Joan the Maid of Orleans (Grabhorn Press for Roy Vernon Sowers, 1938)

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Joan the Maid of Orleans (Grabhorn Press for Roy Vernon Sowers, 1938)

Ago 5, 2023, 5:26 pm

My newest acquisition - Joan the Maid of Orleans: Being that Portion of the Chronicles of St. Denis which Deals with Her Life and Times. From the Chroniques de France printed in Paris in 1493 for Antoine Verard. Translated by Pauline B. Sowers; with full-size reproductions of some 22 woodcuts from the original edition. San Francisco: Grabhorn Press for Roy Vernon Sowers, 1938. 39 x 26 cm (15 x 10 inches for my American friends), 33 pages. Limited edition of 525 copies. Printed in two columns of 46 lines in handset Koch Bible Gothic, which was also used in the Grabhorn Press' Mandeville. Sectional half-title page with a calligraphic initial capital letter in red which is a careful adaptation from an initial actually designed by Antoine Verard. Text in black with headlines, page numbers and marginal notations in red; capitals in red and blue. Quarter linen binding and blue paper over boards.

Saint Louis (1214-1270) commissioned the monks of Saint-Denis to create, in French, the history of the French kings from their mythical origins in Troy to the death of Philip Augustus (1223). The monastery of Saint-Denis and then the court in Paris continued the history. Its final form brought the chronicle down to the death of Charles V in the 1380s. The official history of France between 1122 and 1461, the Grandes Chroniques survives in approximately 130 manuscripts.

This edition consists of an excerpt from the Grandes Chroniques, translated into English, and focusing on Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans. There is also a bibliographical note on the work of publisher Antoine Verard and the beautiful woodcuts.

The 1493 edition of the Chroniques de France is considered the most richly illustrated French book of the fifteenth century and the large woodcuts are among the masterpieces of that era.

Ago 5, 2023, 10:49 pm

A beautiful book.

Ago 6, 2023, 3:38 am

Grabhorn at their best. A beautiful book!

Ago 7, 2023, 10:40 pm

>1 Lukas1990: Outstanding. Thanks for posting.

Ago 7, 2023, 10:58 pm

Love me some Grabhorn :)
Thanks for sharing!

Editado: Dez 2, 2023, 5:23 pm

Grab it!

Edit: gone in a blink of an eye. Good job, someone!

Abr 3, 2:44 pm

>1 Lukas1990: Can anyone identify the paper this book is printed on? The prospectus doesn't mention it, and the book is lacking typical detailed colophon data. The sheets in my copy are watermarked "Leonardo", but that doesn't ring any bells with me as to the manufacturer.

Abr 3, 5:59 pm

>7 kermaier:

From Volume 1 of the Grabhorn Press Bibliography:

"The paper is machine made."

Editado: Abr 3, 6:33 pm

>8 dlphcoracl: Interesting. It's a very thick paper, with a pronounced deckle edge, but I suppose it could be machine made. (Similarly, the Allen Press used a machine made paper from Curtis for one of the stories in their Four Fictions, and it's also thick and textured, albeit without a real deckle edge.) I note that the prospectus/specimen page for Joan the Maid of Orleans is printed on different paper from the actual book; its watermark has an "LT" device and "Made in USA".

Edit: Given the subject matter and the source edition of the illustrations, it feels like they missed an opportunity to use a fine French handmade paper -- though that would've increased the cost substantially, I'd imagine.

Abr 3, 7:14 pm

Abr 3, 8:17 pm

>10 dlphcoracl: Thanks, now I need a copy of the Grabhorn bibliography. ;-)
Anyway, it’s pretty nice paper, despite being machine made. Printing 525 copies on (e.g.) Richard de Bas handmade probably would’ve been prohibitively expensive for Sowers’ purposes and price point.