Cabinet 15

Open Book

Special Collections is not fortunate enough to own a copy of JBW's illustrated edition of Salmacis and Mermaphroditus (1951), a work attributed to Francis Beaumont. However, the double-page spread in Cave's book on the Golden Cockerel Press gives a good example of the result of JBW's experimentation with colour and separately cut wood blocks. It was a process of trial and error, with JBW often altering the sequence of block printing for greater effect, testing the degrees of transparency in the inks, and making sure he had the right sort of paper. Although there seem to be quite a number of colours used, he in fact used only three colours for this edition: a golden yellow, a blue and a grey.

Roderick Cave and Sarah Manson, A History of the Golden Cockerel Press 1920-1960. London; New Castle, Delaware: British Library; Oak Knoll Press, 2002. Special Z 232 G63 CC11.

Open Book

In 1952, JBW was teaching at Slade School of Art. In between instructing and inspiring pupils, he continued to experiment, to push the boundaries of his own artistic output. Etching and aquatint offered an 'escape from the burin.' Although some commentators claim a decline in JBW's art at this period, the combination of text using Caslon Old Face type, Arnold's mould-made paper, composition and press work under the supervision by E. T. Kelly at the Chiswick Press, and eight large aquatints, make this a superbly illustrated publication. Only 360 copies were issued of this novel by Hartnoll, a British theatre historian.

Phyllis Hartnoll, The Grecian Enchanted. [London]: Golden Cockerel Press, 1952. Special PR 6015 A673 G73.

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University of Otago Master of the Burin: The Book Illustrations of John Buckland Wright, 1897 - 1954 <