THE OLD SCHOOL PRESS
An occasional newsletter about forthcoming
books and events
In this newsletter . . .
a new book (we hope): Plates from a herbal
Plates from a herbal
A new book we hope to be able to start work on this year
Planned for later in 2022
The title page of Morison's Herbal:
been given permission in principle to print from twelve of the plates, subject
to satisfactory tests of the effect of printing from them. The printing will be
done by Jim Nottingham, who so expertly pulled prints from the
seventeenth-century plates engraved by Michael Burghers shown in Michael
Burghers, Oxford engraver. One of the Morison plates has been digitally
3D-scanned and will be rescanned after a single pull from it to determine
whether printing from it causes any damage. We hope this will be done this
month. If the test shows that the pates can be safely printed from we
hope to get permission for the edition to go ahead.
large plates – on average about 358 mm by 243 mm in size, or about 14 in by 10
in – so this will be a correspondingly large book. To complement the plates,
five of which will appear in each copy, we are planning a number of short
essays. Scott Mandelbrote will provide an introduction to the original
Historia; Professor Stephen Harris of the Department of Plant Sciences at
the University of Oxford will address the twelve plates from a botanical
perspective; and Jim Nottingham will describe the plates themselves, how they
have been prepared for use, and the process of printing from them. We also
anticipate photographs of the plates and of the printing process.
A sample opening from the Herbal showing two plates:
In the 1680s OUP sourced its paper principally from France, the standard of paper-making in England being so poor. For type it had at its disposal the matrices purchased in Holland by John Fell for similar reasons. For this twenty-first-century book we are planning to use an antique Rives BFK laid paper for the text, and Monotype Van Dijck for the type; a heavy Somerset paper will be used for the plates. Precise details will be announced as soon as permission to print from the plates has been granted.
To limit the use of these precious artefacts this will be a small edition - perhaps 75 copies of which just sixty will be for sale. Expressions of interest are welcome now.