Our Patch Spring 2018 Chiswick - Page 22

LOOKING BACK The Doves Press TRUE TO TYPE HAMMERSMITH & CHISWICK T here have been three private presses, publishing limited editions of fine books, in Hammersmith. The Kelmscott Press, the Doves Press and the Eragny Press were all based near the Thames in Hammersmith, and existed within a comparatively short span of years, 1891- 1916. H&F Council owns a complete set of the Kelmscott Press books, as well as 20 productions of the Doves Press and eight of the Eragny Press. William Morris set up his own press at 16 Upper Mall in 1888, naming it after his house, Kelmscott Manor. Morris designed three types for the books, drew the borders, ornaments and initials and commissioned illustrations. The issued titles included Morris’s own works, medieval texts and poetry. The masterpiece of the Press was The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer (1896), illustrated with 87 wood 22 / 23 engravings designed by Morris’ friend Sir Edward Burne-Jones (who lived in North End, Fulham). The Doves Press evolved from the Doves Bindery, founded in 1893 at 15 Upper Mall by Thomas James Cobden-Sanderson. In 1900, he and the typographer Emery Walker (another friend and colleague of Morris) started the Doves Press at 1 Hammersmith Terrace. The typeface was designed by Walker and the calligraphy of the coloured capital letters was the work of the gifted but eccentric calligrapher Edward Johnston, who like Emery Walker lived in Hammersmith Terrace. Doves Press books have no illustrations or decorative borders. The Press produced editions of Milton and other classical English writers, as well as a five-volume edition of The English Bible, bound in white vellum. However, Walker and Cobden-Sanderson did not get on well, and after 1909 Walker withdrew from the enterprise. The last books were printed in 1916, and in 1917 Cobden-Sanderson threw the types of the Press into the Thames so that no one else could use them. These small books have pretty bindings as well as attractive illustrations As well as the Doves Press, another local press which started soon after was the Eragny Press, established by Lucien Pissarro (eldest son of the artist Camille Pissarro) and his wife Esther in 1894. They lived at The Brook, Stamford Brook Road, Chiswick. The Eragny Press published about 30 books, some using the Vale Press type and some the Brook type which Lucien designed himself. The small books have pretty bindings as well as attractive illustrations. The Eragny Press lasted until 1914.