On the Birmingham School of Art, 1940. [A Report by Eric Gill, dated July 13, 1940.] Introduction by John Randle. Squarish 8vo, 21cm, pp.39, colophon, loose Note, (On the Albion of James Freemantle) St James Park Press, London, March 2018.
Set in 12-point Joanna and printed in black on Somerset Book paper. Wood-engraved openining initial by Eric Gill printed in green. One of 100 numbered copies. Bamboo boards laser-engraved on the front from a unique pencil rubbing by Eric Gill and on the rear with Gill's initials, scarlet morocco spine, gilt spine titling. A new copy.
First edition. This extraordinary historical document has lain in our drawers at Collinge & Clark since we discovered it some twenty years ago. Commissioned by Birmingham School of Art in the year that Gill was to die, it is perhaps not surprising that it was never published. One senses a strange - rather fey - but very Gill mood in the writing. In part, it is a valuable contemporary study of students work in the individual departments of a commercial art school. What must have caused embarrassment is the caustic attack on the value of such schools.
The printing and binding of James Freemantle's second book is a splendid piece of work. John Randle's masterful introduction excellently sets up Gill's very complex personal life at this time. I cannot but think that far too few copies have been printed.