The Typographic Book: 1450 - 1935.
London: Ernest Benn, 1963. Quarto. 102 pp. + 378 plates. First edition. Ornamental half title and title page from wood engravings by Reynolds Stone, printed in terracotta. Illustrated with 377 plates reproducing significant examples of typography from Gutenberg to Bruce Rogers. In an Elizabeth Greenhill binding of slate-green oasis featuring red and black onlays forming the letters of the title, surrounded by gold tooling on the upper panel. The letters are then echoed by an outline in gilt. On the lower panel, the gilt outline of the letters are echoed in blind tooling. Title in gilt on spine, with three onlaid bands of black goatskin. Doublures and endleaves of plum-colored Japanese paper. Writing about Greenhill's work in an article originally published in the Book Collector, Dorothy Harrop points to certain trademark qualities inherent in her finished bindings, among which is "the constant high standard of her lettering." Harrop observes that "she has several very handsome bindings to her credit in which the title forms the sole or dominant element in the design." It can be said that this binding is among the most striking of these treatments. Although various dates are given for the completion of this work, the Catalogue Raisonné assigns the date of 1966 to it. It was around this time, early in 1966, that Greenhill's mother died, prompting an examination of the inscriptions on the copings in her family's plot, which she found to be badly eroded. This resulted in her decision to erect a single headstone of her own design, inscribed "in a good Roman alphabet." It is perhaps a consequence of these events that the lettering on the present binding assumes a sculptural dimensionality. It is a design style that she used only once again, four years later, on a copy of the Allen Press's Printing with a Hand-Press.This binding has had a single owner since it was completed for the collection of Lord Wardington, and it bears his booklabel on the rear pastedown. Greenhill met Wardington at the Foyles Art Gallery for the Guild of Contemporary Binders exhibit in 1963, and he became a regular patron of her work. In the Foreword he contributed to her Catalogue Raisonné, Wardington writes that what appealed to him about her work was the way "she maintained the high traditions of the craft while at the same time using exciting non-traditional designs." Her high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail meant that "her bindings still work perfectly as books should, opening well and handling comfortably." Greenhill was the first woman member of the Guild of Designer Bookbinders, having been elected in 1961. The Guild then became Designer Bookbinders, and each year they present an award for gilding given in honor of Greenhill, who is now an honorary member. This binding was featured in the Modern British Bookbinding exhibit, held by Designer Bookbinders in Brussels and the Hague in 1985. The display card and spec sheet are laid into the morocco-backed cloth folding case. (Item ID: 20995)
(Catalogue Raisonné 37).