Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Edgar Mansfield's 'On Creation'

here's a spread from designer-binder Edgar Mansfield's 11.2.80 On Creation, printed at my Hawk Press in New Zealand 1981 - the edition was 150 copies (ahh, those heady days. . . ) on Umbria handmade paper, including 26 lettered A thru Z unbound - the book contained several small texts on the creative process and a set of binding designs that had not yet been undertaken - as well there were 20 extra sets of the drawings, one not included in the book, on J Green handmade paper - several years later, 1993, the catalog Twenty Five Bindings was published by K D Duval in Scotland, in which binding designs by Mansfield were realised by James Brockman - the book for which the above design was made was among those bound, Edgar (Edgar by Edgar) Allen Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher, with 10 aquatints by Alexandre Alexeieff, The Halcyon Press A A M Stols, Maastricht 1930 - the binding itself is in natural Nigerian goatskin, with grey goatskin inlays and black onlays in tooled lines - the grey solids in the printed version were added by Mansfield's hand after the printed sheets were sent from New Zealand to England & back again - Edgar's designs were not at all mere guidelines for his leather or vellum work - he would sometimes do a hundred or more drawings towards his bindings, and the almost perfect fidelity of the binding to the drawing in this instance is quite remarkable - here's the Mansfield/Brockman binding -