H.G. Well's The Door in the Wall - LE
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Well, it is even more beautiful and far bigger than I imagined it would be. Posting these here to enable you all. :)
Less than 100 copies left (Although I may have brought it down to 99.)
A "heads up" for the LT FSD-ers:
When this book was first issued, I posted that this LE was a "must have" - one of the most beautiful Limited Editions the FS has done. Additionally, the asking price was ridiculously inexpensive for the extreme care taken in "getting it right". Joe Blundell obviously took a special interest in this LE and it is reflected in its quality and its faithfulness to the original edition. What most of you cannot know or appreciate is just how close to the original first edition this LE has come. I own one of the rare copies (edition of 60 printed in the U.K. by Grant Richards) signed by both H.G. Wells and Alvin Langdon Coburn in which the photographic illustrations were personally supervised and hand-pulled by Coburn himself and the FS LE comes remarkably close to the original, with the photographs lacking only a bit of the lustre and depth that only the original proof can have.
My point: If you consider yourself a serious FS collector you should make certain you purchase a copy before it goes OOP. When it does, you will spend months/years whining and posting on LT about how you woulda/shoulda/coulda, how difficult and expensive it is to find in the secondary market, etc., etc.
You know who you are.
I almost never buy FS facsimiles--I bought this one for the reasons you concisely articulated.
I have no regrets (ok, I regret not getting Johnson's dictionary when it was first offered. Where were you then diphcoracl?).
>1 RATBAG.: Great work on the photos. I have gone from not being at all interested, to being somewhat interested in this.
There is a short entry in Joe Whitlock Blundell's blog from the 19th February 2016 where he mentions the care taken by the printers (Grammlich, Stuttgart) to match the photographic illustrations with ALG's photogravures. Here's the link: https://blogs.foliosociety.com/friday-19th-february-2016/. I recently did a photogravure printing course, and the nature of the prints produced is fundamentally different from the standard printing of photographs which everyone is familiar with, so I don't underestimate the effort which had to be applied by Grammlich. While I have the Folio facsimile, I envy >4 dlphcoracl: having an original with which to compare.
O/T If anyone is interested in photography and / or printing, then I would absolutely recommend learning the photogravure process; it combines elements of the magic that those familiar with darkroom work will know, some intellectual rigour in working out exposures and, best of all, getting down and dirty with ink, some very beautiful thick papers and a good old-fashioned press. Brilliant fun and some nice things to put on the wall afterwards.
I heartily concur with your remarks regarding the complexity and beauty of photographic illustrations in private press books that utilize (sadly, very infrequently) the photogravure process. The late-era Limited Editions Club books printed and published under the ownership and direction of Sidney Shiff are the gold standard in this regard. Shiff illustrated many of his books with photography from world-renowned photographers and always reproduced their work in his LEC editions using the photogravure process, to stunning effect. No private press publisher I have encountered ever took as much care and pride as Sidney Shiff in this regard.
Show us some examples of your work on the Literary Lens forum.
Have you tried photographing books or art works and using photogravure?
Kudos to RATBAG on his superlative photography. This is clearly not Amateur Hour.
O/T >14 wcarter: The images I used for the course were ones which I had an idea about hanging on my wall and I definitely don't need any images of books decorating my rooms when I have plenty of the real thing (!) so no, I don't have any of my book shots printed via the photogravure process. My best efforts at printing from the course are now under glass, but on Sunday I'll have time to take some shots of the negatives and plates. I'll also see if I can give you some idea of the image pressed into the paper and the lovely flat nature of the print produced; quite the antidote to ubiquitous glossy and screen-based images. It'll only be an idea though as you'll be looking at an image on a screen. I've seen original prints of these (https://www.theold-diarystudio.co.uk/photogravure), which are the work of the course tutor, Peter Moseley, who has printed work for David Bailey and has had his own work in the National Portrait Gallery. The level of detail and the sheer tactile beauty of the photogravure process really can't be conveyed via a website.
>13 dlphcoracl: I didn’t know that the Shiff LECs utilised photogravure for the printing of photographs; thank you very much for that information, which has reinvigorated my desire to own a copy of The Man Who Planted Trees. This is the one book from that LEC period which appeals to me on both the grounds of the book itself and the LEC treatment of it (although I wouldn’t turn away copies of The White Spider or Seven Years in Tibet either).
The photographs by Martine Franck in 'The Man Who Planted Trees' are luminous - one of my Sidney Shiff late-LEC favorites. The LEC edition of Pablo Neruda's 'The Heights of Machu Picchu' is another that instantly comes to mind.
>20 dlphcoracl: Agreed. I’ve put the Neruda into my must buy mental compartment, along with The Man who Planted Trees and White Spider. I thought that I was done with LEC due to postage cost, but this damned thread has got me all worked up about these three books (and when the bill is going to be 1000s anyway who cares about a hundred or so for postage!!).
I have the FS edition and can enthusiastically endorse the previous comments about the quality of the photographs and text printing. In fact, I ordered two copies and gifted one.
To further illustrate the points made in >1 RATBAG.: and >4 dlphcoracl:, I have taken my original 1st edition of The Door in the Wall (limited to 60 copies) - the same book Joe Whitlock Blundell used as the model for the FS facsimile - and my copy of the FS facsimile and photographed the books, the 1st text pages, and three of the Alvin Langdon Coburn photographs in each book and posted them directly underneath each other. The original will be shown first with the FS facsimile posted directly underneath. The most obvious difference between the two books is the quality of the paper. The original uses a very fine French handmade paper that is velvety to the touch whereas the FS facsimile uses a high quality mouldmade (unspecified) paper. The differences between the text pages and photographs? Not so much. The camera settings are identical for each photo.
The ball is now in your court.
>24 dlphcoracl: Magnificent! Wow. Folio really did outdo themselves with this one.
Thank you very much for sharing; I would even dare say that Folio has slightly enhanced and refined the typography of the original, most notably in the foil-stamped title cover.
I think the comparison photos should do the trick in eliminating any doubt over buying this edition. ;)
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