Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In Praise Of Ely

In Praise of Ely is a new 'Fine Press' book designed and printed by Chip Coakley at the Jericho Press, now located in Ely. I am lucky enough to have several Jericho Press volumes on my bookshelves; they are always interesting and well produced. I contributed an engraved press device to "Psalter Collects" (see here). I was pleased to be asked to engrave some small "spots" to decorate "In Praise Of Ely, part of a Latin text that has been translated into English verse by Janet Fairweather (whose translation of the Liber Eliensis is available here).

The verses paint a very pretty picture of Medieval Ely and I illustrated some of its glories with a series of small engravings.

I used a piece of resurfaced Victorian boxwood which I cut into several smaller pieces:

We started the work with a headpiece showing the early cathedral:

Another showed Norman arches inside the cathedral:

An engraving of an eel was made for the title page. Yet another showed bees around a skep and, finally, a tailpiece showed a heron with an eel. This was not specifically mentioned by Brother Gregory who wrote the original verses but it seemed to me to be appropriate:

The book was printed at the Jericho Press in Ely in an edition of just 100 copies and the results are very fine. Here are some photographs of the finished book, nicely bound in green cloth.:

If you live near Ely, copies can be bought from Toppings, a very fine bookshop. You can also purchase the book directly from The Jericho Press:


Finally, a trial version of the title page eel that I engraved during this project, together with a signed proof pulled from it using my 1865 Albion handpress, is currently being offered on Ebay:


Since this is my first post of 2012,  may I wish you all a Very Happy New Year?


joyce matula welch said...

Absolutely beautiful, and so inspiring too.

Celia Hart said...

What a beautiful book!

Happy New Year,

Acornmoon said...

Lovely work as always.

and now I must look at your links to that very desirable book.

Annie B said...

Beautiful Andy. Happy new year!

Unknown said...


So Andy, I was thinking about framing your little exchange 50 print and I was wondering how big a frame I should get. I know that engravings are often presented with larger borders and plenty of white space. Thoughts?