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Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales

Berkshire, England: Golden Cockerel Press, 1929-31. Stk. ++ Z 250 GL33.

In 1946 the English writer and artist Robert Gibbings visited the South Pacific. Part of his journey included a stop-over at Dunedin where he met John Harris, the then University of Otago Librarian. Later as a gift, Gibbings gave the University five vellum sheets containing various sample printings that he had undertaken as owner/operator of the Golden Cockerel Press, one of the most influential of English private presses. The sheet displayed is from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, which was printed between February 1929 and March 1931. The presswork Gibbing demanded matches the fine illustration and decoration by Eric Gill, who was also an exceptional artist.