(New York: Pynson Printers, 1939). 292 x 229 mm. (11 1/2 x 9"). 129 pp.,  leaves. No. 87 OF 370 COPIES SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR AND BY PUBLISHER ELMER ADLER.
Original black quarter calf over Indian cloth in a floral design, flat spine with gilt titling. In the publisher's (slightly worn) lettered brown cardboard slipcase. With 85 photogravure illustrations of papermaking in India and 27 specimens of Indian paper. Schlosser 39. Short indentation to spine, light thumbing to a couple of leaves, otherwise a fine copy, clean and bright in an unworn binding.
In this work, the leading authority on papermaking takes us on a journey through various Indian provinces, examining the techniques used to make paper by hand in each one and providing a valuable record of a vanishing industry. The account of Hunter's travels through the country is illustrated with photographs of papermaking equipment and of artisans at work making paper; it describes in detail the materials used and the techniques employed to make paper in each region, and enumerates the special challenges Indian papermakers face in finding quality raw materials and dealing with the discouragement of British colonial officials. Hunter holds out little hope for the future of the craft in India, where artisans are focused on trying to produce paper at lower prices than the machine-made kind--a hopeless task--rather than on making the kind of high-quality paper that cannot be produced on a machine. This work is all the more significant for capturing a dying art and preserving remnants of its products.
Dard Hunter (1883-1966) explored the breadth of book production as few others have: he was an author, papermaker, type designer, graphic artist, and printer. He first experimented with papermaking at a mill in New York in 1909, and later in Ohio, his home state. His research on papermaking took him many times around the globe, particularly into Asia, in order to document and collect samples of traditional techniques, and he produced 18 books on the subject. The collections and research he accumulated on these expeditions became the core of the Dard Hunter Paper museum, which opened in 1939. Equipment used in his papermaking, type founding, and printing has been accepted into the Smithsonian, while his collection of old and exotic papers resides in the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. (ST15753j)
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