Geofroy Tory – Bruce Rogers/Riverside Press


Shipping to United States: $15.00

Designed by Bruce Rogers during his time from 1897–1912 at Houghton Mifflin’s captive printing plant in Cambridge, Massachusetts, The Riverside Press. Rogers and a small handful of craftsman had free rein to produce what many agree are some of the most beautiful books ever produced in the first part of the 20th century.

And so we have the monumental “Geofroy Tory.” Like all of BR’s productions at Riverside, it’s printed on a fine English handmade paper watermarked "W King, Alton Mill". Impeccably printed, the production was delayed by two years. This because Rogers was dissatisfied with the quality of line in the illustrations which were photographed from books printed by Tory. The solution was to redraw every single illustration anew to assure consistency throughout. But wait, that feat alone is remarkable given the shear number of intricate historic borders and line illustrations. Still more remarkable is that the book was printed in what came to be known as “Riverside Caslon.” As perhaps the first, greatest typographer of the decade, and not content to use 14pt Caslon straight from the case, in an effort to emulate French typography by the book’s subject, Rogers took 12pt Caslon capitals and rubbed the face of each sort in order to embolden them such that they harmonized with the stroke weights of the 14pt lowercase. Matrices where then grown for the Monotype type casters in use at Riverside and the type set. An astounding undertaking.

And so, here we are with a book both handsome for its design as well as its production. Priced at $37.50 when it was published, in 2021 dollars that's translates to around $1,100.

This copy is beautifully preserved in one half of the original two-part slipcase with matching edition number – no. 147 – of only 370 copies. There are no complete copies currently on the market, and those others with the inner slip are offered at vastly greater prices.

This is your opportunity to own a storied piece of typographic and bookmaking history in as fine condition as one might hope to find.

If there are “defects” they are the two former owner's bookplates on the front and rear pastedowns, and some age toning and staining to the ends. Otherwise the book is fine and the slip is fully intact. No splits to the slipcase seams.

Feel free to compare with other copies on the open market then come back and place your order knowing that you're supporting a working letterpress craftsman..

As always, excess postage will be refunded.

Your patronage allows me to continue to practice the letterpress craft using traditional methods.

Regarding the previous owners:

Read about Collin Armstrong here:

Read about George Edward Dimock (Yale Class of 1874) here:

Bibliographic reference:

Warde no. 94
Kelly no. 37
Johnson no. 44

Shipping from United States

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Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

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