[Vancouver]: Heavenly Monkey, 2013. Small octavo, 18.3 x 13.5 cm. Cased in quarter black leather, with leather bands to the top and bottom edges; dot patterned gilt rolls ornament the bands on the covers, with the same pattern repeating along the turn-ins; marbled paper sides, and gilt-stamped black leather title label to the spine. Unpaginated [pp. 64]. A fine copy. The text was set in Caslon and Scotch Roman types (“this is probably the only book that will ever be set in Caslon & Scotch Roman types at Heavenly Monkey”- R.M., from the colophon), and printed on a variety of papers. Bound by Claudia Cohen. One of 30 copies, of which this is number 12. Item #157
“The extract from Updike's essay was set in 12-pt Caslon (the face he mentions by way of example in the essay) on one page. Fifteen different papers were assembled, each presented as a folio (i.e. four-page section) with its name printed on the first recto, a design or pattern created from printer's flowers on the first verso, and the essay on the second recto. Thus, flipping through the book, every other right-hand page presents the essay, in exactly the same setting, printed in exactly the same manner (damp, handpress), with only the paper changing.”
“The text in this book is the fifth part from Updike’s essay ‘The Seven Champions of Typography’ (In the Day’s Work, Harvard University Press, 1924), in which he discusses the influence that paper exerts on any type printed upon it. The intent of this book is to illustrate that influence by reprinting the same text on a variety of papers.
The text has been set in Caslon simply because Updike chose it to make his argument; and augmented with Scotch Roman for his reference to “modern” faces, since it is the one mentioned in his Printing Types as being second only to Caslon in the class of types that “appear to be beyond criticism from the point of view of beauty and utility.” (HM does not share his enthusiasm for these types, but that is beside the point for our current purposes.)
This is not intended to be a paper sample book, which is a good thing because we were unable to identify every paper included. Some papers came to us still in their original packing with a label detailing the type, weight, etc. Some papers we could identify from the watermarks. Two we know from previous books they were used in: the Warren H. Colson (made in France) was used by Leonard Baskin in his Flosculi Sententiarum, and the Amalfi is the same sheet he used in his edition of Poe’s Anastatic Printing. Some papers were discovered at the back of forgotten drawers, with no details beyond what the sheets themselves offered: watermarks, distances between chain lines, and dimensions. In all cases except for the Japanese kaichu shi, the maker’s name is given, in majuscules. Where the paper’s name is also know, it’s included. With one of the Barcham Green sheets, we were unable to identify it with certainty, and have simply included the date in the watermark.
All of the papers were printed from the same form, in exactly the same manner: dampened (except the kaichu shi), inked by hand, & printed on a handpress. The lock-up and makeready remained constant throughout the runs. The ink used was Hostmann-Steinberg. Thus, any variations in appearance between the papers should be the result of exactly what Updike was discussing, & what Everson said more poetically: the field on which the whole thing can act.”