(Hammersmith: Doves Press, 1900). 235 x 171 mm. (9 1/4 x 6 3/4"). 2 p.l. (first blank), 8 pp.,  leaves (final blank). ONE OF 300 COPIES ON PAPER (and 10 copies on vellum).
Original limp vellum by the Doves Bindery (stamp-signed on rear turn-in) flat spine with gilt titling. Front pastedown with engraved bookplate of Henry Guppy; front free endpaper with bookplate of Mary Priscilla Smith. Tidcombe DP-2; Tomkinson, p. 52. Head of spine lightly bumped, but A VERY FINE COPY, entirely clean, fresh, and bright internally, the binding clean and with no signs of splaying.
This second publication from the Doves Press sets forth Cobden-Sanderson's thoughts on the element of the Ideal Book for which his press is best known: typography. The essay began as a paper delivered at the Art Workers Guild in 1892, in which Cobden-Sanderson critiqued William Morris' Kelmscott Press books for their narrow margins, heavy typeface, and subordination of text layout to border decoration. The books he created with Emery Walker at the Doves Press went in the opposite direction: the clean, roman Doves type was the star; no illustrations or embellishment detracted from the simple, elegant type surrounded by generous margins. Although a short work, this text is of profound importance to the understanding of private press printing. Our copy was once owned by Henry Guppy (1861-1948), who was Librarian at the John Rylands Library in Manchester for nearly 50 years. This title is scarce in the marketplace: only half a dozen copies are recorded at auction by RBH and ABPC since 2000. (ST17040a)
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PJP Catalog: 79.129