[Caslon Letter Foundry, London.] Printed covering letter to accompany a specimen book and history of the Caslon Foundry, signed and dated by Thomas W. Smith.

Thomas W. Smith, proprietor, Caslon Letter Foundry, London
Publication details: 
Caslon Letter Foundry, 22 Chiswell Street, EC. [London] July 1896.

1p., 12mo. Attractively printed within a decorative border, on the recto of the first leaf of a bifolium. The letter reads: 'Dear Sir | The Specimen Book sent you herewith, of which I have much pleasure in asking your acceptance, contains a history of the Caslon Foundry printed with the justly celebrated types engraved by its founder in the early part of last Century.

[Book of type specimens.] Old Faces of Roman and Medieval Types lately added to the De Vinne Press.

[The De Vinne Press] [Theodore Low De Vinne (1828-1914), American printer and authority on typography]
Publication details: 
Printed at the De Vinne Press, No. 12 Lafayette Place, New York. 1897.

[4] + 47pp., 8vo. In printed wraps. Internally in fair condition, on aged paper, with slight staining to the corners; in worn and chipped wraps. A handsome production, as one might expect from one of the nine founders of the Grolier Club, with a two-page introduction followed by a full-page reproduction of the Ascensius printer's device, and 47 examples of pages set in various point sizes of Cushing, Ancient Roman, Jenson, Satanick, Louis XV, and Century Roman. No copy on COPAC, six American and one French on WorldCat.

[First work from the press, in original wraps.] Les Bucoliques de Virgile, précédées De plusieurs Idylles de Théocrite, de Bion et de Moschus; suivies de tous les passages de Théocrite que Virgile a imités; traduites en vers français par Firmin Didot

Firmin Didot (1764-1836), French engraver, printer and type founder
Publication details: 
Gravé, fondu et imprimé par le traducteur. À Paris, À la Librairie de Firmin Didot, Rue de Thionville. 1806.

[13] + 264pp., 8vo. In original purple wraps lacking spine label. A landmark work in the history of printing. In fair condition, on aged and dogeared paper, with damp staining to the first few leaves, and front cover of the wraps detached. Pp.246-264 carry Didot's 'Note Bibliographique et Typographique', with the engraving on p.263 of the Estienne device, to indicate that it is possible to print both text and 'taille douce' on the same page.

Autograph Letter Signed ('J Montagu Sims') from the editor of the Manchester 'free Lance' to copy editor 'Mr. Alvarez', regarding the journal's system of punctuation.

J. Montagu Sims (fl. 1870s), editor of the Victorian Manchester periodical 'free Lance' [Alvarez, copy editor]
Publication details: 
'Southport. Tuesday.' [no date] On letterhead of 'The Editor's Department', "free Lance" Office, 36, Corporation Street, Manchester.

1p., 12mo. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. He begins by informing Alvarez that the periodical 'somehow made a sad hash of the printing of ye last No. which I have sent to the works | As you are now definitely engaged to read, I will tell you our system. | No high pointing, the other plan being both more scholarlike & less expensive. | All proofs read after my signature is attached (in page) to be only altered for literals.' He ends by informing Alvarez that he has 'sent on something of yrs'.

[Printed catalogue of Linotype type specimens.] Spécimen de Charactères, Vignettes & Filets Linotype. Entièrement exécuté sur machines a composer Linotype.

[French Linotype type specimen book]
Publication details: 
[Morgenthaler Linotype.] Without date or place [French, 1930s?].

28pp., landscape 12mo, printed on rectos only of 28 leaves. Dimensions 21 x 15 cm. In brown card wraps with brown cloth tape spine over staples. In fair condition, on aged thick paper, with foxing to title leaf, and damp staining at foot of first and last few pages. Printed decorative border on front cover, with same border in black ink on title page, enclosing the title in block capitals in red ink: 'SPÉCIMEN | DE | CARACTÈRES, VIGNETTES | & FILETS | LINOTYPE'.

To Mr. Law. ['One of thirty copies reprinted from the original edition in the Library of Worcester College, Oxford.']

Allan Ramsay. [Worcester College, Oxford; Oxford University Press; John Law; South Sea Bubble]
Publication details: 
[1924.] [With facsimile of title of the original anonymous Edinburgh edition of 1720.]

Folio pamphlet: 8 pp. In brown wraps with 'TO MR. LAW. BY ALLAN RAMSAY.' on the front wrap and the publication details on its reverse. On aged and lightly-creased paper, in worn, creased wraps. Nicely printed, with the long s, at the University Press. Originally published anonymously in 1720. Facsimile of title ('EDINBURGH: Printed for the AUTHOR at the Mercury, opposite to Niddrey's-Wynd, MDCCXX.'). A scarce (unattributed) Oxford University Press item: of the thirty copies COPAC lists four: at the British Library, Oxford, Cambridge and the National Library of Scotland.

Four Autograph Letters Signed ('W. Marshall') to Messrs Bradley & Son Ltd[, The Crown Press, Printers, Caxton Road, Reading], giving formula for 'Spacine' ('for the prevention of rising spaces in Monotype') and instructions for its application.

W. Marshall, East Dulwich printer and inventor [Bradley & Son, Reading printers; Monotype; Spacine]
Publication details: 
30 Jan. [1929], 8 and 13 May 1929 and undated; the first three from 92 Upland Rd, East Dulwich, London, S.E.22.

The four items, all on aged and lightly spotted paper, are attached by four rusty staples. One (five pages, octavo): In reply to the firm's inquiry regarding 'the prevention of rising spaces in Monotype', Marshall states that, instead of giving information, he 'would rather send you the method and you try it out and prove for yourself its value, then pay me afterwards'.

Engraved portrait of Gutenberg by Gaywood, mounted on piece of paper with painted decorations.

Johannes Gutenberg, German printer; Peter Stent (fl.1643-67), London printseller; Richard Gaywood (fl.1644-68), English engraver
Publication details: 
Without date or place.

Good clean image of a seventeenth-century engraving, from an earlier idealised portrait of the putative 'father of printing'. It is of irregular shape, the background having been carefully cut away. Neatly mounted on piece of beige paper, illustrated with a brown pseudo-frame with decorative book devices in the four corners. Half-length portrait of a bearded Gutenberg in fur-lined hat and coat, with composing stick in left hand and stylus in right. Dimensions roughly eight and a quarter inches by seven wide. Engraved beneath is 'P Stent Excudit: R Gaywood fecit'.

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