New York: The Grolier Club, 1931. Limited edition. Quarto (11 1/4 inches tall), original gray textured paper boards, gilt white parchment spine, uncut. Very faint toning to spine, partially unopened. About-Fine. Item #1100
"AN ALMOST ENDLESS NUMBER OF DELIGHTFUL BITS OF ORNAMENT, EACH DRAWN WITH AMAZING CERTAINTY OF LINE AND PRECISION OF DETAIL, FLOWED FROM HIS READY PEN"
Limited edition of this selection of Bertram Goodhue Grosvenor's handsome designs for the decoration of books. Known primarily as an architect, in longtime partnership with Ralph Adams Cram, Goodhue was also a designer for many of the fine press book publishers of the day such as Copeland & Day, the Merrymount Press, Small, Maynard & Company, and Stone & Kimball. Sponsored by the Grolier Club, this informal catalogue is beautifully illustrated throughout with a frontispiece portrait rendered in photogravure (with original tissue guard) and various designs unadorned with captions or notes.
The engravings are divided into nine sections: I. Introductory (by Ignalls Kimball), II. Borders and Full Pages, III. Covers, IV. Book Plates, V. Printers' Marks and Seals, VI. Miscellaneous Decorations, VII. Printing Types, VIII. Initials, IX. Some Working Sketches. The section on Printing Types includes examples of the hugely successful Cheltenham Type, designed at the turn of the century by Goodhue and assisted by Ingalls Kimball (director of the Cheltenham Press) who suggested and supervised the face. The first comprehensive type family with an Art-and-Crafts influence, "Chelt" became known as the "king of display faces" and it was used extensively for headlines. The introduction by Kimball (the founder of Stone and Kimball) praises Goodhue for his restraint in an age of excess and for his sheer versatility: "An almost endless number of delightful bits of ornament, each drawn with amazing certainty of line and precision of detail, flowed from his ready pen." Although Kimball describes Goodhue as the "most modern of the moderns," he retained an enduring fascination with the Middle Ages: "Goodhue loved medievalism. He delighted in black letter and in all the quirks of Latin abbreviations." One of only 400 copies, arranged by Cheltenham, New York and printed by William Edwin Rudge in June 1931.