[Risbury, Herefordshire]: The Whittington Press, 2018. First and Limited Edition. Leather bound. No. 38 of 40 copies of the "A" edition with accompaniments (see below); folio size, 100 pp., with two prospectuses, one marked "proof", in a leather-backed solander case. Fine. Item #CNRRM01
In his typical fashion, John Randle has done a masterful job presenting insights into the life of Vance Gerry with this extensive bibliography of his printed work. Vance Gerry (1929-2005) was one of California’s least known and most accomplished printers, who operated his Weather Bird Press from 1967 to 2005. John Randle, publisher of “Matrix” and accomplished printer in his own right, gives Vance high praise: "Until his death in 2005 he produced a steady stream of the most understated, beautifully printed and ravishingly illustrated books from any private press, ever."
Vance studied art at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and learned the art of storytelling at Walt Disney Productions where he was employed as a storyboard artist. Vance combines this training with his immense passion and personal talent for art in his printing with amazing results. Most of his printing was produced in small editions and is notoriously difficult to find in today’s market. Vance shunned the spotlight and never sought to promote his work yet the beauty of his books and printing deserves lasting recognition; John Randle has done a wonderful job documenting Vance’s many accomplishments and ensuring his legacy in the history of fine printing will not be forgotten.
Three different versions of this bibliography were published, this copy one of 40 of the "A" edition, bound in full Oasis by the Fine Book Bindery; it has a tipped-in colour frontispiece portrait after a watercolor of Mary, Vance's wife, plus thirty other illustrations from various sources including line drawings, linocuts, wood engravings, and twelve pages of twenty-six colour reproductions of Vance's pochoir illustrations. The items which accompany the book are comprised of: (i) a portfolio of ephemera found in Vance's workshop after his death; (ii) a facsimile of one of his best (and most sought after) publications, "Jazz"; and (iii) a portfolio of facsimilies of correspondence of Vance's; see below for details.
This deluxe version already out of print, all copies being subscribed for prior to publication, and is absolutely stunning in its presentation.
___DESCRIPTION: Bibliography is bound in full coral-coloured Oasis leather by the Fine Book Bindery with gilt lettering on the spine, fore- and bottom edges rough-cut, ivory suede pastedowns, orange-and-white patterned free endpapers, the frontis and additional illustrations as set forth above, with two pieces of ephemera contained within a pocket at the rear pastedown (facsimiles of a hand-written note by Vance Gerry dated Jan 11/92, complete with facsimile coffee stains; and "Endpaper of Twenty-five Years of the Weather Bird Press (1993) signed by Vance & Mary Gerry and their guests..."); types Poliphilus and Ariston printed on Zerkall mould-made paper, folio size (13.5" by 9 5/8"), pagination: [i-x] 1-90, no. 38 of the 40 deluxe "A" edition copies (total edition 235). Included with the bibliography are:
(i) a wallet containing the twenty-five items (n.b., the proof prospectus anticipated twenty-one items, the final prospectus twenty-two, and the list mounted to the front of the wallet calls for twenty-four) of Weather Bird ephemera found in Vance's workshop after his death, the wallet of quarter coral-coloured cloth, with orange-patterned paper sides matching the free endpapers, a list of included ephemera mounted on the left, and the ephemera pieces themselves contained within a pocket on the right;
(ii) a facsimile edition of "Jazz Instruments, A Weather Bird Press Picture Portfolio" comprised of twelve bifoliums, the first serving as the title page and introduction, the final providing a "Glossary of Names" and the colophon, the other ten presenting Vance's inimitable illustrations of various jazz instruments being played in at times whimsical ways, the bifoliums contained within a cardstock folder with three flaps, which has a brown hand-made paper wrapper with the title in orange on the front, which itself is contained within an orange paper wallet with a paper label on the front mirroring the wrapper; and
(iii) a portfolio of fifteen facsimiles of Vance's letters and a sixteenth item being a small facsimile of the invitation to the "gathering of friends to celebrate the life of Vance Gerry (1929-2005)", these items contained within an orange cardstock wallet with a paper label mounted on the front showing a facsimile of the Whittington Press's address written in Vance Gerry's hand, on the letterhead of The Weather Bird Press.
In addition two prospectuses are included: one clearly the final version, with the illustration mounted on the front and, on the back, the paragraph containing the specifics on the "A" edition being crossed out in pencil and marked "OP"; the second with the illustration printed, and written on the upper right-hand corner the word "proof", both consist of a single sheet folded once to four pages, the illustration from "Piano" within "Jazz" on the front, page two with information about Vance and The Weather Bird Press, page three a sample page, and page four with publication details.
All housed in a custom solander box covered in orange cloth, a leather back with gilt lettering, and lined with orange velvet.
___CONDITION: Fine, acquired new from the publisher; the bibliography and the components clean and free of any wear or flaws; the sole condition issue being a few of the pieces of ephemera having some minor edgewear which was likely incurred during storage in Vance Gerry's workshop.
___POSTAGE: Please note that this is an extremely large and heavy item and additional postage will apply; we are happy to ship at cost to both domestic and international customers, please inquire for details.
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