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Edmund Spenser

The Faerie Queene

Middlesex, England: Ashendene Press, 1923. Stk. ++ PR 2358 1923.

The colophon, or finishing stroke, is a note at the end of a book giving all or some of the following particulars: name of work, author, printer, place of printing and date. In its elementary function of identifying the edition, it has been superceded by the title-page. Many private press productions contain colophons, offering additional information on paper and press used, issues printed (here 180 paper copies; 12 on vellum), and in this example from the C.H. St. John Hornby’s Ashendene Press, a strikingly red printer’s device and a prayer to future binders about cropping the deckled edged pages. The Ashendene Press is ranked as one of the Trinity of English private presses, alongside Doves and Kelmscott.