A wood engraving made in 1918 as a Christmas card. The letters signify Jesus, Mary, Joseph and Dominic. Printed on thin Japon tissue paper the print is one of 80 copies as published in the limited edition Cleverdon of ‘Engravings 1928-1933 by Eric Gill’. The sheet has a fox mark near the image, see photo, else in good condition.
Image size 150 x 60mm
Sheet size 30 x 240mm
The block was used on a front cover for ‘Three poems’ by H D C Pepler, St. Dominic’s Press, Ditchling, 1918; used as an illustration for ‘ Nisi Dominus’m, rimes by H D C Pepler, St. Dominic’s Press, Ditchling, 1919; on page 42 of ‘ Horae Beatae Virginis Mariae Juxta ritum Sacri Ordinis Praedicatorum Jussu Editae’, publication No. 37, 1923; on page 22 of ‘Wood Engravings ‘ publication no. 44, 1924.
Eric Gill produced a catalogue of woodcuts in 1929 in conjunction with Douglas Cleverdon. The main edition of 400 were printed on cream wove paper. There were a further 80 editions which had the cream wove images plus an additional set printed on skin thin ‘Japon’ paper (an extremely involved Japanese technique of making paper), and included in a folder inside the back of the book. The Japon paper edition was scarce as mainly allocated at publication to library museums and significant private collectors. The sheet usually ruckles as it is so fragile.The edges will always be slightly creased which often happens at the printing stage. It is important to note that the 1929 Cleverdon edition were printed directly from Gill’s original woodblocks. An example from the Japon paper edition is very difficult to find as the vast majority are housed in public collections or with private collectors and there were only 80 printed. The printing technique allows the print to shine and is very distinct in its effect.
Reference: Physick 143,D117, 33