THE BOOK CLUB OF CALIFORNIA
A TALE OF COLOPHONS
‘Iwo Important William Morris Exhibits
On the Encouragement of Cataloging
Gifts and Acquisitions
Elected to Membership
Volume Lv11, Number 2, Spring 1992
Published for its members by
The Book Club of California
312 Sutter Street, Suite 510
San Francisco, California 94108-4320
Founded in 1912, The Book Club of California is a non-profit organization of book
lovers and collectors who have a special interest in Pacific Coast history, literature,
and fine printing. Its chief aims are to further the interests of book collectors and to
promote an understanding and appreciation of fine books.
The Club is limited to 1,000 members. When vacancies exist membership is open to
all who are in sympathy with its aims and whose applications are approved by the
Board of Directors. Regular membership involves no responsibilities beyond payment
of the annual dues. Dues date from the month of the member’s election. Regular
membership is $55; Sustaining $75; Patron $150.
Members receive the Quarterly News-Letter and all parts of the current Keepsake
series. They have the privilege, but not the obligation, of buying the Club publications,
which are limited, as a rule, to one copy per member.
OFFICERS & DIRECTORS
Harry Goff, President Paul E. Birkel, Vice-President
John Crichton, Secretary John W. Borden, Treasurer
Oscar Lewis, Honorary Director
Michelle Kallai, Executive Secretary
James G. Nance, Membership Secretary
Directors whose terms expire in 1992:
Harlan Kessel JenniferS. Larson Karl Vollmayer
Ann Whipple Harold A. Wollenberg
Directors whose terms expire in 1993:
John FE Class Jerry C.Cole John Crichton
Alfred Newman Hugh Tolford
Directors whose terms expire in 1994:
Paul Birkel Ethel Crockett Harry Goff
Joanne Sonnichsen David C. Weber
Finance: John W. Borden House: Ethel Crockett, Madeleine Rose
Exhibits: Jack Maclean Library: Albert Sperisen
Membership: John F. Class, Harold Wollenberg
Personnel: Paul E. Birkel
Planning: John W. Borden Publications: Gary Kurutz
Public Programs: George K. Fox, Hugh Tolford
Keepsakes 1991: William RP Wreden Keepsakes 1992: Joanne Sonnichsen
Harlan Kessel, Editor-in-Chief
John FE Class Oscar Lewis Alfred Newman Michael Ryan
Albert Sperisen Ann Whipple
Members may purchase extra copies of Keepsakes or News-Letters, when available.
Membership dues and contributions (including books and documents) are deductible
in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code. Copyright 1992 by The Book Club
of California, 312 Sutter Street, Suite 510, San Francisco, California 94108-4320.
Hours: Monday 10-7, Tuesday through Friday 10-5. Telephone (415) 781-7532 or
toll-free (800) 869-7656.
Designed by Bruce N. Washbish and printed at the Anchor & Acorn Press, Petaluma.
Letterpress cylinder presswork by James Wehlage and finished by BRM Bindery,
Rohnert Park, California. Types used are Linotype and Monotype Janson.
A Tale of Colophons
BRUCE TAYLOR HAMILTON
‘THE OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY has been publishing since
its founding in 1898, and since 1900 has issued (without interrup-
tion—never missing a number) the Oregon Historical Quarterly.
That journal is in its ninety-second year, with 364 issues pro-
duced, a collective Oregon Country memory of over 41,000
Over the years, the Society has produced occasional books, most
actively in the mid-1950s, with the advent of the leadership of
‘Thomas Vaughan, a bookman with a background of New York
editorial experience. Some of the first books produced under
Vaughan’s leadership were printed by Lawton Kennedy. (They
were laid out by Kennedy, who once told this author about his
abhorrence of book designers: “Printers should do the layout and
composition;’ he said to me, two months before I went off to my
new job at the Oregon Historical Society to produce and “‘de-
From the beginning of my tenure as the director of the publi-
cation program at the Oregon Historical Society, and as the
program has grown in size and reputation, it was insisted that
each publication contain a colophon. There were four reasons
A colophon in a publication is in the tradition of fine printing,
a tradition that was instilled in me by my work at the University
of California’s Rare Book Room and through associations with
fine printers of the San Francisco Bay Area. All of us at the OHS
a2 THE BOOK CLUB OF CALIFORNIA
Press have made every effort to produce our books within that
tradition while also working within the constraints of non-profit
Colophons provide needed information for those who wish to
know how we have put a book together—without intruding on
those other readers who might not care or those who, quite by
accident, stumble on the text printed on the last leaf of our books.
We note typefaces (and who set them), paper (and the company
from which we purchased it), printing information, and binding
data. We also include, where relevant, names of illustrators, car-
tographers, color separators—any persons or firms integral to our
The facts noted above lead to the third reason for the presence
of a colophon. Years after a book is done, we can turn to that in-
formation to help us remember how we put that particular volume
together. This has often proved helpful in conjuring up a new
book’s look and layout.
There is a fourth, and more personal, reason for including a
colophon. Colophons are this writer’s bailiwick, and at times they
have been more than a listing of production factors. As the Press’s
staff and output have grown, the colophon has been the one place
where I am able to make a personal and direct mark on each book.
There is always some point, near the end of production—when
we have all the information about how the book was ‘‘made”—
when a note appears on my desk, either from the Press’s superb
designer, George Thomson Resch, or the masterful production
manager, Susan Applegate, which says, “Colophon?”
Most often the text of these brief essays is direct and to the
point, with a short account of the history of the typeface (s) used.
There are times in these essays, however, when typographic puns
or a careful “remove” from an unfortunate typeface have
In 1980 the Press issued Wheels of Fortune by Francis Seufert.
This book about the salmon fishing and processing industries cen-
QUARTERLY NEWS-LETTER 33
tered upon Mr. Seufert’s family canning business in The Dalles,
Oregon. The book’s title derives from the numerous waterwheel-
like fishing contraptions used along the Columbia River for years
—until they were banned. In a publication about fish, we felt
compelled to use, as the display face, a sans serif designed by Eric
Gill. That fact was mentioned without allusion in the colophon.
Those who get it, get it; those who do not, it matters not.
In an effort (not unusual among publishers) to expand the
Press’s list of titles, we have picked up a number of worthy out-
of-print works from other publishers. Often we have been able
to republish the book as originally designed, either by photo-
mechanically reproducing the original pages, or by using the film
flats, if they are fortunately available, for plate-making. The
saving in production costs (with minimal added typesetting) is
the economical trade-off for sticking with the typeface of the
In two cases this has meant issuing works typeset in one of the
more unfortunate—but exceedingly popular—typefaces available,
Souvenir. In both these cases we felt required to note the type-
face, but to assure those who respect our production levels that it
was not our choosing. “Souvenir, a typeface common to many
books issued over the past two decades, was used for both the text
and display typography in the original edition,’ was a way used
in the colophons to step around this issue.
Several recent Press publications indicate the enthusiasm with
which this writer approaches the task of producing a colophon
that matches the volume for which it is written. (In the three ex-
amples below, the references to the physical makeup of the book
have been dropped.)
Take, for example, a 1990 text placed at the back of the OHS
Press revised edition of Ranald MacDonald: The Narrative of His
Life, 1824-1894. This book tells the remarkable story of the man,
born in the Oregon Country, the son of a Chinook Indian prin-
cess and a Hudson’s Bay Company man, who later became the
34 THE BOOK CLUB OF CALIFORNIA
first native speaker of English to teach that language in Japan. In
1848, MacDonald, with purpose and resolve, cast himself onto
the Japanese shore from an American whaling ship, entering a
Japan closed to foreigners. Little-known in the United States,
MacDonald holds a continuing modest fame today in Japan. The
books, photo-mechanically reproduced from two unbound origi-
nals, proved to have a typeface we could not chase down:
First published by the Eastern Washington State Historical
Society in 1923 in a limited edition of one thousand num-
bered copies, Ranald MacDonald’s Narrative has long been
out of print. As time passed, and interest grew about Mac-
Donald’s significance, it was evident that this book must be
re-published. The Oregon Historical Society Press/North
Pacific Studies Series 1990 photographic facsimile edition,
with its added elements, is a tangible contribution to the
growing scholarship on MacDonald and is another example
of the Oregon Historical Society’s commitment to publish-
ing works about the North Pacific region, and restoring to
their proper place those persons who have had great influ-
ence on our region and on the Pacific Rim.
It is conjectured that the typeface used in the original
edition was Metis Demi-Bold (not bastarda), a face that
could have been popular with itinerant Linotype operators
who may have plied their skills throughout the Inland Em-
pire [eastern Washington] during the 1920s. However, all
efforts by persons expert in the history of typography have
been unable to confirm any of this.
The typeface used for elements added to the 1990 edition
(e.g., copyright page, the foreword, afterword, and colo-
phon) is a photocomposition version of Plantin and “Old
Style” or “Geralde” faces based indirectly on the genera-
tion of typography used by Christophe Plantin. Plantin was
a renowned sixteenth-century Antwerp printer/publisher
(the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, Belgium, pre-
serves his print shop as one of the finest “black art” exhibits
QUARTERLY NEWS-LETTER 35
in the world). The first modern adaptation of this genera-
tion of faces was designed for the Monotype Corporation
by EH. Pierpont in 1913. It was chosen for this edition by
the Oregon Historical Society Press’s book designer because
of some similarities to the conjectural face outlined above.
The Ranald MacDonald book was issued as the sixteenth vol-
ume in an ongoing set of publications entitled the North Pacific
Studies Series—studies about various countries involved in the
exploration of the lands surrounding the North Pacific basin.
The twelfth volume in the popular series is the Press’s edition of
the long-out-of-print wonder of North Pacific scholarship and
and book design, Frederic W. Howay’s Voyages of the Columbia.
‘This edition has a more pleasing typographic association, and the
colophon speaks directly to that fact:
The original 1941 edition of Voyages of the Columbia was
printed for the Massachusetts Historical Society by the
Merrymount Press, one of a handful of American commer-
cial printers noted for producing books equal in quality to
any issued by limited-edition fine printers. Founded by
Daniel Berkeley Updike in 1893, Merrymount produced
books of excellence until Updike’s death in 1941, the year
Voyages was first published. ‘The Oregon Historical Society
Press is honored to have this extended association with a
man characterized by printing historian Warren Chappell
as “one of America’s most distinguished and able printers,”
who operated “his press... with impeccable standards.’
This Oregon Historical Society Press edition was photo-
graphically reproduced from a carefully unbound copy of
the 1941 original set in Caslon text and Janson titling. The
required additional material written for this edition was
typeset in photocomposition versions of Janson and Caslon,
which by design vary from the hot-type letterpress faces
used by Updike.
36 THE BOOK CLUB OF CALIFORNIA
Finally, in late 1991, we issued The Shogun’s Reluctant Am-
bassadors: Japanese Sea Drifters in the North Pacific, written by
Katherine Plummer. It is a study of numerous unfortunate sailors
and fishermen whose fates were determined by the strong winds
and currents of the North Pacific after they were cast adrift:
When producing a book, the normal course of events can
be as routine as a safe sea passage. This does not preclude the
fact that each book and each voyage have explicit and
unique occurrences and memories. In a book that details the
often harrowing experiences of Japanese sailors cast adrift
by cruel accident, we are reminded that the publishing
journey could be such an experience. Without the aid of the
vast background of book-making and type-design tradi-
tion (as sailors were trained in the lore and practice of their
traditions) and by a number of professionals (our experi-
enced shipmates), this journey would be just that much
more perilous. These printing traditions and persons help
bring the precious cargo—the author’s work—to you, the
Over the years, the colophon at our press has grown from a
strictly utilitarian feature found in each book to something that
reflects the nature of the content of each publication and our
special association with that particular project.
QUARTERLY NEWS-LETTER 37
LTwo Important William Morris Exhibits
ADELA SPINDLER ROATCAP
MATERIALS FROM MEMBERS Helen and Sanford Berger’s Wil-
liam Morris collection made up two exhibitions celebrating the
one-hundredth anniversary of the Kelmscott Press. From No-
vember 1, 1991, through January 5, 1992, the Department of
Special Collections, Cecil H. Green Library of Stanford Univer-
sity, mounted an exhibition, /m Self-Respect and Decent Com-
fort, featuring books and manuscripts relating to the Kelmscott
Press’s first book: The Story of the Glittering Plain. From No-
vember 25, 1991, to January 6, 1992, at [he Book Club, a second
exhibition, William Morris: The Unpublished Works, document-
ed the fact that Morris had been in the process of developing a
radically different typographic design program at the time of his
death—October 3, 1896. Five unfinished projects made up The
Book Club’s exhibit: Froissart, Sigurd the Volsung, Macbeth,
Cupid and Psyche, and St. Jerome’s Vitas Patrum.
The Froissart was to be a double-column folio of similar pro-
portions to Morris’s Chaucer: “...no book that I could do would
give me half the pleasure I am getting from the Froissart, Morris
said in 1895. “J am simply revelling in it... printing it in my
Chaucer type?’ The borders on the one extant double-spread,
printed on luminous vellum, incorporate coats of arms, vigorous
and spiky in appearance, and an initial letter connected to one of
the borders. The initials for Sigurd the Volsung, like those of the
Froissart, have tails which extend down into the margins. Sigurd
was to be a folio adorned by about twenty-five plates by Edward
38 THE BOOK CLUB OF CALIFORNIA
Morris making a wood block for The Earthly Paradise.
Sketched by E. Burne-Jones
Froma copy inthe British Museum Manuscript Collection.
Burne-Jones. It was finally published in 1898 but in a smaller
format—Burne-Jones’s last work for the Kelmscott Press. His
sketchbook, a true art treasure, was open to an illustration for
Morris’s Cupid and Psyche, later published by ‘The Rampant
Lion Press. An ethereal silver-point by Burne-Jones demonstrat-
ed the delicacy of touch of this Pre-Raphaelite master.
A rare trial page for Macbeth—two columns of Morris’s Golden
type in black ink and six line-ornament initials, stage directions
and speaker’s name in red ink—is all that remains of Morris’s
erand plan to publish the plays of William Shakespeare.
St. Jerome’s Vitas Patrum, whose English translation was
finished by William Caxton on the day of his death, was repre-
sented by a rare mounted leaf and folded prospectus.
‘A book has a tendency to be a beautiful thing,’ said William
Morris. A collection can also be a beautiful thing—not just an
assemblage of elements but a veritable work of art. Exhibit chair-
man Jack Maclean, as well as this writer, were treated to an
QUARTERLY NEWS-LETTER 39
unforgettable day at “Kelmscott Carmel?’ poring over a few of
the more than 3,000 books, drawings—among which are over
seven-hundred sketches for stained glass windows—tiles, glass,
textiles, paintings, and countless other artifacts in the Bergers’
On Friday, December 27, 1991, from five to seven in the eve-
ning, the William Morris Society sponsored a reception at The
Book Club in honor of Helen and Sanford Berger, not just for the
depth and breadth of their ourstanding collection, but also for
the generous manner in which they have shared it with scholars
Speakers were Dr. Norman Kelvin, Professor of English at
New York State University, whose five volumes of William
Morris’s Letters are nearing completion, Dr. Peter Stansky, Pro-
fessor of History at Stanford University, and Mark Samuels
Lasner, President of the American Branch of the William Mor-
ris Society. Mr. Lasner presented the Bergers with a drawing by
Sanford Berger described his aim to achieve “Private Book
Collecting, a Public Benefit?’ after the inscription placed by Fa-
ther William Monihan of the University of San Francisco on the
Sir Thomas More Medal. The festivities closed with Sanford
Berger’s presentation to The Book Club of a copy of William
Peterson’s The Kelmscott Press: A History of William Morris’s
Typographical Adventure, University of California Press, 1991.
40 THE BOOK CLUB OF CALIFORNIA
On the Encouragement of Cataloging
YOU ARE A private collector with a “modest” library and you
know all about the material which you have acquired over the
years, or, perhaps, you don’t. My experience as a librarian and
cataloger suggests you will have a better understanding of your
collection if you havea documented listing of the contents of your
library be it books, pamphlets, art, or whatever you collect.
If you wish to insure your collection, it is vital to have a docu-
mentary list with appraised values. This will prove to your in-
surance company that the materials you owned are not ten-cents-
on-the-dollar items, which they are likely to assume.
The catalog can be as sophisticated as the standard library card,
or it can be a simple typed list, or a computer disk as well as a
print-out for easy storage. These cards, lists or disks are to be
stored in your safe deposit box or other off-site location. An ap-
praisal should be obtained at the same time from a reputable deal-
er, or other person in the field, with a value for each item.
For works of art, take color photographs, and from several
angles if statuary or similar items. Books, however, do not lend
themselves to this treatment, but you can photograph the book-
cases or other storage methods to support your claim.
With books, pamphlets and other documents, it is recommend-
ed you or someone else should type the entries manually or into a
computer. There are a number of cataloging programs for com-
uters. No matter which method you use, the listing should
include the author, title, and imprint, ie., place of printing, pub-
QUARTERLY NEWS-LETTER 41
lisher and date of publication. Note the number of pages or, if
unpaginated, the number of leaves in the item as well as the il-
lustrations, maps, plates, tables, etc. and, if so inclined, the height
of the spine in centimeters. Also make note of anomalies such as
canceled pages, missing plates, previous owners’ bookplates and
signatures, and similar. This is an example:
Sawkins, James Gay
A Pictorial Tour of Hawaii, 1850-1852, Watercolors,
Paintings and Drawings./by James Gay Sawkins. With an
account of his Life and Travels by David W. Forbes. Fore-
word by Richard H. Dillon. San Francisco: The Book Club
of California, 1991.
125p.; Ill.; Map.; 24 x 31 cm. (Publication No. 197)
One of 400 copies printed.
If you are ambitious, or have an extensive collection of an
author, you can collate all of the books looking for errors in
pagination and binding; then obtain an appraisal for replacement
value and insure the books for the amount stated. Do not forget
to have the appraisal updated every so often as well as noting title
additions and deletions.
If there is a good bibliography for your collecting field, collate
your books against the listing, noting variances such as canceled
pages, missing plates, different binding colors, etc. Such catalog-
ing can be beneficial in case of theft, as it may prove ownership
of a particular item unless it is mutilated by the thief. This is most
important in the case of binding errors such as transposition of
plates, or additional plates not listed, as such irregularities are not
likely to occur in more than one copy.
Cataloging your collection will give you insight into the sub-
ject of your interest and how possibly to improve it. A collection
of dictionaries is important not because of the individual items in
cle, THE BOOK CLUB OF CALIFORNIA
it, but because of the quantity and depth of the collection. Most
copies of texts have little variance between them. However, there
are a few texts such as Moxon’s Mechanical Exercises or Thomas
Coryat’s Crudities of 1611 in which every copy is different;
therefore, describing your copy is vital. In the instance of Me-
chanical Exercises, facsimile text has been published and you can
collate against it.
[hope this article is an encouragement to start cataloging your
libraries and collections today.
Contributors to This Issue
BRUCE TAYLOR HAMILTON returned to his hometown of Portland in
1976 to head the publication program of the Oregon Historical Society
(OHS). He received a Master of Library Science degree from the Uni-
versity of California, Berkeley, in 1975, after working for eight years with
the Bancroft Library’s Mark Twain project. His Library School interests
centered around the history of printing and publishing, spurred by his
association with Bay Area designers, and a long graduate-student stint
working in UC Berkeley’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Collections. As
the head of OHS Press, he and the Press have received numerous design
and production awards.
Book Club member DR. ADELA SPINDLER ROATCAP is an art historian,
writer, and book translator. Her Raymond Duncan: Printer, Expatriate,
Eccentric Artist was The Book Club of California’s Fall 1991 selection.
She lives in San Francisco.
BARBARA LAND is a freelance cataloger and has been a member of The
Book Club of California for more than twenty years. Living in San Fran-
cisco, she is also a member of The Book Club’s Library Committee.
QUARTERLY NEWS-LETTER 43
Gifts and Acquisitions
Paul Forster’s widow has given The Club three important incunable
catalogs—all good reference material. More important for our purposes,
however, are two small folios of Les arts au Moyen Age et Al’ Epoque de
la Renaissance, Librairie de Fermin Didot Fréres, Fils et Cie, Paris, 1871
and 1873. Bigmore and Wyman’s Bibliography of Printing notes that the
first printing was in 1868, but as a period reference work for an illustrator,
this type of material is called “scrap? and condition or a first edition are
not important. To restore these two stout books is too expensive, and it has
been suggested that we disjoin the two volumes and extract the remark-
able chromolithograph illustrations and some extraordinary black and
white engravings—some two dozen plates—and mount these with the
proper descriptive matter to have a portfolio made with a printed label.
This would serve us well—unless a member has a better suggestion.
Our sincere thanks to Mrs. Paul Forster for these gifts.
On time for the due date of this issue of the Quarterly, as always, Toni
Savage, our perennial contributor, has sent us another group of his Phoe-
nix Broadsides, as well as examples of his very private printing. Our
Phoenix Broadsides are now up to number 365!
We have just acquired a fine copy of Stanley Morison’s On Type Faces,
one of 850 copies, of which ours is number 287. (The Fleuron, 1923.)
This is not an easy copy of Morison to find—there is no copy in this re-
viewer’s own Morison collection, now at the University of California at
Santa Cruz—and none had been offered by any dealer for some years.
Suddenly, two pop up—one here in the Bay Area and one in Los Angeles.
Club member and Bookseller Preston C. Beyer of Connecticut has again
sent us an incredible “bouillabaisse” (his word) for a collection of print-
ing oddments from World War I to 1964. These are: (1) A Goudy type
specimen which is not in our collection; (2) The Bare Story, by Mont-
gomery Hare, with drawings by the author and signed by him, and
44 THE BOOK CLUB OF CALIFORNIA
printed by Ronald Gordon at the Oliphant Press, n.d., 300 copies; (3)
The Cartoon Book, dedicated to the Success of the Third Liberty Bond,
by American Artists, published by the Bureau of Publicity, War Loan
Association, Treasury Department, Washington, D.C.; (4) dn American
Note by Charles Dickens, printed at the Sign of the George, n.d.; (5)
Presidents and their Books, by Alfred J. Liebmann, a reprint from “Manu-
scripts,’ Winter, 1955; (6) Friendship’s Offering, by Anne Renier, Lon-
don, Private Library Association, 1964; (7) a copy of Andrew Hoyem’s
announcement on the death of his partner, Robert Grabhorn; and last,
(8) a 16-page booklet, A View of the Manor House at Kelmscott, in Ox-
fordshire, From the Garden Gate, a keepsake for the Pierpont Morgan
Library during the exhibition, “William Morris and the Art of the Book;’
September - November 1976. This item was designed by John Dreyfus
and printed in Morris’s Golden Type at the University Press, Cambridge.
Unfortunately, the cover was obviously printed in America by some “job
printer,’ for it has no relation to the inside. The first printing of this essay
in America was by Will Bradley in 1896; this library version was printed
from the autographed manuscript that belonged to John Crawford, Jr.,
which is now in the Morris collection at the Morgan Library.
All of these interesting—and some amusing—examples of “period”
printing will find a good home in our library. Special thanks to Preston
From member and bookdealer John Windle, The Club has received a
most welcome book, the last book of The Laboratory Press,an Anthology
(unfinished), as composed and printed by students in fine printing, 1935,
under Porter Garnett. This 50-odd page 8vo is bound in marbled boards
and is corrected throughout in ink—typos, wrong fittings, poor spacing,
wrong fonts—all marked in what we believe to be Porter’s hand. This is a
happy addition to our Porter Garnett books: We own his 1917 The
Laboratory Press, the first book of the Press, and our copy has the book-
plate of John Henry Nash. We also own Porter’s Young Girl, by Hilde-
garde Flanner, which was printed when Porter was head of the letterpress
department of H. S. Crocker... and this copy was presented to The
Club by Albert Bender.
Speaking of dropped names, we would be remiss if we did not mention
that in 1963, our own Jack Stauffacher became the instructor at the New
QUARTERLY NEWS-LETTER 45
From member Lee Engdahl we have received a copy of Three Stories by
Raymond Carver, illustrated with wood engravings by Rik Olson, one of
400 copies, of which ours is number 70. This is a well designed and print-
ed book and The Club is happy to include it with our collection of
Again, we have received another outstanding catalogue from Stanford,
this one on the occasion of the zooth Anniversary of the Kelmscott Press.
This announcement-catalogue centers ingeniously on the first illustrated
book of the press and in its various editions of The Story of the Glittering
Plain—and naturally, this exhibition is from the famous Kelmscott collec-
tion of Sanford and Helen Berger, which was on view at the Cecil H.
Green Library from November 5, 1991 through January 5, 1992. This
small 14-page booklet was designed and typeset by Becky Fischbach in
Adobe Garamond type using Quark Express and produced in an edition
of 700 copies. The booklet is reproduced on an off-white paper with end-
sheets in a buff paper used only as a wrap-around and finally in a cover
stock in gray-brown with the Morris border used on the title page of the
first edition of “Glittering Plain” This is a very excitingly conceived and
designed booklet and it completely establishes the need of a good de-
signer to make the mechanics work. It is by far the finest example of
desk-top publishing we have seen—and yet, it may be churlish to register
a small criticism. The choice of Garamond is wrong, since it is of French
origin, whereas Morris’ type for this book was based on Jenson, a Vene-
No printer in the history of printing has had so many books written on
and/or about him—one almost every year! When Morris died shortly
after his great Chaucer there were still many books scheduled and in
progress of printing. Yet here, too, many writers on Morris have found
“errors, some apparently justified but many in constant debate—refusing
in some instances to take the word of Morris’ intimates and of those
closely connected with the press—even Sir Sydney Cockerell, the Secre-
tary to the Kelmscott Press, who supervised the operation of the press
during the 18 months after Morris’ death. ‘To illustrate the differing of
opinions by authorities let’s take this first illustrated book of the press, the
one here used for this Morris show, The Story of the Glittering Plain.
46 THE BOOK CLUB OF CALIFORNIA
Although Walter Crane, the illustrator, was a well-known wood engraver,
this catalogue states that “Crane’s drawings were engraved by his cousins
A & E Leverett” And yet, the copy on vellum in the Lessing J. Rosen-
wald collection in the Library of Congress reads “... the edition shown
(on vellum) Crane engraved his own drawings on wood” (!). And more,
in Philip Henderson’s book on Morris (1967), page 331, he states “...
with twenty-three wood cuts by Crane” (Small wonder why so many
books are published on Morris’ productions.)
Today it would be very difficult for any exhibition of the work of
Morris to be displayed without the great private collection in Carmel of
Sanford and Helen Berger. But in 1967 it was different. That year, Stan-
ford put on the first comprehensive exhibition of the work of Morris on
the Pacific Coast. This was before the Bergers started collecting Morris.
That long forgotten exhibition (not listed in any bibliographical refer-
ences on Morris or on Kelmscott exhibits) was a complete showing of his
work as a designer and printer—as well as writer, poet and Socialist. The
Bergers owned the portfolio given to them by Templeton Crocker con-
taining over 50 unique drawings for borders, type designs, initials, sample
test-pages, some annotated by Morris. In addition to a complete showing
of Morris’ wallpapers and Chintz fabrics courtesy of Sanderson’s and
Liberty in London, all of the Kelmscott books, including the Chaucer,
(an inscribed copy to Burne-Jones from Morris), and two original
stained glass panels by Burne-Jones. The opening address was made by
S. Dale Harris of Stanford on Morris on his writing, poetry and as Social-
ist and Ward Ritchie from Los Angeles who spoke on Morris the Printer
and Designer. Both talks were issued in a small charming catalogue cased
in an original Morris wallpaper.
Former Club president and historian Dr. Albert Shumate has given The
Club his latest book: Captain A. A. Ritchie, California Pioneer, as pub-
lished by the Society of California Pioneers in an edition of 300 copies.
The book was designed and produced by Robert A. Clark of the Arthur
H. Clark Company, Spokane, Washington. Our copy has been auto-
graphed by Dr. Shumate, and it will be shelved with his many books and
with those of member-writers.
And with this gift, Dr. Shumate has also given us an unusual (!) Rox-
Zam item written by another former Club president, R. H. Dillon, and
titled: Perpetual Motion and Emotion. This large soft-covered essay
QUARTERLY NEWS-LETTER ay
credits Bob and Jane Grabhorn for its hand-setting, and, through Bob’s
effort, Valenti Angelo was induced to create a three-color decorative
initial for this work. And, if this isn’t enough for a star-studded produc-
tion, Andrew Hoyem printed this keepsake for the 1966 joint meeting of
the Roxburghe and Zamorano Clubs with Bill Wreden who commissioned
it! This, now brings us to Bill who we, in error, had “retired” in our last
issue of the Quarterly. Bill immediately wrote saying “ I am not retired
... 1 am less active than I used to be, but I am still buying and selling
books at our Palo Alto Shop” Our apologies to Bill and congratulations
for his continued success in the book business.
“Hand Bookbinding Today: An International Competition and Exhibi-
tion in Memory of Leah Wollenberg” opened with a reception and
preview on Sunday afternoon, March 1, 1992. Thirty-nine exceptional
examples of contemporary hand bookbinding will be on exhibition at the
Herbert Hoover Memorial Exhibit Pavilion, Stanford University, from
March 2 to April 30, 1992.
The competition/exhibition is sponsored by the Associates of the Stan-
ford University Libraries in memory of Leah Wollenberg, a member of
the Board of the Associates of the Stanford University Libraries and a
fine hand bookbinder in San Francisco. She was esteemed throughout the
book-arts community not only for her bindings but also for her support
of the book arts and for those who practice them.
Two prizes, in the form of a $2,000 commission to bind a book for the
Stanford collections, have been awarded: to Hélene Jolis of Paris and to
Eleanore Edwards Ramsey of San Francisco.
The Herbert Hoover Memorial Exhibit Pavilion, located just behind
Hoover Tower on the Stanford campus, is open Monday through Friday
from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For further information please contact the
offices of the Associates of the Stanford University Libraries, (415)
723-9426, Mondays through Fridays from 9:30 to 12:30 p.m.
48 THE BOOK CLUB OF CALIFORNIA
Jo Ann Levy has begun to fill a large gap in the record of California’s
most thoroughly researched era in her new book, They Saw the Elephant:
Women in the California Gold Rush (Archon Books, 1990). Some com-
mon misconceptions are herein blasted, and some stereotypes attacked,
but the author is at her best when allowing the participants to speak for
themselves, as they do in excerpts drawn from hundreds of published and
unpublished sources. This is a good pioneering effort in an area which
merits much more attention.
JENNIFER S. LARSON
Raymond Duncan, a literary profile by Adela Spindler Roatcap, which
was scheduled as The Club’s Fall 1991 publication, has been unavoidably
delayed at the printer. As of this writing, it is now expected in June.
This unfortunate delay has not deterred interest in the book as it is ap-
proximately 80% sold before any of the members have seen a copy. This
interest may be attributed to the fact that this book is devoted to the life
and achievements of a famous San Francisco expatriate and brother of
famed Isadora Duncan. During his long life (1874-1966) Duncan became
a self-educated teacher, a self-proclaimed poet and bard, a dancer and
dancing master, actor and playwright. He was the guru of “Actionalism”
years before “hippie” became a household word. Members who have
delayed placing their orders are urged to do so before the book is out
Also delayed is the 1991 Keepsake — California Trade Catalogues —
which is now expected in April. While the Publications Committee
would prefer a timely schedule, the nature of the items, be it the books or
the Keepsakes, precludes rushing things too much if the quality and
uniqueness we strive for are to be accomplished.
On a happier note, the really beautiful Winter book, A Pictorial Tour
of Hawaii 18 50-1852,is even now—as of this writing, the end of February
— being packaged for shipment approximately the middle of March.
QUARTERLY NEWS-LETTER 49
The Publications Committee works closely with the author on the text
and with the printer on the design, but despite having a real “feel” for the
publication there is always the reaction of parenthood when the finished
volume is finally in hand. In the case of the Hawaii book, you would have
been impressed by the satisfied sighs of the members of the Committee.
In all modesty, we think Jack Stauffacher produced a truly beautiful
volume. Interest in the book has been very high as orders to date are
approaching 90% of the edition despite this being the most expensive
($180.00) Book Club book ever. It can be expected to sell out on publi-
cation, so if you have not ordered the book and are interested in doing so,
appropriate action is recommended.
The Keepsake for 1992 will be twelve folders on California book-
binders with illustrations of their works. This series is actively proceeding
under the editorship of Joanne Sonnichsen and is expected to be issued
before the end of the year. It promises to be an interesting series.
The Spring 1992 volume will be a collection of the writing of William
Everson, printer, poet and sometime member of a religious community.
Books printed by Everson now command very high prices in the anti-
quarian market because of their attractiveness as well as content. The
Book Club’s publication will make his writing available to a wider audi-
ence. Peter Koch is compiling the material and will be the designer and
printer of the volume. As things stand now, this book will be out in the
late spring/early summer period.
My Six Years Experience as a Book Agent is the title of the Fall 1992
publication. This book, which was published in San Francisco in 1874, is
quite scarce as it was produced as a paperback. It’s a “good read” of the
story of a lady who was the “bread winner” and earned a living traveling
to the cities and towns of early California selling books. Madeleine Stern,
the well-known book dealer and historian of the antiquarian book trade,
is preparing an introduction. There are numbers of charming illustrations
which will be reproduced. The original edition was printed by the
Women’s Union Book and Job Printing Press and our edition will follow
suit with production done by the distaff side of fine printers. More infor-
mation in the next issue of QN-L.
Club members who are hand bookbinders may not know copies of
most publications are available in sheets at the same price as the bound
copies. Having the book available in sheets was started a number of
50 THE BOOK CLUB OF CALIFORNIA
years ago at the request of hand bookbinders here in the San Francisco
Bay Area. For some reason or other, no announcement of this aspect of
our publishing program was ever made. The local binders, of course, had
access to information on forthcoming publications since they visit The
Club Rooms frequently, but binders in other parts of the country did not
have the same opportunity. Consequently, if you are interested in secur-
ing copies of the books in sheets, please make this known to Michelle
Kallai, Executive Secretary. In turn, you will be advised of forthcoming
publications which would lend themselves to hand bookbinding so you
can decide if you want your copy in sheets. We do have copies in sheets
of some of the past publications, including some titles which are out of
print. If you are interested in a list of these titles, please advise.
A Broadside selected from Canto Lxxxt
14.x 21” on Mohawk Superfine cover. Printed in 5
colors letterpress. Illustrated by Mayona Engdahl.
Set in Baskerville types & printed using a “B’
style Kelly flatbed 2-revolution cylinder press.
Price: $35 plus necessary sales tax [includes
shipping in a tube].
Edition of 500 — 300 for sale.
Call LEE ENGDAHL 415. 776-7261.
Or write 3099 Washington St., No. 19. San Fran-
cisco, California 94115 U.S.A.
QUARTERLY NEWS-LETTER 51
The two classifications above Regular membership at $55 per year are Sustaining
membership at $75 per year and Patron membership at $150 per year.
N ew Patron Member
Robert A. Drescher
New Sustaining Members
Mrs. Eileen Allred
Robert M. Hunt
P Gary Sterling
New Regular Members
Kathy Lynn Barr
FE. Bruce Dodge
George F. Dowley
David L. Durham
Emmett F. Harrington
Michael W. Harvey
Douglas C. Johns
Elton R. Kerr
Margaret J. Kimball
William G. Lorenz
Derek McDonnell &
Dr. Joan T. Seaver
Russell Dean Waters
Martha E. Whittaker
Fred W. Bennett
U. Indiana Library
Andrew G. Jameson
Bruce Taylor Hamilton
Richard Hilkert &
David W. Forbes
James Heaton, III
Doyce B. Nunis, Jr.
Glenn E. Humphreys
The following member has transferred from Regular to Patron membership status
Alfred S. Fischler
The following members have transferred from Regular to Sustaining membership
Diana Margaret Thomas
A Bibliography, 1971-1982
With an Introduction by
Valdine Angelo Plasmati
Reminiscences by his Friends
132-page letterpress book printed by James Wehlage of San
Rafael, and bound by Klaus-Ullrich R6tzscher, San Francisco.
Limited to 100 regular copies (of which 85 are for sale) and 12
specially numbered, de luxe copies, with additional original
work hand-colored and signed by Valenti Angelo.
The 12 de luxe copies are fully subscribed. The price for one of
100 copies is $675.00. Regular copies are available in sheets,
for handbinding, at $600.00.
Publication is planned for March 31, 1992. For a prospectus,
or to place an order, please contact:
James Linden, Publisher
1803 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94115-4310
Telephone (415) 921-8282
Has Moved to Menlo Park!
Please note our new address and telephone number,
1226 Johnson Street
Menlo Park, California 9402 5
Telephone (415) 327-4821 : Fax (415) 327-4921
CATALOGUE TWO is now available: it includes books from 1493
(Angelus de Clavasio) to 1965 (Malcolm X) with many fine
illustrated books, decorative trade bindings, and good literature
and printing. Send for your copy and include your interests and
desiderata. Collections and important single books, prints, paint-
ings, or manuscripts will be bought for cash, or taken in trade or
on consignment. Library duplicates will also be accepted.
54 THE BOOK CLUB OF CALIFORNIA
Copies of the following Book Club of California publications are still available and
members are invited to telephone the Book Club toll-free at (800) 869-7656 or write
to the Book Club at: 312 Sutter Street, Suite #510, San Francisco, CA 94108 to place
Dan De Quille of the Big Bonanza. Tamal Land Press, 1980. $35.00
The Engraved Bookplates of Eric Gill 1908-1940. Designed and printed in England
by Christopher Skelton at his September Press, 1986. $25.00
Frank Norris: Collected Letters. Wesley B. Tanner and Wm. Henry Powers, 1086.
The Log of Apollo. Joseph Perkins Beach’s Journal of the Voyage of the Ship Apollo
from New York to San Francisco, 1849, Arion Press, 1986. $75.00
Art Deco. The Books of Francois-Louis Schmied Artist/Engraver/Printer. Designed
by Ward Ritchie and printed by Premier Printing Corporation, 1987. $90.00
By Horse, Stage & Packet. The Far West Letters of Joseph Pratt Allyn. Edited by
John Nicolson and David K. Strate. Designed by Jack Stauffacher of The Green-
wood Press and printed by Patrick Reagh Printers, 1988. $85.00
Lawton Kennedy, Printer. Ruth Teiser, with a Foreword by Dr. James D. Hart.
Designed and printed by Jonathan Clark at the Artichoke Press, 1988. $87.50
Isadora Duncan & Gordon Craig. The Prose and Poetry of Action by Cynthia
Splatt. Designed and printed by W. Thomas Taylor, 1988. $95.00
Frank Morrison Pixley of the Argonaut. John L. Levinsohn. Designed and printed
by Susan Acker at the Feathered Serpent Press, 1989. $50.00
A Book of Gaelic Airs for Una’s Melodeon collected by Una Jeffers and illustrated
by Robinson Jeffers, with an introduction by Dave Oliphant. Printed by the Pre-
mier Printing Corporation from Ward Ritchie’s design, 1989. $87.00
The Rhemes New Testament. Decherd Turner. Contains a leaf from an incomplete
copy of the original edition of the Douai Bible. Printed by W. Thomas Taylor,
A Typographical Masterpiece. An account of the producing of the Golden Cockerel
Press edition of “The Four Gospels’ in 1931. Printed by Meriden-Stinehour Press,
Prospectuses available upon request. California members wishing to send payment
with orders, please include the appropriate tax.
THE BOOK CLUB OF CALIFORNIA
Telephone [incl. area code]
Your principal areas of interest in the book collecting field, including
membership in related organizations:
Sponsor’s address & telephone
[ Your sponsor, a member of The Book Club of California, must send the Club
a letter supporting your application for membership. If you are not acquainted
with a member to serve as your sponsor, please contact The Club’s Member-
ship Secretary for a referral. |
lamin sympathy with the aims @ activities of the Club and wish to have
my name proposed for:
[ ] Regular Membership £55.00
[ ] Sustaining Membership $75.00
[ ] Patron Membership $150.00
[The Book Club of California is a nonprofit organization. |
312 Sutter Street Suite 510 San Francisco, California 94108-4320