Leonard, Crimilda & Harold

The bagger that keeps on giving: Last fall, when scratching about for a post topic, HM wrote about a pamphlet titled The Instruments of Writing printed in 1948 by one Crimilda Pontes. The post offered a brief summary of her subsequent career as a designer and calligrapher.

I recently & finally got a copy of Leonard Baskin's 1966 lecture To Colour Thought, printed by Giovanni Mardersteig at his Officina Bodoni and issued by Yale University Press in 1967. (Interesting & odd that this American publication uses the superfluous & vestigial u in the verb...) The edition was 300 copies. It's not a rare book, or even uncommon. The reason I had delayed so long in securing a copy was because I wanted one of 10 that were specially bound in full leather for distribution by the publisher. (The balance of the edition was bound in quarter leather.) One turned up in the last Veatchs Arts of the Book catalogue, and glory goes not to those who hesitate.

This copy was presented to Harold Hugo, president of the Meridan Gravure Company, where the illustrations for the book were printed. All except the frontis (from Blake) are black and white, like this:

My copy bears Hugo's ex libris as well as his daughter's (see top). It also contains a presentation note from the library, in lovely script, folded over the flyleaf. On the recto immediately preceding the title page is printed a (sort of) half title rendered in the same script as the laid-in note.

What I had not known about the book, until reading the colophon, was that the calligraphy was by Crimilda Pontes, a name I recognized only because of the blog I'd written on a slow news day last fall. So, in addition to getting one of the coveted publisher's copies, it came with an original sample of Crimilda's calligraphy! An unexpected & kool coincidence.

No information provided in the colophon about the binder, but the time, location & execution all point it being done by to Arno Werner (who was Baskin's go-to binder of the time).

Haven't actually had a chance to read the lecture yet; HM's Great Move continues. Shifted about 2,000 lbs of iron, steel & lead yesterday: type (2 cabinets, 48 drawers) and the two foolscap-sized book presses used for damping & drying paper. Moving a bit slow today, but must press on. Here's what a significant portion of HM's paper stash looked like on the way into secure & heated storage last week: