A1c.
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